Has a Small Nation in The Balkans Shamed The USA?


Sometimes, more often than we would like we label. It can be a political view, a social grouping, a community and even a whole nation. This is another of those which has long, long history in Humanity’s stumbling.

Back in the 1990s Yugoslavia tore itself apart in a series of wars which themselves had their own series of complex back-stories. There was a lot of anger at what was going on and the supine approach of European governments. Being the largest grouping of peoples The Serbs got the worst press. With execrable characters like Slobodan Milošević on the loose it was all too easy to ditch all sense of proportion. Eventually there was a peace of sorts, but that legacy remained. And it’s not too hard to find within the European media some news item, article or book which may still point a finger at Serbia and its peoples as possibly still being a problem. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine news items suggesting wide-scale support amongst Serbians for Putin were frequent, possibly ignoring the fact that you have to dive deep into the layers of histories in that region to understand. The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went To War in 1914 by Christopher Clark is a book with much merit, but you have to question his objectivity when he deals with Serbia, which by his account was a turbulent place in which villainous fanatical thugs held sway suggesting it was Serbia and most Serbians being a major factor in the start of WWI. If you read The War That Ended Peace by Margaret MacMillan you will feel that most of Europe from street level to philosophers were raising the pressure from the 1880s.

So, Serbia and Serbian. Today. Now. This month:

You may or may not have read about the opening week of May which shook Serbia:


Two mass killings. Some would cynically say, ‘an ordinary day in the USA’

Now read the reaction in Serbia days later:


And then this remarkable items:


See the last, people still living in the wake of a visceral war, with raw memories still handing in their guns, as a response to the deaths of innocents. So are this ‘Serbians’ so bad? Do they not suffer and weep like others over the deaths of the innocents? Voluntarily handing over their guns, which have been kept illegally for years. Shaken by these deaths.

And now compare, with the reactions in the USA. The thoughts and the prayers. The excuses. The firm resolve that ‘they shall not have our guns’. The abrogation of responsibility as the deaths mount up. You don’t need the details or the names, you have been angered and sickened by these folk, who refuse to accept their part in the deaths of children. Who in snide remarks reckon that a suggestion there are too many guns in the USA is somehow Socialism, something they know absolutely nothing about. You know their scripts, I am not going to dignify them by including their words and their grinning faces once more.

USA look to Serbia, look at its recent history and its geographical positioning. In the harsh, cynical, bitter Realpolitik World a case could be argued for Serbs having kept their illegal weapons ‘just in case’. What excuse does the pro-gun lobby in the USA have. Nothing, but a neurotic fantasy built on a misreading of a document written in another era for another reason.

In the light of the response in Serbia, which let us remind ourselves like most nations is hardly angelic, the pro-gun stance of the USA is nothing but inexcusable.


36 thoughts on “Has a Small Nation in The Balkans Shamed The USA?

  1. Wow, Roger! They are handing in their guns voluntarily because after “only” two mass shootings, they are sickened by it and want no more of it! While here in the U.S. there have been over 200 mass shootings in less than 5 months, and the House of Representatives has proposed a bill to reverse the small bit of gun regulation we have, as some states have already rolled back their few gun laws!!! No, I don’t think we have any right to be critiquing Serbia … we better be taking a look in the mirror! I had, of course, heard of the two mass shootings in Serbia earlier this month and was surprised — I thought that was strictly an “American thing”, but I wasn’t aware that Serbians were protesting loudly and willing to give up their guns for the safety of their children, their nation. Thumbs up to them, and BIG thumbs DOWN to the U.S.!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. So many years defending the USA from our ‘fashionable’ liberals and bigots masking as socialists, even to the extent of saying the USA folk had the right to choose Bush jnr in the second election…..
        All that effort, just seems so much dust now….
        Hope, though, there is always Hope….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, it wears folk down, particularly when there are domestic calls or general well-being taking their attention.
        We then go into our final default:
        ‘You an’t the boss of me’
        There is a quiet dignity there, because no matter what else they try and do, they can’t literally change your mind, or heart or soul.


    1. Hi, Jill! You banned me from your blog for disagreeing with you about gun control — and, I suspect, for providing facts & figures inconvenient to your narrative. Unlike you, this blogger has the decency and maturity to engage in a civil and productive discussion.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I haven’t ever actually banned anyone, but you and a handful of others are set such that your comments go into moderation for my review before being published. I don’t recall you, so it’s apparently been a while since you tried to comment. Yes, sometimes Roger is more decent than I … and he has more patience with people than I do.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Me, have more patience? 🙂
        Thank you M’am…..but Sheila is rolling her eyes and stifling a snigger.
        (If you wouldn’t mind, pass me that firebrand, I’ve just noticed on FaceBook another of my ‘brother’ UK socialists come up with less than sensible comment)
        PS: I owe you an e-mail.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Heh heh … well of course she is rolling her eyes … it’s kind of required that we do that, y’know? Plus, she hasn’t seen my really ranty side! Passing you the firebrand as we speak … put it to good use, Sir Roger! Just read email … will reply shortly!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Time lapse. I’m guessing as I write this you should be considering snooze time Jill.
        I realised the person I was about to firebrand might be linked by degrees of separation to one of Sheila’s writing forums*….I backed off with justa …….sigh….. and read comic books.
        (*Made that mistake once before)
        I’ll check out the e-mails later on today (Dental Hygienist beckons)

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I DID opt for the snooze time, and thus haven’t responded yet, but will shortly! Oh yes, I can see where that could cause some problems, insulting one of Sheila’s readers! Good luck at the dentist!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Oh man, the dentist. Twas but a teeth clean, but I was still knocked about. I drove back super-hyper-alert, then got home and deflated while my mind went somewhere around the orbit of Jupiter (I think)…Though I did do some ironing……Can’t think where that urge came from, Sheila didn’t mind though 😆

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I’m the same with the dentist … even the simplest visit is stressful and exhausting! But … ironing??? Methinks a kip would have been a better way to recover! Ironing??? I think only you Brits still iron … both David and his daughter still iron most everything, but I don’t know anybody in the U.S. who irons anymore, except for the occasional shirt to be worn for a special occasion! I cannot remember the last time my ironing board was out, but I know it’s been at least 15 years!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Hello Matt
        I would like to thank you for that closing comment, which I accept in the spirit it was sent. It is only fair to you that in the spirit of Open Disclosure I openly admit to often be something of a firebrand when the mood or subject takes me. Most of the evidence of debris is on FaceBook during threads involving Brexit, judgemental, accusations on religion in general and the never-ending internal vitriolic feuds within the UK Left (accusations of folk being ‘Left-wing’ or ‘Socialist’ in the USA tend to bemuse us and mutterings by some as the accused being mere ‘Liberal Sell-Outs’).
        My other Open Disclosure at this stage, was my sixty plus years great fondness for the USA, its myriads folks, its structures and innovative cultures. The USA is a sort of ‘adopted’ nation to me. Thus there is in my heart and mind a measure of investment in its times and futures.
        Jill and I admit to sharing that firebrand tendency, and we are great Word Press friends of several years. Actually at times Jill is far more restrained and reasonable than I am. This says a great deal about the difference between Americans and us folk from the long, troubled and frequently tragic European heritages. There a few folk I have met on ‘WP’ from the USA and Canada who have reeled in my more heavy-handed commentaries.
        In concluding this particular post my reasons for involving myself in US circumstances are concerns that I see themes of discord which could lead, if unchecked to a situation of communal disruption on a parallel with which our Northern Ireland experienced in in final third of the last century. And I care too much for the USA not to voice my concerns.
        Anyway with that piece said I will now move to your reply and take up the thread.


  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    I have long valued the opinions of our friends across the big pond … they often see us more clearly than we see ourselves, for they have the benefit of distance, they are not bombarded every day with the flaws of the “American Way.” One of those is our good friend Roger, whose post I share today. The U.S. touts itself as “the freest nation on earth,” but are we? Methinks we could learn a thing or two from the Serbian people …

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You are exactly right … freedom is in the eyes of the beholder, as they say. I saw the article about Target and the LGBTQ items earlier today and am still growling. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have to say Jill I don’t buy into this ‘Deep State’ idea aside from the usual machinery of government we don’t hear about until years later when folk for one reason or another start to write their account of being there, which makes it not very Deep only evasive, for a time.
        My reasonings are as follows
        1. In Democracies the normal turbulent, messy interaction of individuals involved in the running of a government is loose. This means folk looking to pay back old scores, further their ambitions, or just going rogue have numerous outlets to make their feelings known. Or someone makes a lot of noise just to further the political aims of one side or another. Democracies are sieves. ‘It gets out’ for better or for worse, and ‘sells’ in the media.
        2. At the opposite end of the scale, Suppression of individual expression has to be seen as a public action. Thus although more goes on the folk don’t know about, there is no Deep State because the State is there looking over your shoulder and you know it, and it makes sure you know it knows too.
        3. And there are the permutations in between those too.
        4. The failed states lurch from one coup to another, so no cunning long term planning.

        Thus there are many ‘things’ going on, but this Deep State idea. Like true Democracy or the Perfect Benign Authoritarian state ; it doesn’t work in reality.

        Cynically as ever
        Me 😉


    1. Since my post was comparing national reactions to similar events, it would be unfair of me to isolate one individual I do not know, nor have any idea of their specific motivations and views.
      The question you asked I will leave to your own individual conscience.


      1. Okay, who has abrogated their responsibility for, and denied their part in, the deaths of children? In what way did they play a part?

        And should someone, who played no part, be morally obliged to voluntarily hand in their firearms? Or does mere possession of a firearm = culpability?


      2. In answer to the first part, that depends on whether they are in a position to influence the situation. When there is a consistent series of tragic events the question is what is the reaction of those in a position to take preventative action? There in lies the indication as to the level of responsibility expected.

        As for gun ownership that has many levels doesn’t it?
        Listening to our BBC a while back I thought there was a most thoughtful point put by a reporter who interviewed a single mom living in a small town with small income with two teenage boys who took her licensed hunting rifle out to legally hunt deer so she could literally put meat on the table.
        If I happened to move to the USA (unlikely at 71) once settled I would seek out advice if I was entitled to own a gun, which handgun I should buy and then seek responsible training. Not because it would be a ‘right’ but as a legally defined ‘insurance policy’ in the hope I could at least have some sort of chance against a random killer or quasi-militia intimidation or intruder. And make sure I knew when to have the safety on, and when I am in an angry mood tell my wife to keep the damn thing out of my hands.
        So therefore mere possession of a firearm does not equate with culpability.
        Where culpability comes in is in the concern over the controls, sanction and availability of guns and the type of weaponry available.
        When you move into those areas and the potentiality of mass harm being done then you are dealing with hard questions.


  3. Blaming elected officials for not taking preventative action is petitio principii. The so-called ‘common sense’ gun control proposals make no sense at all, as they’ve been proven to not prevent deaths from guns. The so-called ‘red flag’ laws which are high on the list right now are not just insufficient, they violate our constitutional protections for due process, right to face our accusers, right to speedy trial, and the very principle of guilty until proven innocent.

    Other measures and reforms which would be effective — such as improved mental health services, stricter penalties for illegal weapons possession, and improvements to the reporting on which our background check system depends — are shouted down by the anti-gun activists and opposed by Democrats in Congress and state legislatures.

    Every adult in the US, who is not a felon or mentally incompetent, has the right to own & carry any firearm in common use. The overwhelming majority of the 80 million gun owners take safety & proficiency very seriously, as witnessed by the infinitesimal number (a few dozen each year) of accidental deaths among lawful gun owners. Further, 99.21% will never harm an innocent person.* The “potentiality of mass harm” emanates solely from a small number of deranged or criminal individuals.



  4. I apologise for the delay in replying:

    Elected officials by their very intention to seek public office which is the administration of a community, must be the nature of that role be ready to accept criticism in not dealing to the best of their ability with a detrimental situation. I would argue that a situation of triple figure of shooting incidents defined as ‘Mass Shootings’ in which four or more people are injured or killed is a detrimental situation. The issue here is the limiting of acts of harm to innocent members of the public and their right to procedure in their day to day affairs.

    “Other measures and reforms which would be effective — such as improved mental health services, stricter penalties for illegal weapons possession, and improvements to the reporting on which our background check system depends” now these I agree are worthy measures. As these measures appear to currently flawed, then it has to be asked are both sides of the argument willing to work together. Not just the legislators but the large majority of the public in consensus.

    The idea that there is a right to bear arms is no doubt set within the American culture. The questions follow. (A) How many guns does one person need? (B) How willing are people who wish to own guns ready to subscribe to thorough back ground checks to verify their responsibility? (C) How many are willing to accept the view of an administration that they are not suitable to carry arms? (D) Are people ready to accept regular background checks and assessments? I ask the last question since not all mass shooting involve illegal firearms.

    To follow on from these questions we must accept the fact that shooters are in unstable states of mind, for a multitude of reasons. To return to those questions it must be asked since there appear to be a number of unstable and violently inclined people, should firearms be so easily available? You will see the problem is therefore one which is almost circular. In turn this comes to that thorny question are people willing to accept intrusion into their lives, that is accept some the loss of rights to privacy in exchange for the right to carry guns. Is this something the 90+% are willing to accept?

    In the UK. Here we are plagued by knife crime, usually involving gangs of youths engaged in their own turf (also known as post code wars, a post code defining territories). There were three cases involving fatalities over the last three weeks. In the UK knives cannot be sold to young people. In addition in large stores knives, including small kitchen knives are often security locked and you have to ask a member of staff to release that lock. Anyone found carrying a knife for no obvious purpose even someone of advanced years might find a police officer asking them stern questions and getting a lecture, possible self defence being no excuse. This has been accepted. That said the illegal possession is still a problem, so no solution is easy.

    At the end of the day, there remain, the bodies of children and adults who were going about their ordinary lives. Therein lies that persistent question, how far is everyone ready to go in the hope that by their actions they will reduce the risk of that happening again?


    1. “[S]ince there appear to be a number of unstable and violently inclined people, should firearms be so easily available?”

      They shouldn’t be available to these people at all. But making it harder for everyone else to acquire or keep firearms won’t help.

      Responding to your other questions:
      A) It doesn’t matter how many guns a sane, law-abiding person has;
      B) No one minds the instant background check for purchases from a licensed dealer. FYI, what is checked is criminal and mental health records, not ‘responsibility’;
      C) It doesn’t matter what felons or the mentally incompetent feel about it;
      D) Background checks for commercial sales, yes; depending on what you mean by ‘assessments’, probably, no.

      It’s ridiculous for the UK to regulate cutlery as it now does. Not only does it place a huge imposition on ordinary folks — instead of targeting the few bad actors — it doesn’t even work.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Again sorry for delay in replying Matt.

        To go to the last paragraph first. There is no public drive to have this rescinded, it is accepted, the comments will be more about the administration of Law & Order; on that subject it has occurred to me that a determined person could do a lot of harm with a dinning fork or other domestic items, and these measures do not stop the trade in illegal knives. But we accept that something is better than nothing, the symbolism of the act is unifying for the majority of the population. I daresay a few will complain but they have no traction on the ease of access of knife issue.

        The above ties in not in the detail but in one important aspect of the availability of firearms in the USA. It would seem that the subject has become politically energised as a strongly defining issue and by the opinion held a person is judged. This in turn becomes another factor in the polarisation of US society. Now if the situation was the principal of the ownership of guns and the loss of life was in general arising within the violent criminal community where illegal ownership would be common then the questions and debates would take other directions. However with the increase in the frequencies of killings and numbers of casualties including children this will raise feelings of anguish and amongst a section of the population fear and anger factors. These emotions are not restricted to gun crime but will have other causes and the emotions released are powerful indeed, as we experienced during the era when Brexit was being debated, and still remains a bitter issue.

        Whereas it can be hoped that folk, communities and organisation might with a certain degree of willingness might be expected to reach their own compromises through exchange of views. The problem is when those who have their own political agendas raise the temperature of the debate as they court publicity and approval. In this I cite one example whose comments offended me on a personal basis.
        This would be Lauren Boebert whose ill advised remarks about Our Lord Jesus Christ carrying an AR15 not only offensive but since she was referring to Our Lord’s Passion was blasphemous. These kinds of commentaries serve only to drive both sides apart, particularly when the speaker is not universally commended by the religious grouping they claim to belong to.
        Until the politicians are willing to take the heat out of the debate compromise cannot be discerned as happening. Unless the majority of the voters of all sides demand of their representatives to get together for everyone’s sakes.

        In conclusion I add this item from the BBC news:


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