10 people have died after an 18-year-old man pulled out a gun and started shooting in a New York state supermarket on Sunday, 15th May.
The suspected gunman has been identified in court documents as Payton Gendron, of Conklin, New York.
Of the 13 people shot, police said 11 were Black. The authorities say it was a racially motivated attack in what is a predominantly Black neighbourhood.
According to the BBC, some 40,000 deaths a year involve firearms in America, a figure that includes suicides. Despite this, US gun laws are pretty relaxed compared to other countries. Which makes it all the more unusual that the country has had no issue banning a number of other things that, to us at least, seem far less harmful than guns.
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Take these ten examples:
Honking your horn in front of a sandwich shop
In Little Rock, Arkansas, after 9pm, it is illegal to honk your car horn in front of a sandwich shop. Or any place where cold drinks are served. Obviously.
In Sandy Springs, Georgia, the law declares that “any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs is obscene material” and prohibited. In 2016, an attempt was made to appeal the ban but to no success. In Georgia, you need a license to carry a gun but anyone over 21 can have one in their homes.
In Kansas, minors are not allowed to buy toy guns. Last year, Kansas passed a bill to lower the legal age to carry a firearm from 21 to 18. Why not?
In a decision that has Big Brexit Energy, the US government passed a law in 2004 stating that any cheese aged under 60 days imported to or sold in the US must be made with pasteurized milk. This means many kinds of cheese including brie are banned.
In Carmel, California, you need a permit to walk through the streets in heels over two inches high. How lovely of America to think about people’s safety.
In 2005, the USA banned beluga caviar because of fears it is produced in an unsustainable way. In 2005, there were at least four mass shootings in America, including the Tacoma Mall shooting in which a gunman entered the mall and opened fire, injuring six.
Calling vegetarian substitutes ‘meat’
In several states in the US, it is illegal to label vegetarian burgers ‘burgers’ or ‘sausages’. In several states in the US, it is legal to carry a gun without a permit, and presumably, you can call it a burger or whatever the hell you want.
Sharing your Netflix password
In Tennessee, you cannot share logins to your Netflix, iTunes, Spotify and other services, as of 2011. Harsh!
In 2014, Nigella Lawson was stopped from boarding a British Airways flight to the states after she confessed to taking drugs The ban was later lifted in preparation for her show The Taste.
Skydiving while drunk
Ok, this one seems fair enough.
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