Give all the Children Rocks

A few weeks ago I stumbled across an Instagram post, which compared the gun related deaths in Switzerland and Chicago. The picture employed statistics (from 2015) to highlight the devastation firearms are having on their communities. According to the post, Chicago experienced  deaths in excess of 42,000 whilst the whole of Switzerland had just over 4000. When you consider alongside this that Switzerland has a greater population it becomes clear that the gun situation in Chicago needs rectifying.

Naturally, there are several factors which separate Chicago and Switzerland and said factors will have influence over the number of gun related deaths. Firstly, the economic situation of the country and city must be considered. Poverty surely would have an influence upon the necessity for weapons and upbringing. To be crude: desperate times call for desperate measures. For some gun crime is a means of survival. Secondly, we must consider culture or more importantly subcultures. Of course I am referring to gang crime and the ever present fracture in U.S. society that is another symptom of extreme financial and intellectual poverty. The final obvious criticism that renders comparison between a country and a single city redundant is population density. It must be considered that the people of Switzerland will be much further displaced because it is a country. There will be less people living  close together and divided among towns, cities, villages and other various settlements.

Whilst it is futile to draw direct comparison a city and a country the fact remains that the statistic is still alarming. The approach of the U.S.A. towards their issues with gun violence is something of joke. There appears to be little movement towards correct control and defenders of the weapon shield behind The Second Amendment. Often they propose increased arming. This appears to promote an illusion that if both people have guns then the “good guys” will win and shoot the “baddie” first.

Yesterday I was discussing this approach to solving gun related deaths with a friend. He put forward an analogy his Father used and I’d like to share with you:

Timmy came home from school yesterday with a big cut on his forehead.

“Why Timmy! How on earth did you receive that cut upon your forehead?” exclaimed Papa.

“Johnny threw a rock and it hit me. It was an accident.”

“Be that as it may” said Mama. “We’re still going to have a talk with your teacher about Johnny and his rock throwing.”

Next morning, Mama and Papa went to school to talk to Timmy’s teacher.

“What is going on with all the pebble slinging in school?” inquired Mama.

“Oh!” said the Teacher. “It was an accident. Johnny has been told off and lost his snack yesterday. I’m sure he won’t do it again.”

“Hmmmm” mumbled Papa.

“Don’t worry.” explained the teacher. “We have given all the children rocks now. They cacn throw them back if they get hit.”

 

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Today I feel like Leslie Knope

I have just posted the following letter to my county council because the street lamps near my house are dreadful and always turn off. Plus that alley is super creepy.

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

 

I am writing to inform you that the street lamps in the wooded alley -between Gillibrand Primary School and the nursing home on Gillibrand north- are inadequate. Currently the majority of the lamps are functioning but as the cliche states one bad apple spoils the bunch. There are a few lamps, closest to the nursing home side of the path, with defective sensors. The issue is that the lamps remain at full luminosity until you’re within eight feet of them, then turn themselves off. Perhaps this is a programming error? This lack of light is particularly inconvenient on my way to the train station early in the morning and from evening onward.

 

Last Sunday I walked through the area in question. Ahead of me, approximately ten feet, was a young lady around the age of fifteen. As she walked further down the path the lights went out. Frightened by the sudden darkness she froze, turned around and noticed myself. Then the young lady started screaming as she ran out of the wooded area. Later, after I had exited the path, I heard the girl talking on her mobile. She was exclaiming her belief that I had intended to murder her- a fear brought on by the lack of light. If the alley was properly illuminated the young lady may have felt safer. Furthermore, in correct lighting I would have appeared a less imposing figure because (as my mother has frequently informed me) I am rather handsome.

 

The incident with the young lady was rectified: I explained that on that particular evening I lacked any murderous impulse but was instead (as evidenced by many bags) simply journeying home from the airport. We laughed at our circumstance and continued our merry ways.

 

Whilst this suitable anecdote evidences that the area is largely safe, the citizens of Chorley may feel more secure if their paths were correctly lighted. Now that we are reaching the winter months it is more vital than ever to ensure true illumination in the extended darkness.

 

Yours Faithfully,

 

Average Joe