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The ‘American dream’ needs to be reassessed

Published 16/06/2016

Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor
Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

The number of mass shootings occurring in the United States last year is staggering and limiting the availability and firepower of guns should be a priority, in spite of the pressure from the National Rifle Association.

Various reasons have been proposed to explain why these shootings occur, including terrorism, hate crime and insanity. All these factors apply anywhere in the world, but America stands out in the Western world. Why? Could it be the ‘American Dream’, the concept that anyone can ‘make it’ by simple hard work?

In reality, you can’t have winners without losers and, if losers are despised and thrown on the scrap heap, it is hardly surprising that the mentally fragile can sometimes flip and go on shooting rampages to release their frustrations.

Perhaps it is time for the Americans to reassess their concept of what being a ‘winner’ is and — combined with modest gun control, such as banning automatic weapons — aim to become a more compassionate nation than it now appears to be.


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