Are stricter gun laws really the answer ?
It happens every time there’s another shooting massacre in the news: Celebrities and stars express horror, grief, rage, and some call for new gun laws.
Country star Toby Keith, who was once burned by gun-rights advocates, took a different approach Thursday night.
It was 24 hours after a lone white gunman shot up a Bible-study meeting at an historic African-American church Charleston, S.C., killing nine people and sending Americans into another national paroxysm of despair over violence, guns and racism.
Appearing on the red carpet at the Songwriters Hall of Fame gala in New York where he was being inducted, Keith said stricter gun laws would not have made a difference in Charleston.
“If it can happen in church, it can happen anywhere, so there’s no answer to it,” Keith said.
Countries with tough gun policies and very few guns in private hands, such as Norway, still have gun massacres, Keith said, apparently referring to the 2011 shootings and bombings of 77 people, many of them children, by a far-right and racist terrorist in and near Oslo.
Parts of Africa have strict gun laws, the good people have no guns, the bad people have illegal guns and crime is rampant. Get off a plane and be surrounded by men with machine guns, taking all of your belongings. Live in other parts, your shot on your way to work, or live in your own prisoned home with walls and barb wire fence.
Keith said it’s hard to predict when violence will happen. But if an armed police officer had been at the prayer meeting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, “maybe seven or eight of those nine people would still be alive.”
Most of the immediate celebrity reaction to Charleston was despairing, like this one from Taylor Swift.
But Keith’s comments should be placed in context. Two years ago, his name was attached to a new restaurant in Woodbridge, Va., the Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill.
Gun-rights advocates were surprised and furious about the house rule in gun-friendly Virginia: No guns allowed inside and a sign on the front door to that effect. Under state law, people can carry guns inside restaurants but not if the owner has posted a sign forbidding it.
Keith didn’t actually own the restaurant; the franchise just had rights to use his name. Nonetheless, a Boycott Toby Keith Facebook page soon emerged.
The restaurant is now closed.
Source: USA Today