Friday, November 03, 2017
Simon Jenkins, The Guardian: There was no mention of "extreme vetting" of gun owners, despite their posing a threat a thousand times greater to Americans than any terrorist. There was no hint that any change in the criminal law, or in the wider regulation of this particular pastime, was due. Las Vegas has passed into history as just one of those things that happen. Guns are a very American form of terror. Yet amid this toughness lurks a pathological wimpishness towards the outside world. The most powerful and secure nation on Earth, its territory last threatened with invasion by the British in 1815, quivers with fear before an imagined army of hostile forces massing across every border and beyond every sea. Its budget groans under the burden of "homeland defense." Its politics is dominated by "tough on terror." The reality is that by no stretch of geography is America's security, let alone its existence, under threat.
These dangers pale against those our grandparents and their forebears had to manage. We are incomparably safer than humanity has ever been before. A community that can devote so much attention to suppressing contentious gatherings, offensive remarks and "invalidations of my identity" is not a society under existential threat. As for how best to help the traumatized people of New York, the answer is to do the opposite of what Americans did to European cities hit by such killings, which was to boycott them. The answer is to book a New York holiday, now.
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