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Why Do Americans Keep Trying to Dodge the Bullet on Gun Control?

23/06/2016 09:48 | Updated 23 June 2016

When I'm choosing which desk to sit at in our small newsroom office in Los Angeles, I position myself so I can see the door. We now carefully ensure it is always locked and everyone has to buzz for secure entry - even though we are situated behind metal gates in a quiet street near a beach in near paradise. We hot-seat so always sit somewhere different - and so each and every time I check to see where the exits are and plan my exit from that particular work station.

Through the marketing office then hide behind the wall until I can make a dash for the exit door. Past the picture desk and bail through the stationary store to the fire exit. Definitely don't head up the corridor to the toilets, there are no windows and no exits. Of the nineteen hot desks positions available, I have run through the possible survival stats in a shooting almost every day that I've come to work.

My friend's son is 5-years-old. At his school in the Valley, in Los Angeles, they are taught what to do if there is an active shooter. At five years old, I did not know what the phrase active shooter was, unless it involved my older brother and a potato pellet. But none of this is child's play.

It was very real indeed for the family of Christina Grimmie, a 22-year-old singer and former contestant of The Voice who was gunned down by a crazed fan as she trustingly signed autographs after a concert in Florida. Her blossoming career and life stolen from her by a crazed lunatic. A crazed lunatic who was legally armed by her fellow citizens.

Twenty-four hours later, 49 people on a Saturday night out were slaughtered by a gunman at a LGBT nightclub in Orlando. The perpetrator was on a terror watch-list which forbid him from flying but not from owing a deadly weapon.

No one going into a nightclub should have any possibility of not coming back. No one signing an autograph should be considering the possibility that she will be killed by a firearm. No child at school should know what to do when there's an active shooter, and when I was living and working in London, I never checked the safety routes in case of gunshots.

The carnage caused by America's love affair with guns is starkly clear to anyone. Or so you'd think. Yet Americans continue to argue passionately for their guns, gun-ownership has increased, not decreased - and the Senate just blocked measures to increase background checks and close the so-called 'terror-gap' - to prevent those on terrorist watch lists from owning guns. If they wouldn't do it for the children of Sandy Hook, what made any us hope they'd have the sense and empathy to do it now?

The common-sense reforms that would stop suspected terrorists purchasing firearms which were rejected by the Senate are supported by 92 % of Americans.

I wrote a pro-gun control Tweet and was criticised by a pro-gun Tweeter. He wrote, 'You want to impose gun control because of one guy with a gun in Orlando?' I replied, 'No. I want to because of the 49 people he killed with it.'

And that's the fundamental problem. The value placed on gun ownership is greater than the respect human life. They want them, and consider mass-murder to be the collateral damage of their 'rights'. And as while they continue to argue against reform they have blood on their hands.

They are right about one thing - laws will not work unless people want to comply with them. You do have to win the hearts and minds of gun-owners, they have to view them differently, as the deadly cause of cutting short the lives of innocent people - and want to change it. I'm terrified of guns, not in love with them. I truly don't understand the brick-wall in defiance of the cause.

America. Please. It's time. You want America to be 'great again'? Then take it back to a time before weapons designed for mass murder were being protected by a small-minded minority. To remove guns from easy access IS your first baby step to greatness. Step forward.

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