On Thursday, June 16, the world witnessed the murder of Jo Cox, a member of Parliament. It was a tragedy that went beyond words as the murder struck down a young woman of 41 and mother who had only tried through her efforts to make people happy. She was a mother of two and wife to Brendan Cox. She left this world too early and she has left it a much poorer place by her loss.
Her murder was a reminder of what happened to Gabby Giffords, who was also visiting her constituents when the the murder attempt took place.
In the peaceful serenity of Bristall, West Yorksire, a lone gunman, a Thomas Mair attacked in a vicious way Jo Cox, by shooting and knifing her to death. This event is so unusual for England as the last member of Parliament to be killed was during the Irish troubles back in 1990.
How did this happen? America appears to have a connection to this killing in that the instructions on how to make handmade gun seems to have come from a handbook issued by the National Alliance, a White Supremacist group of some time ago. The information regarding how the manual came to be used in Mr. Mair’s case comes from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
There exist two different philosophies on the right to bear arms between our two countries. Britain believes that guns are dangerous and that the police are there to protect society against the use of a gun.
Up to this point in time we seem to believe that ownership of a gun is everyone’s right whether the person is mentally unstable or not or whether he is a terrorist or a criminal. If you want a gun you can just go to a gun show and buy whatever you want without a background check.
Our insane fascination with owning a gun seems to have spread to England, where Mr. Mair made his own gun, called a pipe pistol. Mr. Mair has a history, a history of suspected mental illness. The British will check into what institutional protection broke down to the point that Mr. Mair a follower and fancier of Nazi memorabilia was allowed to be part of the public while being suspected of having a mental illness.
America has a challenge facing it when it comes to the balancing of constitutional protections. We have the first amendment and the second amendment but does that allow for a group or individual to teach on line about how to make a gun or let us say a bomb? Does the public welfare outweigh the personal ability of a person to be armed and dangerous? Should the first amendment give us the freedom to teach on a computer to a person of suspect mental health problems or to just any ordinary citizen the ability to make a bomb or to make a pipe pistol. We will need to come to grips with this issue especially in a time where we are worried about terrorism. I would argue that such teachings should not be allowed as it is a threat to our safety.
In the meantime, England has lost a talented MP, Jo Cox, and her family has lost a Mum and wife, who will be missed by all that knew her.