Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This is Not Covered by the Second Amendment

Here's an interesting story I found from GOOD magazine about the rules in place in other countries (hell, states other than fucking Arizona!) that would have made Jared Loughner's horrific shooting spree this past weekend impossible. If anything should come out of the Giffords tragedy, it should be either stronger gun-control laws nationwide (good luck, Obama!) or the annexation of Arizona by Mexico. Take your pick!

First Arizona essentially makes it a crime to be of non-white descent, by requiring police to arrest anyone they have a "reasonable suspicion" of being illegal immigrants and send them to jail if they fail to produce a passport or Social Security card. A.K.A. anyone who is a brunette and has a tan, and has the gumption to not carry around priceless government documents on their person at all times. Everyone from pop stars to major cities have boycotted the state in response, as so they should have.

Second, Arizona officially bans "ethnic studies" in all forms in its public schools and universities. Even more heinous than its borderline-fascist anti-immigration measure, this law specifically criminalizes certain types of knowledge and political ideologies - any historical/cultural source that expresses an explicitly non-white frame of reference is out the window. Goodbye Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez, Saul Williams, many writings of Martin Luther King, James Baldwin, Sandra Cisneros, and many other key figures to our history. According to the state of Arizona, unless you either are white, or were assisting or placating a white man, you cannot be discussed in a classroom. Sweet Jesus, isn't shit like this what we have the CONSTITUTION for?

On November 30, 2010, in Tucson, Arizona, suspected gunman Jared Loughner was able to buy a Glock 19 semiautomatic handgun, which he then outfitted with a special extended magazine that afforded him 18 more bullets than a standard magazine would have.
Here is a list of places in the world where the legal system does not enshrine into law the types of ethnic and political hatred that ended in the Giffords tragedy:

Brazil: You have to be 25 years old to buy a gun in Brazil, and it’s illegal for civilians to carry guns outside their homes.

China: China has a blanket ban on all gun ownership by private citizens—perfect for suppressing an uprising, but also perfecting for suppressing mad gunmen.

India: People who apply for a gun license in India have to prove a “grave and imminent threat” to their lives in order to be approved. Most cannot.

Germany: To buy a gun in Germany, anyone under the age of 25 has to pass a psychological exam (which Loughner would probably have failed). You also have to answer a 4,000-question licensing exam.

Finland: Handgun license applicants in Finland, which has some of Europe’s slackest gun laws, are only allowed to purchase firearms if they can prove they are active members of regulated shooting clubs. What’s more, applicants have to provide two references, both of whom are interviewed before they can get a gun.

Italy: Again, Italy’s requirement that gun owners be screened by mental health professionals would surely have weeded out Loughner.

United Kingdom: Handguns are illegal in the United Kingdom, with most citizens agreeing police shouldn’t even carry them routinely.

Japan: Japan also outlaws handguns, allowing licensed citizens who have passed a mental exam to purchase only shotguns for hunting. Unlicensed citizens aren’t even allowed to touch a gun.

South Africa: Though guns are legal in South Africa, it’s nearly impossible for private citizens to get one. Wannabe gun owners must first offer up three references for police interview, and guns are denied automatically to known drug abusers (Loughner’s drug use kept him out of the military).

Luxembourg: All guns are banned in Luxembourg.

France: Firearms applicants in France must have no criminal record and a clean bill of health from a mental health professional. Once again, Loughner would have failed on both accounts.

Spain: Not only would Loughner have failed Spain’s medical exam, following a shooting spree in December that killed four people, new gun sanctions on the table would restrict anyone from owning a semiautomatic weapon that holds three or more bullets.

California, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, and Chicago: All of these places prohibit the kind of extended magazine that gave Loughner 33 shots instead of 15.

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