"If you want to read a blog to get a sense of what is going on in Hong Kong these days or a blog that would tell you what life was like living in colonial Hong Kong, this blog, WALTER'S BLOG, fits the bill." Hong Kong Blog Review
"The profound outrage and horror expressed around the latest killings will bring no resolution even after this slaughter of 19 infants and two teachers."
Nothing will change despite all the anguished laments and handwringing following the latest US mass shooting. The sheer number of guns and powerful political forces mean that the killing will continue.
Ponder for a moment that the US has more guns than citizens. Then you know why firearms are the leading cause of death for America's children. Weigh that one up. And while the mass shootings get all the headlines, these only make up three per cent of the incidents; it is the trickle of one or two shootings in disadvantaged urban areas that swell the death count. Consider that Black Americans are 14% of the US population but account for half the nation's homicide victims.
I have some professional understanding of 'active shooter' incidents, having attended training with the NYPD and units in Florida. Yet, for Hong Kong police officers, the response to such an attack requires a significant shift in mindset and training.
The counting of every shot — fire, reassess and then decide your next move, isn't going to work with an active shooter hell-bent on slaughtering as many folks as possible as quick as possible. As my NYPD instructor asserted, "You go from morning coffee to full combat mode in seconds, ready to take on the shooter, neutralise them, and save the innocent."
I don't intend to mull on the details here, except officers must act extremely fast; you can't wait for backup; you can't wait to cordon and contain. Switching into that mode is no straightforward matter. Fortunately, Hong Kong, with its robust gun controls, has avoided such incidents. Indeed that's the way to go; cut off the supply of guns, so you don't need soldier-cops, metal detectors and schools with armed guards.
The profound outrage and horror expressed around the latest killings will bring no resolution even after this slaughter of 19 infants and two teachers. Why? Well, we've been here before. Remember Sandy Hook? Remember CalTech?
You have to factor in that the politicians in the gun lobby's pocket are already working to deflect blame. Watch Senator Ted Cruz evade the issue, to then flee when confronted with a rational and polite question here.
Meanwhile, online, an ardent gun-loving lunatic fringe will stop at nothing. After Sandy Hook, grieving parents fought hard to change gun laws, only to face defamation.
A whole genre of conspiracy theories erupted, including that the parents were 'crisis actors' employed to drive through stricter gun laws. Change looks near impossible against this background and the profound US societal polarisation. Sure, the politicians will tinker, adjusting a few rules to make a great play of that charade.
And so, while our kids can travel and attend school without the fear of taking a bullet in the head, sleepy Joe Biden lectures us about 'human rights'. Give me a break.
On a more positive note, at least this tragedy proved an opportunity for that well-known gun control advocate Megan Markle to garner some much-needed publicity. No doubt we will get a chance to relive her tears in an upcoming Netflix special.
Coming to a school near you!
Walter De Havilland was one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Royal Hong Kong Police and Hong Kong Police Force. He's long retired.