Sunday Mail - - OPINION -

THANK God guns don’t kill peo­ple. Peo­ple kill peo­ple. This is ac­cord­ing to the holy writ of the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion which has Don­ald Trump and the Repub­li­can Congress in its pocket.

Of course, peo­ple kill peo­ple – not guns. Stephen Pad­dock could have just as eas­ily killed 59 in­no­cents and maimed 527 more from his 32nd storey room at the Man­dalay Ho­tel, in Las Ve­gas, with rocks or his fists or a Samu­rai sword or by call­ing names.

His 23 high-pow­ered as­sault and other weapons had noth­ing to do with it. In fact, Amer­i­cans need more guns. If ev­ery­one in the crowd had been armed to the teeth with as­sault weaponry they can buy at dis­count depart­ment stores in de­signer colours, they could’ve taken him out, shot up the en­tire ho­tel and then killed one an­other.

In Amer­ica, that is, trag­i­cally, the only real re­sponse. More guns. Arm teach­ers, preach­ers, passersby ... arm ev­ery­one.

When ev­ery Amer­i­can shoots ev­ery other Amer­i­can, will the NRA fi­nally be happy that the Sec­ond Amend­ment is ful­filled? They’re do­ing a great job so far with a gun mas­sacre ev­ery day and more than 16,000 peo­ple mur­dered in gun deaths ev­ery year.

This hon­ours what you’d be­lieve is the most im­por­tant clause in an hon­ourable and in­spir­ing Con­sti­tu­tion – the right to bear


The 20th an­niver­sary of the movie which has its sun­burnt charms. Dusty Martin – wow! Thanks to Tony Ab­bott and Bob Kat­ter, I loved Mack­le­more’s per­for­mance at the NRL Grand Fi­nal (pic­tured). I had never heard of him and his beau­ti­ful song but its op­po­nents made me watch. arms which was ac­tu­ally cre­ated to al­low a mili­tia to bear arms in the 18th cen­tury. Mus­kets which took min­utes to load.

It’s lu­di­crous that the most pow­er­ful na­tion on Earth and a sup­posed bea­con of free­dom has be­come a shoot­ing gallery and still suf­fers from a lack of univer­sal health­care – two things which more civilised na­tions such as ours solved a long time ago.

Vi­o­lence begets vi­o­lence. Po­lit­i­cal lobby groups with bil­lion­dol­lar bankrolls flex their mus­cles, ma­nip­u­late fear and cre­ate a na­tion ob­sessed with the right to kill.

And then you get more and more gun mas­sacres, more and more na­tional grief and more and more blame – yet noth­ing hap­pens. Change the smok­ing age to 21. The Bend Mo­tor­sport Park at

beaut Tailem Bend – ex­cel­lent.


The flu – I can’t un­der­stand why peo­ple are ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal and die. Se­na­tor Matt Cana­van telling peo­ple you can’t trust politi­cians to leg­is­late for same-sex mar­riage. So what can we trust pol­lies to do? Hil­lary Clin­ton is the only pres­i­den­tial can­di­date to stand up to the gun lobby – one of the rea­sons she wasn’t elected. Even Barack Obama’s re­solve against the lobby col­lapsed.

Trump is pro-gun and of­fered his “warm­est con­do­lences” to the use­lessly slaugh­tered. There’s noth­ing warm about grief.

The 338th mass shoot­ing in the US this year will soon be barely no­table. A whim­per not a bang. In Fe­bru­ary, Trump signed a law mak­ing it eas­ier for peo­ple with a his­tory of men­tal ill­ness to buy as­sault ri­fles.

In April, he told the NRA: “You have a true friend and cham­pion in the White House.”

He’s hold­ing the smok­ing gun.

DEAR Crows and Crows fans, you were beaten by a bet­ter team – not a bet­ter club. “We fly as one” ap­plies in vic­tory and de­feat. Any football fan un­der­stands the grief of a nasty loss but please stop blam­ing ev­ery­one.

Stop blam­ing your own. So far, Tay­lor Walker, Don Pyke, the um­pires, the MCG and, of course, the me­dia are to blame.

The me­dia was not play­ing Rich­mond. Ap­par­ently, there’s ei­ther too much at­ten­tion in the me­dia (which Crows fans did not com­plain about in the sat­u­rated week lead­ing to the Grand Fi­nal) or no at­ten­tion. “We fly as one” has be­come the motto of the Crows kamikaze. It gets bet­ter. Time heals all wounds and wounds all heels.

The great thing about football is that there’s al­ways a sec­ond chance – next week/next year.

Mean­while, as a hum­ble fan of the glo­ri­ous Power, why am I hav­ing to tell the Crows this? Soon they will get back to do­ing what they do best – hat­ing the Power which may be part of the prob­lem.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think the pre-fi­nals Gold Coast idyll was a good idea and that star­ing ca­per dur­ing the na­tional an­them was stupid.

IF you find your­self los­ing the will to live, and I sus­pect there may be a few af­ter last week­end’s avian maul­ing, don’t go any­where the new ad­ven­ture play­ground at Mo­ri­alta dur­ing school hol­i­days be­cause it might just push you over the edge.

Un­less, of course, the idea of be­ing sur­rounded by a few thou­sand kids left to run amok while their par­ents stuff their faces with Cheezels and in­flict cru­elty on pic­nic chairs is your idea of a good day out. It cer­tainly isn’t mine. I have this the­ory I like to call the “Three Lev­els of Ap­pro­pri­ate Re­sponses to Small Hu­mans”.

The first level is oc­cu­pied by your own off­spring. Of course you love them. You have to. It’s what keeps our species go­ing.

By and large, they’re pretty cool and I think we all take nar­cis­sis­tic plea­sure in watch­ing the de­vel­op­ment of scaled-down ver­sions of our­selves.

But even these crea­tures we sup­pos­edly love like no other can some­times make a man won­der why, when con­sid­er­ing the hu­man male pro­duces half a tril­lion sperm in his life­time, the lit­tle swim­mer that made this par­tic­u­lar child had to be the one that made it past the keeper.

Then there are your kid’s friends and your friend’s kids. This is Level Two.

These are the kids you get to know to a mod­est de­gree. They al­ways hang around, you watch them grow up and you know their foibles be­cause it’s their par­ents you’re hang­ing out with.

They’re usu­ally well-be­haved but can, just by be­ing present, cre­ate prob­lems. If you add two other kids to the two you’ve sup­plied your­self, you’re in­creas­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of the kind of triv­ial con­flict that can hap­pen be­tween kids by 200 per cent.

These are the ones who come for sleep­overs and say things such as “But my dad lets me do it at home” or “I like sausages but only the way Mum cooks them”. These are the kids who de­cide, at 2am, that they miss their par­ents and want to go home.

You like Level Two kids but you’re usu­ally happy to see them leave.

Then there’s Level Three. Ev­ery­body else’s kids. Like the lit­tle hor­rors who de­scended on the Mo­ri­alta ad­ven­ture play­ground at the same time I had to find a way to kill an hour with mine.

Like the lit­tle punk who shoved my twoyear-old off a log in his rush to get past.

Or the kid who sat at the top of the slip­pery dip ig­nor­ing the queue form­ing be­hind him. As his face started to red­den, I re­alised it wouldn’t be wise for any­one else to go slid­ing where he’d been sit­ting.

There were the kids run­ning over the roped-off ar­eas of frag­ile new grass and the kids who kicked their football straight at me just be­cause I mocked them for wear­ing Crows jumpers. And the kids who make you won­der how hard it would be to put doses of birth-con­trol drugs into the wa­ter sup­ply.

That’s what school-hol­i­day sur­vival mode is. Dealing with bored Level Ones, con­spir­ing with the par­ents of the Level Twos to spread the load and do­ing what­ever is pos­si­ble to avoid large-scale con­gre­ga­tions of Level Threes.

And I’m fail­ing. Badly.

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