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Diário de Notícias, Portugal

How Much More Will It Take?

By Bernardo Pires de Lima

Translated By Nuno Rosalino

16 December 2012

Edited by Gillian Palmer

Portugal - Diário de Notícias - Original Article (Portuguese)

What kind of country prefers the freedom to purchase firearms without restrictions to the freedom of an innocent child? In what other country are there this many deadly massacres in schools? In what other country is this fixation with guns constitutionally and politically protected? In what other country, every time a massacre like the one in Connecticut happens, do politicians say that now’s not the time to talk about laws, but to mourn and pray for the dead?

The U.S. has a sickness like none other; it isn’t the mental health of the monsters who take the lives of schoolchildren, nor is it the violent culture that teenagers grow up with. Let’s be clear about this. Since when are the mentally ill murderers? Since when does the U.S. have a monopoly on mental disorders? We don’t hear about school massacres anywhere else. The problem isn’t that there is a disturbed or sick boy; the problem is that the law gives him easy access to firearms. And not just any old gun — we’re talking about military material that should never be made available to the public.

And regarding the violent culture argument: Is the U.S. the only country where there are cartoons, video games and movies that promote violence and gun culture? Of course not — violent culture is universal, available to anyone — but we don’t see massacres like the one in Newtown anywhere else. Why, then, is that argument only heard when we speak of the U.S.? Because there’s easy, permanent access to guns. That’s the real problem.

But who’s going to solve it? Those whose moral duty it is to put an end to these countless tragedies. One day it’s Columbine, the next it’s Virginia Tech, a movie theater in Colorado or a school in Newtown. The constitution is only sacred if it’s for the good of everyone; otherwise it doesn’t deserve to be respected, much like any politician in the U.S. or any other country that continues to smudge the word freedom with the access and use of guns. Let Newtown be the last we see of this plague.



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