Day 10: When a day begins with news of another gun massacre in the United States, you just know it's going to be a day overshadowed. This one involved the shooting of some twenty children and seven or eight adults...the figures not yet final at time of writing. Australia has strict gun laws. For many of us here, the relaxed laws in the United States remain a challenge to understand. Much of today's conversation reflected on the despair of the families of those murdered in such a callous and inexplicable way; the possible Christmas presents never to be unwrapped, the parents who shall never hug their children, the speculation (as always happens) about the motives of the gunman.
|Listening to the radio, and reading |
as news of the day unfolded. 6.12am
I also tend to read a little before I get up, when I have the luxury of time to do so. Some twenty or so years ago, a senior colleague in the Department where I then worked, just mentioned in passing that he always set aside extra time in the morning to read, rather than late at night. It's something I tried back then and yes, when time permits, it is far more efficacious than those last few moments before sleep.
|A job done 6.12pm|
But the day began and ends with thoughts of that gun massacre. Tighter gun controls seem to have worked in other jurisdictions; they seem politically impossible in the United States. And as I mowed, I wondered about the juxtaposition of state laws which can ban such weapons and yet utilise them in wars against other nation-states. It is the sort of puzzle which is central to my work as an international politics and security specialist. It is what troubled me for most of the day and certainly at 6.12am and 6.12pm; moments in life we can take for granted.
Tomorrow, Japan goes to the polls; tomorrow will be just another work day for me. For families in Newtown in Connecticut, US...well, I just can't begin to imagine.