When we first arrived in the US in April 2004 we were met, on the jetty, by a stranger who asked us about where we’d come from etc. Recognising we were busy sorting out our lines in the heat of Florida he said he’d come back. He did so about 20 minutes later with two ice cold beers. The reason I mention this is that we have often felt that Pete Barton, the beer provider, represented much of how we feel about America and its citizens. Incredibly kind, open and generous, more so than any group of people we have met on our travels. Individually they will go out of their way for you, welcome you to their homes and family and mean it sincerely when they say “Welcome to America” Many of the closest friends we have come from the US. And yet with the news this week-end of the shooting in Arizona a feeling of gloom and depression has settled on Hannah. A nation obsessed with weapons; a nation that seems to have become so angry that reasoned debate is no longer possible. A nation that can seriously consider Sarah Palin as a Presidential candidate; the same Sarah Palin who thought it acceptable to publish on her Facebook page, gun-sight images targeting 20 Democrats, apparently with the slogan “Don’t retreat, Reload”....of a ten year old boy from Ohio who, despite having serious behavioural problems with school, was allowed by law to keep, in his bedroom, weapons and ammunition. ...one of which he used to fatally shoot his mother through the head because she wanted him to bring in the firewood from outside. Which brings me back to the 22 year old from Arizona, who despite having, apparently, known mental health problems, was able to own and use a semi-automatic pistol and is believed to have slaughtered 6 people and injured a further 13. Or a man called Jesse Kelly who ran a campaign against Gabriella Giffords (the shot Arizona Congresswoman) inviting supporters to fire a gun with him. It read: “Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly."
Is it me?
and then we came across this article which says more about the state of the US