About seven years ago, I began blogging on MySpace. For whatever reason, I fell in with a group that included many people from Australia.
I found them to be among the most friendly and good-natured people I have ever known. When international travel was an option, I desired urgently to visit there.
Imagine, then, my sorrow when the events of Friday, August 18th became public.
If you don’t already know, a young man from Melbourne, wanting only to play baseball here, was shot to death in order to relieve the boredom of three teenagers.
Christopher Lane was a guest. If first-degree murder isn't punishable by death, shouldn't wanting to play baseball in America be as well?
While not enjoying popular support, a well-organized and monied minority works fervently to ensure that as many Americans have access to the greatest number of guns as much of the time as is humanly possible.
Gun advocates feel gun ownership is the lynchpin of democracy. No guns = no democracy.
Sadly, we will never have the opportunity to test that theory.
It is gun advocates (i.e. the angry and the ignorant) who believe gun ownership is the great leveler which will one day make everything right. Guns are the six-chambered courtroom where the verdict always comes out in their favor.
Their guns will protect them from currency manipulation, global warming and perhaps even foreigners from playing baseball.
In reality, what America has to show for its reinforced Second Amendment is the first world’s highest murder-by-gun rate.
Only countries wracked by political instability, entrenched corruption and inescapable poverty enjoy a higher per-capita rate than the United States.
Let me say it again: being the first world leader in gun-related homicides is our gift for our unswerving maintenance of the Second Amendment.
I’m sure the family of Christopher Lane is very grateful.
Australia isn’t perfect. Neither, I suspect, are Australians. But in light of Mr. Lane’s murder, I am well and truly embarrassed to call myself an American.
His death seems an awfully high price to pay for a fantasy.