America: pick up a gun with your groceries

Wall-Mart will stock firearms on its shelves again.  What?

The National Rifle Association's lobbying is unbelievably effective.  Yet, the rest of the world watches in horror as schoolchildren are subjected to terror from gun-toting youngsters.  The latest incident was on April 19 at an elementary school in Houston in Texas.  Luckily no kid was killed.  But four years' ago at Viginia Tech in Blacksberg, thirty-two died.  

Guns appear to be a US birth-rite, viewed culturally as important to Americans as much symbols of freedom as unlimited speeds on autobahns are to the Germans.  At least you can shift into the slow lane on a German motoway to avoid dicing with death.  Hardly so possible in an American school classroom or city backstreet when confronted by a young man with murderous rage in his eyes.

From 2006 Wall-Mart, a supermarket chain, stopped stocking firearms.  But that will now change.  They will soon extend their product range, for along with numerous standard grocery items they'll have a tempting selection of guns and ammunition on display.  

Well done Wall-Mart.  Offer choice, why don't you?   According to the BBC, "Wal-Mart has said it will soon bring back the sale of firearms, including rifles and shotguns, at more than 500 of its US stores."

Crazy, or what?

In a world where kids are fuelled by computer games and television delivering a daily diet of murder and mayhem, a country which hands out guns to just anyone is merely asking for trouble.  

In Afghanistan, Yemen and Uzbekistan, where slinging guns over your shoulder is a symbol of manhood, all hell would break loose if the populous were computer games addicts too.  Not much safety in those places for sure, but at least at the moment the people tend to use hand-guns and rifles responsibly. 

America might be advised to cop on.  Billy the Kid died in 1881, Wyatt Earp in 1929, and the era of gun-swinging heroes is long, long past.


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