20 August 2013

American crime from a tourist perspective

It's big news in Australia that one of their citizens attending an American college on a baseball scholarship was killed last week in an apparently random drive-by shooting. Authorities in Duncan OK have three teenage suspects in custody and claim that one of them has confessed to killing someone because he and his buddies were bored. Parents of two of the suspects insist on their innocence. An Australian news site has released images of the suspects. For some American observers, everything may be explained by the fact that the three kids are black -- presuming that the photos are actual images of the suspects and that the suspects are guilty. At least one prominent Australian thinks differently. The real problem, as far as a former deputy prime minister is concerned, isn't that black youths roam the streets, but that all Americans have easy access to guns. Tim Fischer has a plan to hold the U.S. accountable for what he calls "the bitter harvest and legacy of the policies of the NRA." He's called for a tourist boycott of the United States. Hit the country in its pocketbook, he believes, and Congress may finally take serious action to regulate guns. Fischer may be hopelessly idealistic; if anything, the NRA's base is likely to resent any foreign attempt to dictate to the U.S. even more than it resents domestic gun-control efforts. They are more likely to recommend (and perhaps, in their dreams, require) that tourists arm themselves. They may be still more likely to change the subject from guns to culture -- as a euphemism for race. The Duncan police describe a nightmare scenario of nihilist youth killing for kicks, but despite their claim of a confession the suspects are innocent in the eyes of law until proven guilty. The indisputable fact is that a young man was killed with a gun. An Australian proposes to hold a country collectively responsible for that fact. Let's see what happens.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree. Let all nations boycott the United States until we clean up our act. Not just the random killing of foreign tourists (the Aussie wasn't the first), but the illegitimate spying program the US government is involved in. Let the US citizens be held collectively responsible for the crap that goes on in this country and you may see some change.