Monday, August 10, 2015

Murderous weekend in North Carolina

Melbourne, Australia has been my beautiful and peaceful home for just over a year now, but I've continued to follow the news from North Carolina and the U.S. closely. And too much of that news from my old home has been unfathomably tragic.

This Sunday's news stories from the tar heel state would give any caring person pause.
  • A Statesboro father guns down his two preschool sons and tries, but fails, to gun down himself.
  • A teenager in Raleigh is randomly and inexplicably gunned down
  • A retired law officer in Gastonia is gunned down, another Gastonia resident wounded, and other law officers and an innocent bystander are subsequently wounded in a gun battle.
  • A Winston-Salem man is gunned down and another man is wounded at a party.
During this awful, gory, bloody weekend, the state of North Carolina with its population of 9.9 million people--and its millions of guns--murdered more people with those guns than the nation of Australia with its population of 23.1 million people murders with guns, knives, hands, pipes, pills, and whatever in a typical week (source).

While this weekend's gun victim body count in North Carolina is higher than usual (thankfully there are more peaceful weekends), the average number of murders in NC on a given day (1.4) is twice the average number in Australia (0.7). Adjusted for the differences in population size, North Carolina's murder rate is almost five times Australia's.

One of the things my wife and I have come to appreciate in our new home town is the ability to walk out of our urban apartment (flats here), walk down streets and alleys (laneways here), and hang out in crowded, noisy bars (pubs here and the laneway pubs are the absolute best) with no worries about gun-toting idiots (idiots here too!).

North Carolinians don't have to live (and die) the way that they do, and maybe someday they will escape the thrall of the NRA and its lies about more guns and more guns and more guns making people safer.

In the meantime, if you want a drink in a dodgy but safe laneway pub, look us up. We'll shout you a round.