AT AN AIRPORT I overhead smug Asians sneering at American companions about gun violence in the West. Don’t do this. Truth is, the gun situation in Asia is sometimes worse than on the other side of the world
The US gun lobby has a motto which says: “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” But that actual situation is evolving in parts of Asia, such as India and the Philippines, I learned from a conversation with a security specialist.
1. Indian citizens are not allowed to carry weapons, but the scariest group of people in the country, politicians, are armed to the teeth. A recently released list of gun-collecting members of parliament included 18 with serious criminal cases pending against them, ranging from kidnapping and murder to having astonishingly bad haircuts.
(“Like my new haircut? Be honest, dude.”)
2. The Philippines’ homicide rate is worse than Europe’s and approaching that of Washington DC kindergartens.
Manila newspapers carry ads saying “Give Your Loved One a Handgun This Christmas”.
3. In China, shooting someone gets you the death penalty, unless you work for the government, in which case you get promoted two grades.
4. And as for America, let’s pause to say a prayer for the two police officers in the town of Vaughn, population 500, in the state of New Mexico.
Residents are allowed to openly carry weapons—except for the two cops, according to KOB-TV.
Both have “domestic dispute” convictions which ban them from carrying guns.
Can you imagine these guys keeping the rest of the town in order?
“Put down your weapons or we will give you severe tongue-lashing.”
I know teachers who use that line all the time, and it gets you nowhere.
IN OTHER NEWS
A FEMALE HEARSE driver died at the wheel of her vehicle in the US district of Beverley Hills last week, I heard from a reader Wendy Tong. I wonder what whoever found her said to the police? “There’s a hearse with a dead body in it.”
WHEN A SEVERE drought threatened crops in Bangalore recently, civil servants snapped into action. They instructed all 34,000 temples in the area to inform the gods that a heavy downpour was required IMMEDIATELY, I heard from reader Virat Pathan.
It must be really easy being a temple god. All you have to do is answer prayers, and “No” counts as an answer.
Virat was shocked that the authorities in 2012 could display such “superstitious ignorance”.
I agree, everyone knows that rainfall is decided by Weather Angels.
(Pic borrowed from The Hindu)
ON A RELATED topic, the 41,000 spells for sale on eBay are to be removed on September 1. The web auction site is banning enchantments and incantations. Witches are furious. This is terrible news for those of us planning to make bulk sales to the state government of Bangalore.
(Pic from Daily Mail)
IN TAIWAN, activists are working to settle the China-Japan argument over the Diaoyu / Senkaku Islands by building a statue of a Chinese sea god which will repel Japanese boats. No disrespect, but I hope they have a Plan B.
DID YOU SEE the news report saying that a man suffering from memory loss managed to work out who he was and what he did by examining Facebook picture files? How is this news? Doesn’t everybody do that at the end of each week?
SORRY TO HEAR about the death of Neil Armstrong. But I do regret the fact that he was given the chance to make one of the most important speeches in the history of the world got it wrong! ARRGGHH. Full story here.
Jo McGowan Chopra says: "The CNN-IBN newscaster got the quote turned around yesterday - "one small step for mankind; one giant leap for a man."
In the meantime, readers sent in this interesting “misprunt” in the Hindustan Times – can you find it?
Meanwhile, Grandpa suggests that the whole moon landing was fake, and designed to scare the Russians. Evidence here. Actually, I could go either way on this one. I still find it hard to look at the moon and really believe that people have walked on it.
NICE EXAMPLE of synchronized movements from this group of soldiers in Belarus. They move in tandem, without falling over: it’s a bit like the Mexican wave dance. It’s the sort of co-ordination you expect in China, but not from the west, perhaps.
MEANWHILE, thanks for the tip off about the lion roaming the English countryside. The whole country is in an uproar about whether it is real or not.
Police say no, and have called off the search. If someone gets eaten, they may start looking for it again.