Friday, 6 November 2009

Why I Couldn't Be A Conservative In The USA Reason # 1

As I'm not a citizen no one in the USA is going to invite me to vote but that's not a good enough reason not to have a mini series of blog posts.

Back home in Scotland I was very much of two minds politically. I liked the idea of an independent Scotland but wasn't entirely sure that enough people were going to vote for it in order for it not to be a wasted vote. I am also not entirely sure that Scotland could be strong enough economically for the first 5 - 10 years after breaking itself off from the UK to have something to build from thereafter. Perhaps when there was still oil in the North Sea back in the 70's it would have been good but now? I just don't know.

I also believe in a government that has low taxation and minimum government interference in the lives of the citizens that it serves. So although I hated Thatcher when she was in power I was pretty much a conservative at heart, and just could never see myself voting labour when they seem to be control freaks and have acres of government at every level. Plus its probably not helped by the fact that Blair was someone I despised more than even Thatcher.

Now you may think that with my earlier statement of believing that a government should have minimum interference in the lives of the citizens it serves and my preference for low taxation that I would be as much as a conservative here as much as I was back home. But conservatism here is a different beast. And for that reason alone I think it could make a semi-decent mini series for this blog while I get back my blogging groove.

Reason # 1

Conservatives in the USA seem to believe with more enthusiasm than liberals in the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

I'm not going to make any pretense that I am tough Scotsman. Guns scare me. I don't want to be anywhere near them.

In addition to that I don't want to read any more stories of kids accidentally shooting their siblings when they get hold of their father's loaded gun that was supposed to be locked away in a cupboard. I don't want to want to read of cults in Texas being armed to the teeth and shooting FBI officers. I don't want my step children to be scared of going to school because other kids are carrying guns in their backpacks along with their books. I don't want to step into a 7/11 in the middle of the night to buy a bag of Swedish Fish and have some drugged up wannabe Jesse James flashing a gun barrel between my eyes - with all the Mexican food I eat I'm likely to shit myself there and then.

Back in the day when the USA was a new country I could understand the need for people to have the right and the need to bear arms. It was a dangerous world. Native Americans didn't exactly like the idea of the white man moving in on their land. Criminals from Europe saw America as the land of opportunity and would happily steal the land from underneath your feet. As would some crooked businessmen who might want your land to sell it onto the railroad or just to build a ranch. Back in those days the local sheriff might be too far away or just not powerful enough to save your sorry ass. Therefore a good man at the birth of this country may have been expected to carry a gun in order to protect his family.

Now though we live in different times, the USA as so many levels of police that it should be a safer country in which to live. I suspect it would be safer still if it wasn't so easy for gangs and desperate junkies to be able to get a hold of guns from legal and illegal sources.

Back home I felt if I was unlucky enough to come across a ned with a knife nicked from his mothers kitchen that I could have the chance of outrunning him before any damage was done, its not see easy to outrun a bullet. Maybe if the Bill of Rights was amended and the antiquated belief that the people have the right to bear arms was reassessed and something was done about the number of guns freely available in this country I could feel safe eating Mexican food before visiting a 7/11.

Listening to: Sean Kingston - Me love

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