But guns surely make it hell of a lot easier. I haven’t lived in US for any extended periods of time. Perhaps that is why I never understood why gun control laws are so controversial in US. To me, it’s a no-brainer. Guns are very powerful weapons. As a Singaporean who has done NS, I know that for a fact. I’ve fired assault rifles and a GPMG. They give the person who uses them incredible power to wreak havoc and rain down death. Why would it be a controversy to ensure that such tools of death and destruction are kept out of the hands of those who may use it to hurt and kill? That’s why I find that the Republican opposition to very reasonable gun control laws that have been put up for debate numerous times in recent years to be baffling stupid.
And that’s why, even though it doesn’t affect me in any significant way, I felt glad that President Obama has revealed a series of executive action to address gun violence. It felt like there was another reason to be hopeful for the future. That we have a political leader who has the courage to do what is right, even in the face of strong, but misguided, opposition.
President Obama’s speech was also very moving. It mixes rationality that appeals to the intellect with human interest stories that tugs at the heartstrings. He was personally moved to tears as he recounted the loss of lives of Grade 1 children to gun violence. The speech was another demonstration of his power as an orator.
I wonder whether politicians here in Singapore would ever be as charismatic. I suppose we have to be thankful that we don’t need them to be. We don’t have any major crisis, we don’t have any burning issues that force us to confront the fierce urgency of now. We don’t currently have any need for our politicians to inspire and galvanise us to great action. Which is just as well. Because I don’t think any of the politicians in Singapore are able to do that.
But should we ever need, I hope some of our politicians (and their speech writers) are taking notes. This is how to make a powerful speech:
And to any Americans reading this. As an outsider, your country’s inability to enact laws that minimises the ability of terror suspects, and people convicted of serious crimes to get hold of guns makes your country a laughing stock. Get over the partisan politicking. Do something positive. For a start, vote out some of the Republicans from congress. And make sure that the next president isn’t a Republican. And definitely not the joke that is Donald Trump. The world is watching. If you still think that you are the greatest country in the world, do the right thing.
[Featured image: President Obama wiping away tears as he speaks about his executive actions to deal with gun violence. Image from USNews.com]