Continuing with our global coverage of the reaction to Newtown, we have six fresh translations on the subject from Poland’s Rzeczpospolita, Italy’s La Repubblica, France’s Liberation, the gaming magazine Fokgames of The Netherlands, Mexico’s El Universal, and Brazil’s Folha.
For Rzeczpospolita, in an article headlined No One Dares Deny Americans their Guns, columnist Bartosz Weglarczyk writes that while people and lawmakers in the United States appear to be considering a change in America’s liberal gun laws, the outcry over Newtown will pass, and no U.S. politician would dream of suggesting depriving Americans their gun rights:
“The right to bear arms is very firmly rooted in the American identity. Trying to confiscate existing weapons would end with citizens in the South and Midwest – and this is no exaggeration – attempting to secede from the Union. … In the 21st century, the belief that one needs a home machine gun to defend oneself against a possible invasion may be a total anachronism. … But it doesn’t matter. … An American politician who advocates for the removal of this right would have to change the Constitution.”
For La Repubblica, in an article headlined The Whole World is Newtown, columnist Gianni Rufini points out that while the easy availability of guns in America make it stand out in the West, it mirrors the reality in the rest of the world, where at least 500,000 people are killed or commit suicide with guns every year, and AK-47 assault rifles can often be obtained in exchange for a chicken:
“There are 270 millions guns circulating in America, and 40 percent of the population owns at least one, despite the fact that dozens of studies show that having a gun in your home raises your risk of dying in a homicide or suicide fivefold. … But when one considers what is happening in the rest of the world, where the circulation of small arms is extensive and out of control, there is nothing strange about this. … There are at least 650 million small arms circulating on our planet, one for every ten people, which kill at least 500,000 human beings a year.”
For France’s Liberation, in a column headlined To ‘Prove’ His Presidency, Obama Must Go Beyond Assault Rifle Ban, Fabrice Rousselot writes that unless President Obama goes much further than a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, his presidency will be seen as an incomplete one:
“It is past time for Obama to show he can act. Restoring the ban on the use of assault rifles would be a first step. But he must go further. He must initiate a national dialogue with Congress and throughout the country on gun control. … Obama must seize this tragic moment and prove his presidency. This time, speeches will not suffice.”
For the gaming magazine Fokgames of the Netherlands in a column headined Newtown and Video Games: There is NO Connection!, writer Wesley Oudijk protests that there is absolutely no reason to believe that gaming leads to violence or the type of tragedy that occurred in Newtown, and that where once Rock ‘n’ Roll was blamed for society’s ills, today it is video gaming:
“It used to be Rock ‘n’ Roll that caused people to became ‘psychotic,’ and in the past few years, the reason has become gaming. One moment of thought and self reflection would come in handy here: Doesn’t this boy live in a good neighborhood – and are gun laws really necessary? Nah, of course not! Let’s all stay nice and stupid and blame those pixels on a screen!”
Once again from our neighbor Mexico, in a column headlined Newtown: A Tragedy Foretold, columnist Gabriel Guerra Castellanos of El Universal opines that for the world’s greatest power, the greatest danger is not any external threat, but its own people. Castellanos writes that when it comes to the long series of deadly gun attacks in the United States, the dire state of mental health care in the country is just as significant as the free availability of powerful firearms:
“Behind each of the murderers and of each of the victims of Newtown, Aurora, or many other places, were not only disturbed individuals whose inner demons led them to commit atrocities, but also, I would say above all, a long series of failed policies that have led the world’s most powerful nation to live under greater threat from its own citizens than any potential external enemy. … Since the years of Ronald Reagan, the U.S. has systematically cut funding for the care of people with mental disorders. … incredibly, many of these people can buy, without further requirements, weapons of every description.”
And for Brazil’s Folha, in a column headlined After Newtown: No Better Time for Americans to Debate Gun Control, Luciana Coelho weighs in on the U.S. debate about whether this is the proper time to discuss gun controls with an emphatic assertion that despite the comments of those who would rather not discuss it, there will never be a better time:
“Obama spokesman Jay Carney said that the day would come for discussing the issue of carrying guns, but that it wasn’t today. … But if a day in which 20 boys and girls younger than 10 years of age was murdered isn’t appropriate, when will there ever be an appropriate moment? What Carney argued is that this emotional moment is not the most suitable for a debate on an issue so dear to Americans, which makes sense. But when we talk about school children as targets of a shooter, is there any way to take emotion out of the equation?”
READ MORE GLOBAL REACTION TO THE NEWTOWN TRAGEDY, AT WORLDMEETS.US, your most trusted translator and aggregator of foreign news and views about our nation.