Jack Tame: Gun control an American failure

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Eight days ago, Chris Lane was alive. The Australian 22-year-old was hanging out with his girlfriend at her family home in small-town Oklahoma, when he decided to go for a run. He played baseball for a US college. He was fit.

As he jogged along the streets, three young men drove up behind him and shot him in the back.

Just for fun, one of them told the police. You know, just for kicks.

Chris Lane died. Didn't even reach hospital. He bled out in the street.

Fourteen years ago, Daniel Mauser was alive. He went to school one day at Columbine High. Someone shot him dead. A murder victim, he was, at 15 years old.

Three days ago, his Dad sent a mass email to millions of Americans, wondering why nothing has changed since somebody shot his teenage son in the face. Imagine reliving that trauma without tangible or foreseeable gain.

It's been a while, actually, by American standards, since there was a high-profile mass shooting in the country. Is this a lull in the massacre cycle, perhaps?

What an awful thing to even consider.

There was potential for one just five days ago, of course. A man walked into an Atlanta school with an AK-47. He had a well-documented history of mental illness, apparently. Stopped taking his medication. He had no dramas getting hold of an AK, though. So that's a comforting thought.

It was interesting, after Chris Lane's death, to see the response from Australia's former Deputy Prime Minister.

Tim Fischer helped instigate gun reform after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996. He suggested after Chris Lane was killed that Aussies consider boycotting the United States.

"Disgraceful," conservative writers branded his idea. Apparently, Fischer was advancing his own political agenda. Why, after all, would the Australian public be satisfied with one of the lowest massacre rates in the world?

Boycotting America may sound like a crazy idea. But, on the subject of guns, I can think of crazier things.

Fourteen years since Daniel Mauser died, eight days since Chris Lane was shot dead for fun, and four days since a man with a history and an AK walked into a crowded school, life goes on in America. Except, you know, for when it doesn't.

- Herald on Sunday

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