Deaths won't lead to U.S. gun ban

CONSIDER, if you will, the prospects for any Scottish politician whose manifesto included scrapping faith schools and banning Glasgow's marching season.

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How about proposing a home for travelling folk in your leafy constituency?

Or David Cameron's millionaire cabinet hounding every tax-avoiding fat cat and multi-national?

You'd say turkeys voting for Christmas, soon to be seeking new employment.

It's the same reason American politicians sanction the loosest gun control laws in the developed world.

The fox restricting turkeys in the US Congress is the National Rifle Association, according to Democrats and Republicans the most powerful lobbying organisation in the US.

Eight US Presidents have been members of a movement which upholds the 1791 constitutional right to bear arms, opposing all gun controls, including checks on any idiot wishing to own an AK-47.

They have only 4.3million members, but this is gun-loving America, where some 270million legal weapons – the illegal count is anyone's guess – are held by 80 million citizens, and the NRA lobby can deliver their votes.

Nancy Lanza owned five guns and taught her son to shoot. On Friday, Adam Lanza used mum's weapons to kill her, plus 20 children and six adults in the Connecticut school massacre.

There have been at least six mass shootings in Barack Obama's four years as President. Each horror brought anguished mouth music, but no change in gun laws. During Obama's eight-month re-election circus, more than 100 million folk saw thousands of TV ads and five hours of debates with Mitch Romney.

Gun control hardly rated a mention, despite more than 30,000 Americans – 82-a-day – being killed by guns each year.

NRA apologists say armed teachers would have, "if not prevented, perhaps minimised," the Newtown death toll.

I thought Kinder-garten Cop was Hollywood – until I heard about Michigan.

On the day of the killings, that state passed a law allowing concealed weapons in schools, sports stadiums, hospitals, and day-care centres.

Since Friday, a YouGov poll suggests half of Americans now support stricter gun laws, while 43% want no change. They will never ban guns, but they need stricter regulation, and a national debate on mental health.

Adam Lanza, like most of America's young mass killers, had problems yet still seems to have had access to his mother's legally held firearms.

It's not only America that has such horrors, of course, as Dunblane knows to its cost. But the authorities here responded after 1996, banning private ownership and use of handguns in Britain.

But we can't be complacent. The UK last year had 58 gun deaths. This year, five people have been killed by guns in Scotland.

The NRA say the right to bear arms is needed to deter undemocratic government having a monopoly on force.

So explain Tunisia? The nation with the world's lowest fire-arms ownership – one gun for every 1000 citizens – toppled a dictator and sparked the Arab Spring. No turkey shoot there.

IN this season of good cheer, bad news abounds.

A third of Scots households are thought to be in fuel poverty – when more than 10% of your income goes on energy bills – and 300,000 more UK homes are ex-pected to follow before Christmas.

Also, one in four people in the UK say they are one pay cheque away from losing their home.

But not every-one is struggling. Glasgow has had a retail rush – some shops had record sales. Seems many are determined to enjoy Christmas come what may.

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