About an hour ago, a man in a grey suit with a briefcase "starting shooting at people indiscriminately" outside the Empire State Building, killing one and injuring 10 more before police shot him down.
 
When the Batman shooter (James Holmes) walked into a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, guns and gasmask at the ready and shot dead 12 people, the commentariat struck hard. It was obvious: a mental geek with machine gun bullets and a warped love of comic books. Or something. The press was full of people – as usual – blaming violent films, violent games and, yes, violent rap music to justify the unjustifiable. Columbine had it, Virginia Tech had it, and now it was more of the same in Colorado.
 
That night I even walked past a church group with a soundsystem on the corner of Brixton Ritzy shouting “It was a copy-cat crime! Y’see, it’s actually from a film!” It was a pathetic boycott for an argument heard way too often.
 
But that’s not the problem. What’s more dangerous? A rapper saying how much he loves to slap his bitch on the tushy and carrying a piece; or freely available weaponry which is not just touted proudly as a basic human right, but also constitutionally enshrined into the make-up of a country half-full of millenarians, lobbyists and right-wing religious dingens armed to their teeth, Bible and balls with sub-machine guns?  
 
The fact is: American gun laws create copy-cat crimes. The recent spate of shootings almost form a tick-list of particularly American problems: disaffected teens provoked towards unjustifiable crimes, anti-Asian racism and untreated civilian madness. Throw guns into the mix and what do you get? Civilian dead on one of the busiest streets in one of the busiest cities in the world.  
 
People complain when political arguments begin before the bodies go cold. But I can't see the problem when I'm not making this argument for so-called "political capital" but to call for measures which would prevent the deaths of innocent people, and prevent history repeating itself over and over.
 
It will take days before the journalists and the authorities dissemble the bio of America's latest gunman, besuited in the New York lunchtime heat. Why did he do it? What were his motives? Did he have a favourite, favourite book? But in many ways that story will become secondary to the continuous tragedy of American gun control. 
 
Start removing guns from the streets and let's see if it changes. Shall we give it a go?
 
 

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