There's something different about the reaction to the latest madman who ran amok and killed school kids in the states.
This time the gun control advocates are not being brow beaten into silence, and it looks as if finally something is going to be done about it.
The NRA are obviously drip feeding hysteria to the masses as expected, and there's no doubt in the minds of the men (mainly men) who own Kalishnikovs and such, that if they have to give up their weapon of destruction that the USA as they know it will cease to exist.
There will be no more mom and pop stores, the recipe for apple pie will be lost, and Mexicans illegally living within their borders will no doubt relish the prospect of wiping their arses on the constitution in public.
Of course from a rational viewpoint that's just nuts, but there you go.
That none of this will happen doesn't matter, because as it exists in an unwritten future the gun lovers are leaning towards proudly stuffing their chests out and claiming that it might.
So just in case they want to hang onto their big guns and rifles and protect their family, their friends, and by extension everyone else that exists within the US borders.
This is how the debate is being played out, and it's this that I want to focus on rather than the gun control issue itself.
The gap between the reality of a situation and the perception of it.
I have seen many arguments in defence of just leaving things as they are.
There's the invasion one.
We need to protect our homes from invaders - and this can be from gangs stalking the suburbs looking to rape and pillage to full on attack from New World Order troops who have a quota to fill for the FEMA camps.
Now is any of that reasonably going to happen?
Okay there are some issues about home invasions and we shouldn't gloss over that, but how is a semi automatic assault rifle stored under lock and key in a metal cabinet going to be of any use if one minute a family are sitting eating their dinners off their laps while watching television, and the next their home is full of criminals who have relied on a blitzkrieg approach to rob them of everything they can grab, including the assault rifle.
It's a straw man position that can easily be dispersed on the wind.
Unless the whole family were going to take turns on guard duty around the clock - and preferable two at a time - to protect their home then the ownership of such a weapon is not going to do a damn thing.
So if we can mainly discount all of this as BS then why is it being put forth as a reasonable reason for maintaining the right to own semi automatic weapons?
Similarly the statistical arguments keep making an appearance.
X% of people die in car crashes each year. Are we going to ban them next?
X amount of people die jogging a year. Should we ban that?
There's deliberately no effort made to differentiate between one young man heading into a built up area and with extreme prejudice opening fire on children, and a tire blowing out on the highway, or someone with an unknown health issue dropping dead when out on a jog.
It's apples and pears logic.
Then there's the more people die slipping in the bath than from shooting sprees per calendar year claim that may or may not be true.
Well okay then, but how about legislating that all baths must have a non slip surface and we will get that number down?
Meanwhile let's all try and remember when we have all turned on the television and felt our hearts sink at the news that multiple children went to school only to slip in the bath and die.
Now the reality is that very few people are asking for guns to be removed from private ownership at all.
Most are perfectly sane and appreciate that guns can be a useful tool, and there's no issue in people owning them.
Then there is also an acceptance that as a leisure pursuit some people may wish to head off to a shooting range and fire off a few clips to.
Apart from some fringe elements very few people calling for gun control want to take that away from individuals.
There just seems to be a great deal of hysteria surrounding the subject, and more of it is coming from gun owners than the families who have lost their children as we would probably expect.
What is really being said is do Americans need to have weapons of a certain type?
Does the guy next door really need to have more weapons in his kitchen than there is in an eighties action movie?
Does anyone who lives in the suburbs actually need a gun that fires rounds that could punch a hole in a tank?
The call for gun control is not a call for gun prohibition, and maybe it's time that such a serious matter was stripped of all the spin and people sat down and rationally thought about what is being proposed rather than what they think is.
Now before anyone state side, or elsewhere, considers this an attack on the US, then I would urge them to read it again.
The point is that often when emotive subjects come up there is apparently a need for both sides to push with big and bold assertions that often have little relevance to the matter at hand.
This is done to sway opinion.
It can be gun control in the US, or economic policies in the UK.
Often a few minutes contemplation can strip much of the bombast from the argument and leave a clearer picture.
Once that is found then a decision that everyone can live with can be reached.
Cool heads are required. Not frothing at the mouth lunatics.
I mean c'mon?
Do people in America really want Alex Jones to be deciding on policy?
Swaying public opinion on pretty much anything?
For his own safety, and that of others, he's a a plastic cutlery and paper plate sort of guy.
PS : In a conversation about this subject I was told by an American that as I didn't live in the states that I should just shut the fuck up and comment on issues that are UK based.
That's the polite version of what was said.
In response I said that I would once the US took a step back from policing the world and redressed much of their foreign policy.