Friday, 28 August 2015

Gun Law.............America ........



The Prof is now on a small boat in the Whitsunday Islands

Nothing much happened yesterday. No traumas, no bulldogs jumping out of burning buildings , no cats abseiling off cliffs ..........it was a day for fumigating hen houses
The Prof called very briefly. His bottom lip was quivering a little and he was just saying hi before getting on his wifi free catamaran on the Great Barrier Reef.... He will be incommunicado for the next week........ I won't speak to him until we meet at Sydney Airport.
It'll be like the reunion from Brief Encounter.....
I've always wanted to wear a hat like Celia Johnson's.


And so, feeling a little blue, I took myself off to Theatre Clwyd to watch a Danish Western that was filmed in South Africa with a Danish/Swedish/American/ French/ English and Welsh cast!
" The Salvation" is an interesting movie. At first I thought it was Director Kristian Levring's pastiche on the genre, as the whole thing had a flavour of the " Spaghetti " about it , but after half an hour of the stunning visuals ( With Africa providing a magnificent and probably more impressive backdrop as Monument Valley) it was clear that Levring had made his own solid " revenge" Western that stands alone.
Mads Mikklesen plays Jon Jensen, a Danish farmer who is reunited with his wife and son after emigrating with his brother Peter (Mikeal Persbrandt ) when a local gang member attacks and kills his wife and son just hours after they land in the country, Jensen is forced into a confrontation with the gang and the townsfolk who have been intimidated by them.
It's worth a view even though, there is nothing very new to see. I gave it a 7/10.

Mikeal Persbrandt and Mads Mikklesen

I got home after 10 pm and by accident caught the incredibly powerful HBO documentary " Requiem
For The Dead- American Spring 2014"
It was as simple as it was effective....totally mesmerising tv.
For those that don't know " Requiem" more or less lists the types of fatal gun crimes recorded during a twelve week period in the United States from March 2014.
8,000 deaths! 8,000 DEATHS ! In Twelve weeks! Fucking unbelievable !
Using press releases, tv clips, witness testimonies and photographic evidence the documentary concentrated on a dozen or so heartbreaking stories of murder, murder/suicide and accident but not before paying tribute to each one of the 8,000 dead . I felt quite drained and numb by the final oh-so-important reel and I remain incredulous that the gun issue has never been effectively sorted in a country that prides itself on being SO civilised.
Every school, every, gun club, every cinema in the USA should see this movie
It's interesting that the film I watched earlier , glorified the birth of America's love affair with the firearm.......


121 comments:

  1. gun laws in this country drive me crazy. i have neighbors that keep a loaded gun at their door ready to shoot the first stranger that knocks. when will people wake up?

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  2. I had my tirade over on Andrew's blog yesterday; haven't changed my mind about a single thing I wrote, nor will I.

    The cult of the gun has got to GO.

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  3. Iu fear that America will never wake up and act on this issue. It runs through their veins. Given the well published horrific shootings in the last 12 months with no action I feel that they will never give up the right to carry and own as many fire arms as they can. At least The Prof is well and "happy" in Oz, a truly wondrous country.

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  4. Many years ago I was on the verge of buying a handgun (always fancied a Desert Eagle) and joining the shooting club in Cambridge.
    Just about to go for it when the handgun ban came in after the Hungerford massacre in 1987, so the closest I ever got to it was holding a friends Colt 1911 .45 pistol (legally owned).
    I still believe the change in law was the typical knee-jerk reaction we always get in this country, and it certainly hasn't dealt with illegally held firearms, but the US has clearly gone too far in the opposite direction.

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    1. Dave, i agree in part...illegal guns are a huge issue and one that needs drastic action... I just wish i knew the answer?
      I do n't

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    2. As I said, I never got to shoot a handgun. I have done clay shooting a few times and really enjoyed it. To my mind shooting is just like any activity that would be pursued by someone who enjoys the thrill it gives, whether that be bungee jumping, paragliding, motorcycle racing or whatever.
      I did archery for a couple of years which I loved but had to give up due to tendon damage in my left arm.
      Guns understandably bring up a lot of emotion with people and in many ways they are indeed hateful things, but they can also be considered to be a tool. Guns don't kill people - people do. Practically anything can be used as a weapon to kill someone and although a gun undoubtably makes it easier, if someone is fucked up enough to want to kill another human being then they'll do it regardless.
      It's all a bit tricky knowing how and where to draw the line, and in a country like America where it's part of historical culture as others have commented, and you have to deal with the power wielded by those nutters in the NRA, it's even worse.

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    3. People with guns kill people.

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  5. I have never and never will own a gun; spouse is the same.

    the gun nuts (read: the national rifle association) have bought and paid for our congressional leaders to look the other way when ANY legislation regarding guns is mentioned. this is also true of our state legislatures, and even some local jurisdictions.

    then you have too damn many angry white individuals who resent that they are becoming a minority in this country.

    then you have the just plain fucked up batshit crazy loons running about.

    then you have kids shooting each other because "he looked at me funny" or "I wanted his sneakers/jacket/backpack/whatever".

    sadly, the USA will NEVER have strict gun laws like the UK or canada. the gun nuts keep claiming "second amendment rights", without realizing that at the time our constitution was written, we were fighting for our independence. there are very few of us intelligent folk amongst the ignorant noisemakers that give our country a black eye.

    sorry to have gotten on a soap box in hyde park here, john.

    you and the prof will (no doubt) have a grand romantic reunion next week. complete with tears.

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    1. Thanks for this Anne Marie in Philly!! I can't imagine what it must be like to live in the US today....and I am only a thin border away!!
      IMHO the US needs strong, intelligent, independent politicians like Sanders and Warren to set your country on a path to sanity.
      If it wasn't for the fact that the US directly effects the whole friggin world because of its policies, I wouldn't give one sweet hoot about what stupid laws it has that are so dividing the country......and your country could do whatever it wants to. But it is NOT that way......which is a shame as far as I.m concerned.

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    2. "the national rifle association) have bought and paid for our congressional leaders to look the other way when ANY legislation regarding guns is mentioned. this is also true of our state legislatures, and even some local jurisdictions."
      AMEN Anne Marie in Philly! The second amendment needs a reality check or we are headed for gun fights in the streets at high noon......wait a minute.....we are there already!

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  6. Many Americans believe (as I do) that we should have stricter controls on guns but the gun lobby is so strong (ie rich) that no politician would dare to buck them. Sad. After every major tragedy there is a lot of hand wringing but nothing ever happens.
    Maybe I'll move to Wales!
    Cheers

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  7. As you've seen from the comments, there are plenty of Americans who realize the country's gun laws (or lack of them) are insane. But there's a strong, strong streak of individualism and a perception of threat in some corners of American culture -- a belief that "someone" will come and take what I have (whether it be money, my life, whatever). As someone above said, this is in our veins. I think it goes all the way back to our country's founding. It's a kind of revolutionary frontier mentality, and it also leads to vigorous opposition to taxes, social welfare and that kind of thing.

    When the school shooting happened in Newtown a few years ago, I really thought our gun laws might change -- the crime was SO heinous and so unforgivable. The fact that they didn't change shows just how entrenched they are. Yes, our lawmakers are beholden to the NRA, but also, a heck of a lot of Americans really, really want to own firearms. I don't get it, but then, that's why I moved to England!

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  8. It's a bit too late. Obama could not even get a bill passed beyond one hearing about the banning of private ownership of assault rifles, let alone handguns.

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  9. The right to bear arms is not freedom. It is the opposite of that. America should forget The Islamic State and look at the terrorism within its own boundaries that has been created by lax guns laws and misplaced machismo. They should have been listening to President Obama instead of using every trick in the book to thwart him. NO TO GUNS! Collect 'em all up and melt them down to make a memorial to the endless victims or to the brutal ignorance of The National Rifle Association.

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    1. Well said! Thank you.

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    2. Absolutely!!

      Oh .... and ban all cowboy films I hate them ;-)

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    3. Hear Hear! Yorkshire Pudding, How about pretending you were born here and run for President?

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    4. YES YES YES, girlfriend!

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    5. to my knowledge we have only had one huge shooting event in Australia - in Tasmania. It sparked an instant reaction from the government which brought in gun control laws, collected all the guns which were handed in and destroyed them. I realise that there are illegal guns out there. There will always be law breakers, but deaths by shooting have been halved since then. I don't know anyone who even thinks of owning a gun but if you have a licence for possessing one these days you are inspected every year. You MUST store them in a locked gun safe . We do the best we can to prevent horrible accidents in this way.

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    6. Bravo, Yorkshire.

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  10. never owned a gun, never will. Never touched a real gun, never will. Even in Canada there are too many people being killed by guns and generally they are young people who think they are tough..........ban all guns.........

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  11. Do British people not own guns and rifles ?
    If so, do you have to get licenses and permits to purchase etc ?
    A legal gun owner in the US has to do these things. And there are extensive background checks.
    I completely agree that the gun laws are lax and there are too many people with illegal guns but perhaps one of the differences is the size of the United States compared to where the people are who cannot understand guns in America.
    I think if you put the UK on the USA, it would only cover about 2 states.. sizewise.
    Many of those states are still less inhabited .. meaning much less people on a lot more land.
    When the police station is miles away, sometimes a helicopter ride if you are injured, things are done differently.
    People think differently.
    If you know a robber/murderer is outside your door and you call the police and know it will take 45 minutes for them to get there, do you try to protect yourself or spend the time hiding, trying to keep the bad man out , what do you do ?
    The shame is, there is so much crime in the US.
    This is due to bad politicians, not to honest people who happen to own a gun.
    You live on an island.
    You have so much more control ( possibly) over who and what comes into your country.
    The USA has borders and immigration but that has not stopped the incoming tide of "bad" people coming from elsewhere.
    So instead of condemning and mocking and insulting people who don't do things the way you do ... try learning about it a bit more and get off the fekking soapbox.
    Gill ... this is not aimed at you specifically, I am just posting at the bottom of the line.

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    1. 8,000 people
      I understand fully its a way of thinking that has been ingrained from pioneer days and that historical viewpoint I respect,.. But when 8,000 are killed in 12 weeks ? Nuff said

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    2. The rest of the western world - not just Great Britain - have much stricter gun laws so it is you that needs to get off your "fekking soapbox" Notes from Abroad! America isn't always right. Your argument seems to have come directly from the NRA media handbook.
      (P.S. Please don't shoot me!)

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    3. And i think i also need to say something else here
      I am NOT mocking a country, i am not mocking aby individual here.....
      I just DON't get it! I don't get the right to own a gun.
      Sure we in the Uk have guns but we dont as yet have a gun culture to go with it...that is changing though, especially in the cities.
      " notes" my thoughts about this is not personal.....everyone has a right to believe in what they believe........and i think i have demonstrated over the years in my blogs how accecting I am of others......and of other beliefs
      I just dont see things getting better ...not when everyone is scared and everyone feels that guns are the answer

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    4. Notes From Abraod.....please look north. Our country is WAY bigger than yours and we have very strict gun control laws here....not perfect but they work. Yes, we have less people in Canada but according to your theory that is why the US needs guns for those scattered people in underpopulated states. I hope you weren't referring to Canada about border control. I really think that most of the violence is coming from US citizens if I am correct. I don't believe in all that fear-mongering in both our countries coming from the conservative right.
      Just mey thoughts.

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  12. I still remember Hungerford.

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  13. Your other readers have commented much more lucidly than I could. It's part of our contradictory nature--a blend of self-righteous Puritanism with lawless frontier "me-first" mentality.

    A bit like Australia, except there it's the fauna that's armed and dangerous.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. I'm an American with a hunters on the in-law side of the family. They are responsible, careful with their guns, and follow all the laws regarding hunting.
    I still see no need for everyone to have a gun. The vast majority of America lives in suburbs and cities.
    We do not live on the prairies with outlaws roaming our borders.
    Every day someone dies because of an armed idiot (or crazy person). It matters little whether they acquired it legally or illegally.

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    1. Marty , you have a good point... Like most aspects of society it is the responsible people that get tarnished with the bad characters that use firearms innapropriately and without safety and commen sense in mind..
      However the documentary last night chronicled so many children and vunerable adults, the mentally ill, the damaged and the innocent that lost their lives.....

      I repeat...8,000
      8,000

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  15. As an American I find it disgusting that we express our collective outrage at these murders and we whine and we cry and we say 'Never again.' And then ... nothing ... until it happens again.
    It's the textbook case of insanity.

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    1. Bob.......i am upset by the documentary...I am upset on the back of having to listen to a domestic abuse situation where fists were involved.....
      how easy could it have been for that husband to pull a gun on his wife?
      At least with a fist you have some sort of chance...
      I am upset by a lot of things this week....and i understand its a globalproblem not just an american one
      I love the US ...i love the country and its spirit and its patriotism
      But 8,000 people in 12 weeks?

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  16. Bob, I totally agree it is outrageous that things don't change. But it is hard when there are powerful and rich organizations like the NRA behind much of it.
    Banning guns would probably be impossible in a country this size .. with those Western states with so much land and few people .
    I am sorry , it is quite insulting to sit and read a favorite blog where people who have probably never even been to the US, declare how backwards everyone is.
    Because they have a law or don't have a law that is the same as the UK.
    I have no idea what Italy and France do about guns, does anyone here ? How do they deal with that, especially with the current situation ..
    My family is British so I cannot claim to be self righteous or a Puritan but I guess that is an easy way to classify people you don't agree with.

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    1. I think its becomming a global issue... And no one is mocking anyone here....i wouldnt allow it... I think emotions run high and perhaps i should not of run the entry.... I was just so upset with the statistics and the human stories of " requiem "
      I think i may post something on bulldog farts
      That may lighten the mood

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    2. Not really understanding why the size of the country is relevant to gun laws....last time I checked my Atlas Canada and Australia are pretty big as well.

      I have been to the U.S., many times and have worked there. I am not saying the U.S. or citizens of the U.S. are "backward" - I would, however, say that the gun laws are barking.

      As to the "extensive background checks" (as mentioned in your earlier post), I believe that no check is necessary in the majority of states if a private individual sells a gun at a "gun show"

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    3. No one is mocking anyone here...? :" the gun issue has never been effectively sorted in a country that prides itself on being SO civilised." are your words. There's a lot of anti-Americanism on your blog/ comments. Eye opening. I did not realize the US was so hated. Head in the sand here, I suppose.
      Perhaps I should no longer visit you here.

      PS I ve never owned a gun. No one I know has a gun.

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    4. Liz, have you seen the programme? I have, and read John's comments as written from someone who has just finished watching it....thus his reaction.

      I have not read all of his blog, but have been reading for a wee while, and have not detected "a lot of anti-Americanism" though I have read a lot about scotch eggs.

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    5. Read the comments from Aug 20 post, or the one where the American tourists stopped by to admire John's cottage a few years ago. I enjoy John's blog too much for me to just go away, tho of course know that is what I should do. Or I can be grateful my eyes are opened to a world view I did not understand.

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    6. Traveller... Thank you..... I have always been and will remain a huge fan of the U.S. LETS NOT FORGET THAT FACT

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    7. I'm American (albeit living in the UK) and I don't detect anti-Americanism behind John's comments or in his posts. He's asking an honest question about American gun culture -- one that many Americans ask themselves every day.

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    8. Okay Liz, I bit.

      I read the August 20th blogs - nothing anti-American from John. As to the post from "a few years ago" I did not have the inclination to dig that one up. I do, however, remember reading it, and my recollection was that it was written in a bemused and amused tone (like many of his posts).

      So that leaves the comments on his blog - well he can't be held responsible for them surely.

      On I final note, I could see myself asking how a country that prides itself on being SO civilized is thinking of reinstating fox hunting - that would not be an "anti-English" comment, but an "anti fox hunting" comment.

      Or I could wonder how a rich civilized country such as the U.S. Does not embrace universal health care for all - again not "anti American", rather not understanding why everyone should not have the right to health care.

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  17. Don't even get me started.

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  18. It's not just 8,000 people in 12 weeks, it's 8,000 people every 12 weeks. Just like the refugee wave engulfing Europe, where are the leaders? People won't take care of guns or stop buying semi-automatic guns just because it's the right thing to do.

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  19. Horrifying John. On one of our many trips to the US the farmer and I went into a gun shop for a look round. There were hundreds of the things - quite terrifying.

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  20. The 'Excited States' have never lost their 'wild west' personna.

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  21. Unfortunately America is a country that glorifies crime - - in the news media and in entertainment. This seems to encourage the demented, angry, psychos that are so prevalent among us. Ruthlessness and rage is becoming more and more a "normality" - - and I think that's true not only in America but in other countries as well.

    The idea of gun control is a sweet fantasy, but the raw reality is that it would do little to stop crime. The crazies among us are always able to procure guns. I think there should be stricter laws for keeping criminals under lock and key. Punishment here is too lenient.

    Gun-toting rednecks are rampant in Texas, where I used to live. Here in the mountain wilderness of Tennessee everyone seems to have a gun and they use them often. The hunters shoot often and close to my house. Sometimes the neighbors shoot just for the hell of it.
    There are many times when I fear I'll be hit by a stray bullet.

    Sorry for the long ramble.

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  22. Before he met my mother, my father 'walked out' with Celia Johnson.

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  23. Yeah, I believe the gun thing is only getting worse here in the US, too. Clinton at least managed to get some mild gun regs through. Obama has talked about guns more but has done far less because, well, why bother to even try when neither party is going to allow it to ever happen?

    That war has been lost for at least another generation, so we're 245 days into the year or something and have had 255 mass shootings.

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  24. Did you hear about the two reporters shot dead on live TV earlier this week by a former coworker? Horrifying.

    You're not safe anywhere in this country anymore. School massacres, church massacres, movie theater massacres....it's a daily thing here.

    This country has gone utterly mad.

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  25. Gangs involved with drugs in the UK will always get guns:regardless of the laws of the land. Don't forget that. We will never be a nation of saints because apart from on blogs they don't fucking exist.

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    1. I made that point Rachel..... I think the difference between the two countries is the " right to arms"
      But agreed its now a global problem

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    2. Well I didn't see it anywhere. Guns rule along with knives and a bit of crack on a Saturday night in Manchester and London ...

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    3. Rachel (don't look at my name) I agree with what you said.
      The gangs will get guns and kill people regardless of the law of the land. Especially where I live on the border of Mexico !
      Now my take.... very simple
      I think the difference is where people in the UK grew up with villages and towns intact. From the hunter gathers to an agrarian society. (Except when those darn Vikings came.)
      When the immigrants from England came to America and settled into lands that had been lived on by Native Americans, guns where used for protection and hunting.
      Right or wrong, America grew up with guns.
      The right to bear arms is in our Constitution when the English King did not like his upstart colonials making waves.
      But no one should ever own an AK47 (?) or any of the high velocity repeat guns. I don't know what they are called.

      cheers, parsnip

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    4. opps, forgot, I don't own a gun and want stronger gun control. This is where the so called congress should stop taking money from every lobbyist and enforce the laws that are already here. Spend that money on Mental Health
      and take care of our people.
      I am not sure there is an answer. Violence is everywhere.
      Sorry, Rachel I just should have post my own comment. Kinda' when on a side track.
      But your comment got me thinking.

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  26. Good post, John. Done a few like it myself, and the comments always include the same things. Yours, on your side of the pond, are a bit more tilted to one side then ones here. I agree with Anne Marie above in most respects. There is an undercurrent of resignation in many comments....'nothing will ever change', 'there is nothing we can do because of the NRA', etc. But unless there is change, it will only get worse, perhaps solving the immigration problem because no one in their right mind would move here.

    One commenter in particular, no names mentioned, shows the underlying anger that accompanies the gun rights segment at the suggestion that guns are the problem, and the unstated belief that someone is going to take their guns away.
    The NRA, or rather the dismantling of the NRA would be the first step. Commenters are correct that that lobbying group, a mouthpiece of the gun industry, have such a stranglehold on elected officials here to be almost beyond belief.
    Again, good post.
    Cheers,
    Mike

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    1. Since living in the country i have changed my mind about hunting to a degree
      Guns? Nawwww

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  27. I live here so I know how scary it is. It getting worse believe it or not. I've believe a person has the right to own a gun. But I was also of the mind that the people who wanted the guns were responsible human beings that valued life. It seems we've lost all respect here in the US for human life and we just as soon draw a gun and kill someone than try to talk out our differences. People are killing people here over stupid shit at a alarming rate and of course our politicians are turning their heads. Its gotten to be really crazy here. Even the police are out of control. Its scary.

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  28. It's ironic that in Brief Encounter, "Alec" moves to Johannesburg after he and "Laura" agree to part in order not to hurt their families. And the movie, The Salvation is set on a farm outside Johannesburg! On the subject of guns and laws, I can't comment due to what is happening in my own country. xx

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  29. Trust me- some of us here in this crazy, adolescent country are as baffled and angry as you.

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  30. It is definitely a problem here in the US. I live in northern California on acreage and we have a rifle and a shotgun. We bought them to shoot animals trying to prey on our livestock, and to kill rattlesnakes. We have been her 26 years and have only used the rifle a couple of times to put down a suffering animal. People have guns for reasonable reasons. My two biggest gripes currently are people with assault rifles and the idea that 8000 people were killed in a random month. The magnitude of the carnage should be publicized more widely, and more often. I had no idea about that film. If 8000 people were th choke on blueberries in one month they would surely be banned.
    The upshot (no pun intended, but wow) is I agree with what everyone has said. My solution is to make theindividual death numbers more publicized so we can see it as a personal problem, not just random wackos doing group shootings. I may not be saying this well, but maybe you get my ideas.

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    1. I don't subscribe to HBO so I have not seen the program, but I would venture to say the 8,000 number includes, accidentally deaths and suicides. There are a lot of accidental deaths by children finding a loaded gun, which I will never understand. I am sure they all weren't gun toting crazies out to kill people. You know how the major news channels skew the news for their own political agendas. I'm sure HBO does the same.

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    2. That is exactly the issue, it is not the "gun toting crazies" - which seem to scare people. The program, which I have just watched, is about deaths due to guns.

      Thanks for this post John - made me seek out the program and watch it.

      Skewing the news for a political agenda? Having actually watched the program, my view is that there was no skewing involved.

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    3. Just maybe the NRA may be behind the fact that you never heard of this documentary. Tells one how much control they have and how powerless your politicians really are.

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    4. Jim, HBO is not the only US channel that has documentaries on gun violence and gun control. I just don't pay to have that channel on my TV viewing. And, yes, I have watched programs on the gun violence and gun control. I am not ignorant on the subject. I just said, I had not seen that one on HBO. Yes, the NRA is a powerful lobby, as well as a lot more, and most politicians are owned by one or another.

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  31. America has long passed the tipping point, not only with guns but with so many other issues.
    I don't want to live here anymore.

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  32. I will agree that stricter background checks should be done before a person can buy a gun. There are too many crazy people and drug (legal and illegal) crazed people on the streets as well as little bad ass gangs. This last tragic incident will run on the news 24/7 and another crazy will probably try to make a name for himself or herself. The crime and killings in the towns around me is jaw dropping, so I can imagine how it is across the nation. Most of it is black kids in gangs just shooting and killing one another and I am sure those guns are illegal. Criminals will always get guns. I still say that violent video games and gangster rap music influences them and poor parenting. Is the country going to hell in a hand basket? Probably so.

    Personally, I do not like guns and I've always said I would never own one until I could take it apart and put it back together again and I have had a loaded shotgun pointed at me before by my loving EX many years ago and could of very easily been killed (I decided not to comment on your domestic abuse blog). Well, I'm thinking seriously about going to the local shooting range and taking shooting lessons and learn how to take a pistol apart and put it back together again and I may just buy me one of those fancy Lady Smith and Wessons! I might just go out and buy a "Don't Tread on Me" flag since there is a bunch wanting to ban flags too. Hellfire, I may turn into one of Jon's Rednecks!

    If they ban guns what would be the weapon of choice? Bombs?

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    1. No, it'd be tanks, armoured personnel carriers with cruise missile's on it that had nuc warheads for the nearest towns we don't like. You weren't being serious, right?

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    2. The weapon of choice would likely become knives, which is the weapon of choice for street crime in the UK. And while a real problem and the cause of many fatalities, knife crime is nowhere near as deadly as gun crime. Fewer deaths of innocent bystanders, fewer accidental deaths, fewer multiple deaths. It's hard to stab more than a couple of people before someone gets that knife away, but a maniac with a gun can kill a roomful of people.

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  33. The incident that is going to change the gun laws of America has not yet happened. And I hope I'm not around when it does.

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  35. There were an estimated 3000 killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. and there was understandable outrage ... where is our outrage over the 8000 dead EVERY 12 weeks? Like weavinfool says, maybe if the numbers were publicized more widely and more often, it would help.

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  36. I'd rather be shot than stabbed. Weaponry is big business in many countries. Can't go after them. We own many weapons. What are you going to do when the gangbangers and thieves and meth addicts kick down your front doors? Perhaps if you are young you can defend yourself, but the bad guys are going to be packing firearms. All of them. They use sophisticated methods; walkie talkies, come in pairs, for front and back entry. They follow you home if they like the car you are driving. One night at 2 am, a girl knocked on our front door in the city, and the dogs started barking. She called to someone in the car, "dogs", then left. Yes, in the country people fire guns at will, but you'll get arrested if you fire one in the city. My husband hunts and we don't have military style weapons. We would never shoot anyone or pull a gun on anyone. But, if they kick in the door and come inside the house, we have the right to shoot them; we cannot shoot them if they are outside the residence. It is kill or be killed sometime. And, they do have federal agencies watching down on the floor where they have those gun shows. My daughter worked for the fair grounds where these shows were held, and the agents used their offices to spy on the sellers and buyers on a regular basis. There is no easy answer or solution to this problem, but I don't want to be the one without a gun when they kick down my door.

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    1. Donna, well said. That is exactly why I am considering buying a gun. I am not feeling that comfortable with my can of wasp spray!

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    2. "Don't want to be without a gun when they kick down my door"

      To me this sums it up very well.

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    3. In this country, they only kick down your door if you have a gun, or owe VAT.

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    4. To live fearfully........ Non of should do that

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    5. Non of us should live like that...thats what i wanted to say

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    6. This is the one area where I feel we in the UK should have the right to bear arms. If you can't defend your own life and those of your family in your own home, then that's fucked up.
      Things may be changing though - there have been a couple of cases in the past few years where an intruder has been attacked or even killed by a homeowner and the homeowner has been acquitted instead of the usual situation where the criminals 'rights' have been seen as more important than the victims.

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    7. I said that first sentence tongue in cheek. Didn't mean to sound flippant. There are strict regulations on guns in the US even though it doesn't sound like it. Lengthy paperwork to purchase one legally. You can not carry one around in the car (except hunting rifles) without some reason (like a policeman etc.), but can if you've been certified and have a license to carry a firearm in public. The only person I know that carries a concealed weapon works for the District Attorney's office as an officer of the court. If you shoot someone on the street or even outside your house trying to get in, you will be in big trouble, with a trial and maybe even jail time. Let me end with this. I know a police chief of a city, an assistant police chief of a city and two police officers that have said to my best friend who suffered a home invasion, "you need to buy a gun, take a class and learn how to use it."

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    8. Am sure your first sentence was you genie cheek.


      BUT
      There is not always lengthy paperwork to purchase a gun legally - go to a gun show in many states.

      And, I am sorry, but it is not illegal to carry a weapon in a car in all states.

      That is another problem....there is no single law in the U.S. Regarding purchasing and carrying of guns...it depends on the state

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    9. Donna, where do you live, the East Bank, Gaza? Somalia? what you are describing does not exist in the US except in the most impoverished areas of LA or Detroit? And not even there.
      You've described the NRA dream, the grandmother in a house that shoots 4 invaders with the shotgun that the government want's to take away from her. The only issue is the story is fiction.

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    10. I agree with Should Fish More. This idea that invaders are going to kick in the door of law-abiding citizens and attack their families is complete fiction, perpetuated by the gun industry.

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    11. Don't know what a genie cheek is, but as I stated, the first sentence was my kind of gallows humor. Didn't mean to make light of the serious subject, so I explained the tongue in cheek statement. Don't live in Gaza nor Somalia. Not sure what that meant either. I live in the heartland of America and don't know what is so hard to believe. I don't sit around worrying about invaders coming through my door and no one I know carries guns around. And, I abhor the NRA and their ilk. Your opinions are just that, as are mine. Nothing more. I am surprised at the vitriol from some that have differing opinions.

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  38. Right, i will leave you lot to it...im off to work..a night overtime!

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  39. I think the nuttiest gun-nut response to these horrific shootings we keep experiencing in the US is the idea that we must arm school teachers, theater workers, etc., in order to 'prevent' another massacre.

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  40. I really don't understand the 'need' to have a gun. I hope I never do.

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  41. Where I live you see gunracks in pickup trucks. They hunt deer here in the fall. I live near a farm with Highland cattle and sheep so there is no hunting allowed nearby but you can hear the guns sometimes. I close the windows ( as if that would stop a bullet) and worry that a stray shot will come in my house.

    These school and movie theatre shootings are beyond imagination .. what kind of sick mind does this ? if he didn't have a gun would he run amok stabbing people ? blow the theatre up ?
    It is a real problem. So many people view it as a freedom . . but for what ?
    Meanwhile I grew up in the South (USA) and my dad thought it was very funny that I could hit a bullseye every time. (rolling eyes) .. you may call me Annie Oakley if you wish.

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    1. Let's imagine the shooter in Colorado, or the school shooter back east a couple years ago, or the shooter next week in (blank), didn't have a gun. They had a knife, or a club. Are you saying there is no difference? They stab two people vs shooting 12 people. Would you rather face a nut with a baseball bat or a AK47?

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  42. No one can stop the gun culture in the U.S., not the President, not the voters, and not the victims. The NRA owns the congress, and there are no brave people among them to demand that this must stop. It is not about banning guns for hunting, or pistols for sports, it is about the selling and buying of semi-automatic guns to anyone. What is the need for such a weapon, except to kill humans.

    Of those 8000 people killed each year, 100 of them are children who were accidentally killed because their parents kept a gun in their house. To the NRA. I guess they were expendable.

    I saw that documentary. The truth is so disturbing.

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    1. I mistakenly said 8000 a year instead of 12 weeks. I looked up the statistics for 2015 and the number of gun incidents so far this year (August 28, 2015) is 33,471 with 8,560 deaths resulting from these. 488 children under the age of 11 were victims. The day is not over.

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    2. Yes, the day is not over.

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  43. I am relieved that Australia has the gun laws that we do. I read recently of the terrible accident in the USA of the 2 year old who accidentally shot his father whilst the dad was asleep. The dad had left his gun out and the 2 year old was playing with it.

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    1. I'm with you there Leisha.

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  44. I work in a hospital in NZ where we have tough gun laws. In 25 years, I have only dealt with 4 shootings. Two accidently shot by hunters and two, who were criminals shot by police.

    The stats about gun violence in the US are shocking and I am not sure how they will resolve this issue - but I hope that they confront and discuss the issue.

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  45. Well this was certainly an eye opening post. I'm glad Americans are so well loved.

    Have a great evening, John.

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  46. I am late to the topic, but am tremendously saddened and disturbed by the blanket comments against "America" and "Americans." No one should presume that all Americans are the same, or that we are not distraught over the gun violence issues raised. I would never lump all Trelawnyd residents -- or Australians -- or Canadians -- or New Zealanders -- into one category with derisive comments about "their" policies. John, I have thoroughly enjoyed your writing and photos, and of course you have every right in the world to write about whatever you choose, but as a faithful reader in the U.S. of your lovely and unique blog, I feel battered and belittled by the anti-America remarks in the comments section -- which, of course, as a believer in free speech I know the commenters have every right to make -- and will now bow out. I don't have to subject myself to tirades about how awful America and Americans are.

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    1. Oh good lord, look at the gun violence statistics between John's country and ours, it should give anyone pause. No we are not one 'catagory', but poll us on gun issues, on race issues, find we have not connection to the actual issues and what we think they are.
      As long as you think there is this thing about 'american exceptionalism', and how we are so above the tidal line in society, we ain't going to figure it out.
      Check out our prison percentage, gun violence statistics, murder statistics against any other first world country, and get back to us.

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    2. Nancy - you just embarrassed me, a fellow American.

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  47. Nancy
    I am a little tired at trying to explain myself.
    Obviously I am NOT talking about all Americans when I slag off the gun culture of the nation... I am just saddened by the gun culture and THATS IT!
    I am not presuming anything.....of course I am taking generally and not specifically.. There are good Americans that care responsibly with firearms and there are bad..... It's the general attitude to guns that I cannot understand.....
    I love the U.S. And have voiced that fact many many times.....
    I love the UK BUT often will discuss and debate aspects of our culture which I despise
    Now if you take all this personally then you are a fool.
    I am an accepting, supportive , loving man who will often see the good in most people.....if you have not picked up that fact about me you and the others that have suddenly unfollowed me are fools also...
    So be it...
    Enough already

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    1. I'm with you John. Don't know how you can put it more clearly.

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    2. It seems if one comments on an issue in a country, then some of those of that country automatically assume you don't like them instead of ... actually you may have a point and lets discuss it.. as you say... foolish .. and in my experience .. foolish people say and do foolish things. It's your blog John, you can say what you want to say about issues around the world that concern you...and I for one enjoy reading them ... whether or not I agree with them. Keep doing the writing and I will keep up with the reading.

      Jo in Auckland, NZ

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  48. I am late to this as well but I hate to break it to all of you, there are 50 states and each of them have their own gun laws. Some are easier than others,where I live in NJ it is very very strict. That being said, it does not matter how strict the laws are, the guns will get into the hands of the wrong people no matter what. What you all fail to recognize is that we have a serious Gun Culture here. Where it truly stems from I am not so sure, but look at the countries with stricter gun laws and you will see less violence. I am afraid the USA is still a teenager and has not gone through the growing pains of many other nations. The second amendment was written back when there were muskets so it seems silly to apply it modern times, but it is there and it matters. You do have the right to arm yourself, the problem is there is no law against stupid and there are A LOT of stupid people in my fine nation who don't agree with more intense background checks or training. I think the NRA are scumbags and I also have quite a few friends that are gun owners and not members. Do I have an issue with them owning a weapon? No and allow me to tell you why.
    After Hurricane Sandy annihilated my state, people were not prepared, shocking I know, for the shortages of food, electrical outages or gas shortages. I listened to selfish pricks call into a local radio station and complain about lack of internet service and getting pissed off there was no gas. People had lost everything, some of them their lives and kids were mad they could not use their Smartphone. Real nice.
    We were prepared and have a stand by generator. While I am happy to assist a neighbor, the fact that there were residents bemoaning the lack of services, hello we just had a major catastrophe and we were not the only state hurt, started to become scary. You could feel heavy tension in the air and for the first time in my life I considered having a firearm. Sounds crazy, but people in crisis are not always level headed and will steal and kill for things like water and food. Emergency Preparedness training should be required in our schools, if you choose not to prepare then you are on your own. The problem here in the US is no one wants Big Government, but then bitch when they failed to be ready for a catastrophe and want Big Government fix it ASAP.
    I also wish I knew Krav Maga like the Israelis do. Not because I want to kill someone with my hands, but be ready to help or save someone or myself if the need arose. Let me leave you with a very true quote from the movie "Seven" - Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.

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    1. I've been thinking about learning Krav Magda. I saw a sign for it in a nearby city. I believe I'll look into it.

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  49. Thank you for your comment miss F.....

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  50. celkalee3:34 a.m.
    I finally had time to read all the gun post comments. How sad that it revealed the same issues that are dividing our country. It is the extreme polarity on every issue from abortion to gun control, to food additives and education. It is exhausting. Of course, there is sensationalism in the media in an attempt to manipulate information to influence votes. Most of us over here are well balanced people living hard working lives taking care of our families and supporting those less fortunate than we are. I resent the assumptions made by those who have only a sound bite or video experience of this country. If it is so bad, why do so many people want to live here? If we are so ignorant why do you all even wish to communicate with us? Rather than gather information from several sources and make an informed opinion some think the New York Times and the Jon Stewart show are accurate representations of life here. That includes US citizens who are more than ready to ban this or that or jump upon the most recent soap box and claim reactive victimization. Sanctimonious twits are everywhere and it seems many of them like to vent their drivel here.

    On a lighter note, one needs to filter the 'news' now and then and accept that a perfect place to live does not exist. So, smile and go about your day. Be the person who is not complaining, work at a food bank or pet shelter and see how much good is actually done in our world, and for heavens sake after you register your weapon learn how to use it and store it properly. Good night.

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    1. The above comment is not my own, I just redirected it

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    2. Yes, work at those things, and hope that's enough. Indeed sanctimonious twits are here, as we see. Let's pretend the news on Ferguson, other places does not reflect our homes and lives, let's pretend we are not involved with the issues troubling the country.

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    3. no pretend fishy, just relevance and reality. pretending is for the uninformed and the dreamers.

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  51. Trolls! The only way to get rid of them is to go private!

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  52. I don't understand the belief of so many of my "fellow" Americans that if we all carry guns we'll all be protected. We'll simply shoot each other. Why do so many Americans keep assault rifles in their homes? Why do they want to carry guns everywhere they go? We have too many needless and pointless shootings as it is. A number of years ago when I lived in Maryland some young children were playing upstairs in their home while their parents watched TV. A boy got out a gun and shot and killed his younger sister. I knew the children's mother. She was a very nice person. But why did she and her husband need a cache of guns? Locking up guns does no good when the children know where the keys are and can get them. That little girl is dead; her brother must spend the rest of his life with the blame; the family will never recover. Why did the young men in Connecticut, who had mental problems, live in a house where his mother kept a number of guns and they often went shooting together? They'll never go again. He used one of the guns to kill her. Then he went to a local elementary school to kill some staff members and a number of children. When will this insanity end? Never, I fear. I have no gun. I have two security systems. I would rather set off the alarm by accident than kill my son, thinking that an intruder has entered my home. I want gun control. The Constitution does not offer us the right to keep guns in our homes and carry them with us. It offers us the right to a well-armed militia.

    Love,
    Janie

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I'm sorry: My comment should read "the young man in Connecticut," not young men.

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    2. "In United States v. Miller (1939), the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government and the states could limit any weapon types not having a “reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia”. We've had a variety of rulings since then that protect the right of individuals to own guns, so I was wrong about the second amendment allowing only for an armed militia.

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    3. Thanks, Janie, for this. I really do believe that the US is losing it and this will only accelerate until something drastic happens (as if it hasn't already) or there is a revolt by the masses....as no one is listening.

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  53. There will always be a fucker with a gun out there whether you like it or not and you can change all the gun laws you like from here to Timbuktu but they will always get hold of a gun.

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  54. Just wanted to see if you still get comments about this issue. Rachel is right. I guess one has to live in America to see what is happening. I think your position is right too. I want you to know I was hurt that you didn't come to my defense when they started piling on and accusing me of things that were untrue. The nurse from NZ spoke volumes. The need for stricter controls is the bottom line.

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