I saw a post on the 4th of July mocking gun control advocates for celebrating the occasion, because they claimed ‘if they didn’t have guns, today wouldn’t be a holiday.’
It got me wondering what would have happened if the US didn’t resort to a violent overreaction over the price of tea all those years ago. They’d be a completely different nation. A civilised colony of the British Empire, like Australia, Canada or New Zealand, rather than paranoid gun toting patriots who’ve built their entire identity on the eagerness to commit violence.
I don’t think much else would have changed. As the oldest, largest and best resourced region of the ‘new world’, all the advantages that have seen them become what they are would have remained. They would still have the largest population, and with it the largest economy, and therefore become a hub for global intellectuals, art and business. As a result they would still command the same power and influence.
But, they would have avoided a war for independence. They would have solved slavery with the stroke of a pen instead of another war, and decades sooner. They would have been drawn in to the World Wars to assist the allies much earlier, minimising the duration, damage and death count.
The holiday is quite a weak point, given the US have one of the lowest levels of public holidays, guaranteed vacation time and maternity/paternity leave in the western world.
Also, they wouldn’t live in a culture that makes the events of the past two days not only possible, and routine, but a virtual certainty.
The most disturbing fact of the Dallas shootings and preceding events is that the 7 deaths and few wounds barely adds a couple of percentage points to the average daily US gun toll.