Dear America, we need to talk about Donald…. an open letter to the USA

Dear America,

He’s been at it again.

Last night Donald stood up in front of his crazy NRA chums and came out with this cacophony of crap:

“I recently read that in London, which has unbelievably tough gun laws, a once very prestigious hospital, right in the middle – is like a war zone for horrible stabbing wounds (are there nice stabbing wounds???)….. they don’t have guns, they have knives and instead there’s blood all over the floors of this hospital. They say it’s as bad as a military war zone hospital.”

Now we Brits love to be flattered by our American cousins and it’s always a thrill to get a shout out guys but – and I’m sure you know this because you are able to read – Mr Trump was talking what we British people call “complete and utter bollocks” there. I don’t know where your President gets his news. Perhaps he dreams it. Perhaps the little pixie people on the back of the cereal packet transmit it to him in magical lucky charm beams. Perhaps he reads it on the cubicle door when he’s doing his business. Perhaps – he gets it from the doolally folks at Info wars. Perhaps he simply (whisper it) ‘makes it up to feed his ill-informed devotees.’ Anyway take it from me – the idea that there is a Central London hospital, whose floors are awash with blood from dying stab victims is untrue, tosh – a big fat whopper with limp sophistry salad under a bullshit bun topped with testicle mayonnaise.

It is true that our capital has had a spike in knife crime and figures are now up around 21% on last year which is clearly a worry for those of us who live in this great city. But deaths from knife crime are not limited to London – of course. While the city’s murder rate is roughly on a par with New York, it is no higher than any other region in the UK relevant to population size and the picture is the same across the country. Indeed you are slightly more likely to be a victim of homicide in North Wales (1.88 per 100,000) than you are in London (1.45 per 100,000.)

Putting knife crime aside, when you compare the total murder rates between nations: in the US 4.8 people per 100,000 are victims of ‘intentional homicide’ every year while in the UK the figure is just 0.92.

Mr Trump was making up this baloney for the benefit of the gun nuts – sorry – addressing the NRA – of course so he was trying to comfort them and you with the fact that the USA is safer than the UK despite guns being illegal here. Well I’m sorry but that isn’t true. A complete fabrication. America has a gun problem and indeed most Americans know it, accept it and want it changed. So far in the US this year 4,854 people have lost their lives to guns (excluding the 8-10k suicides in same period). In the UK where gun laws are very tight indeed – the figure for the whole of 2017 was around 30 and if you want to know how that looks

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This is but the latest assault on the UK by the eccentric Mr Trump, who seems somewhat obsessed with us – and London in particular. He was eager to make rude remarks about our city and our Mayor, even as we were reeling from a terror attack last year and when he isn’t pissing off the people of Scotland with his golf course he’s talking about that time he imagined he could get naked and dirty with Princess Diana – which is why his invitation to Prince Harry’s wedding clearly ‘got lost in the post.’ And yet despite being a complete arse about us he’s apparently desperate to meet our Queen and stroke the corgis (not a euphemism but I hope for the sake of all decency they’re locked away.) He’s like some creepy stalker who finds you on Tinder, takes you out for waffles, makes you pay, tells you you’re ugly and stupid and not worthy of him and then starts following you everywhere – but without the charm.

Now it’s not your fault (unless you voted for him in which case it is) and we all make mistakes (Brexit). We Brits love America. We love your ambition and your space programs; we like your teeth rotting soft drinks and your amazing white choppers that defy them. We love your great cities, your movies, your movie stars, your French fries, your burgers and your high cholesterol inducing fast food restaurants. We love Netflix, Amazon, your theme parks and your national parks. We like your style, your jazz, your macbooks, your iphones, your Rocky Mountains, your Simpsons, your Mickey Mouses, your Las Vegas, your iconic architecture and your rock and roll. We envy you your American dream, your robust democracy, your freedom of speech, your cowboys, your musicals and the way you kindly gave Europe a hand with sorting out all that unpleasantness in the 1940s. But – truth be told – we are finding it hard to take to this President of yours. In fact the vast majority of us think he’s a monumental Washington monument.

Donald is planning to come here in July and because you have given us all that great stuff over the years we will take him and look after him for you – God knows you guys need a break – but do us a favour – after we send him back – perform an intervention. I don’t know…. you could wrench the phone from his sweaty palms, or disconnect his Wi-Fi or hide his wig – or something – because frankly this series of American President has jumped the shark.

Chin Chin etc

Otto

Most Americans want gun control – yet the nation remains hostage to a tiny weapon obsessed cult called the NRA

On his 99th day in office President Donald Trump addressed an 80,000 strong crowd of predominantly white, male, National Rifle Association members.

“You came through for me, and I am going to come through for you,” Trump told the cheering crowd: “The eight year assault on your Second Amendment rights has come to a crashing end.”

Six months later, the lives of 54 Americans and 4 Canadians did ‘come to a crashing end’ as a lone gunman murdered them and wounded 851 more from the window of a Las Vegas hotel – in the worst shooting in modern American history. The killer (whose name is not worthy of mention) had no criminal record and had purchased his high powered machine gun perfectly legally.

“How could this happen?” Everyone asked as everyone asks each time these things happen and then yesterday – it happened again. A 19 year old boy – armed with a murderous assault rifle was able to march into his school and slaughter 17 of his former classmates with a legally bought semi-automatic machine gun – in cold blood.

So far in 2018 alone there have been 41 mass shootings in the USA. Since January 1st the country has had 6,575 gun incidents in total with 3,144 people injured and 1,827 dead. Of those killed or injured 69 were aged 0-11 and 333 12-17 years old. These figures exclude the approx. 1,833 Americans who take their own lives with weapons every single month.

Now – as a Brit – these stats are just mind blowing. Yes gun and knife crime remains an issue in the UK – but the figures just pale in comparison. Since 1996 just 30 people (still too many) have died in mass shootings in the UK. By way of comparison, that is eight fewer in a 22 year period than have died in mass shootings in the USA in the month of February 2018 – so far.

Yes – illegal guns still kill people in the United Kingdom – but you don’t need to have a diploma in statistics to see what a difference strict gun control makes.

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Gun related killings – via BBC news

“Oh those crazy Americans! Why don’t they do something?” Goes up the cry whenever a terrible incident like this happens, but the truth is that the vast majority of US citizens are already, overwhelmingly in favour of stricter controls.

Gallup data demonstrates that overwhelmingly, over time, the American public has wanted harsher curbs on domestic ownership of weapons (currently 62%) and that a similar number (59%) don’t actually own a firearm at all. Indeed – only 38% of Americans want gun controls kept as they are (33%) or less strict (5%).

So what the hell is going on? In three letters – NRA. The National Rifle Association with its (claimed) 5 million members (1.5% of the population) continues to hold the USA by the balls. With a highly active and political membership the organisation has consistently backed anti-gun control candidates. In the last Presidential election, according to the Guardian

“The NRA (made) independent expenditures worth $53.4m. And the cash seemed to have been well spent. The NRA poured $14.4m into supporting 44 candidates who won and $34.4m opposing 19 candidates who lost.”

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A clear majority of Ameicans want stricter gun control (Gallup)

Truth may not belong to those who shout loudest, but it seems that in modern America the will of a firearm obsessed minority continues to take precedence over the will and indeed safety of the majority and the basic principles of sanity.

In a mature democracy nobody, least of all a 19 year old with known behavioural issues, should be able to get their hands on a murderous, military grade, semi-automatic gun. It’s clearly time for the majority of sane and rational Americans to take back control.

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AR15 as used in Florida