So let’s review this awful week.
58 dead and over 500 injured and we are told to be quiet and talk about guns and gun violence another time.
We were even told by South Dakota Senator John Thune to do more to get away from a shooter who is aiming a weapon with a “bump stock” making it act like a fully automatic weapon. He said we should “get small”.
Yes, he said that. He blamed the victims. I called his office and asked for an apology. As my family has suffered the loss of my sister to a gun homicide, I was wondering if she got small to try to defend herself against the totally unexpected situation of her estranged husband holding a gun to her head at close range. Then I started wondering if those innocent little children mowed down at Sandy Hook Elementary School could have gotten any smaller when a shooter rushed into their classrooms with no warning and opened fire.
Or what about Rep. Steve Scalise- one of their own? Could he have made himself small as a shooter took aim and seriously injured him? Yet, even he is afraid to speak up for what makes common sense. In fact in this article he claims that his own shooting “fortified his views on gun rights.” What? Yes, he said that. Check it out if you don’t believe me.
A stubborn adherence to an agenda without thinking through what could change to make us safer does not make sense- unless we follow the money and influence and the years of the gun lobby fooling us into believing that more guns would make us safer.
You can’t make this stuff up.
And it’s not the claimed insanity of the shooters I am talking about. It is our very own elected leaders who are exhibiting insanity.
We are told that this is about mental illness and evil people- not guns.
(Oh- and I haven’t even talked about the daily carnage from guns aside from the almost daily mass shootings. That would be the 90 or so Americans who die every day from gunshot injuries that don’t get 24/7 media attention. One just happened in my home town- a young man used a gun to end his own life.)
It is about guns. We all know that. Who do they ( corporate gun lobby that is) think they are fooling? Maybe a minority of Senators and Representatives who actually represent fewer of us than the majority.
Second, turning immediately to the “sickness” of the shooter and piously calling for better mental-health care is, more often than not, an attempt to divert attention from the main issue: guns. (It’s also breathtakingly cynical because the politicians who use this rhetoric are typically the ones who also aim to cut funding for mental-health treatment.) Every conversation about gun deaths should begin by recognizing one blindingly clear fact about this problem — the United States is on its own planet. The gun-related death rate in the United States is 10 timesthat of other advanced industrial countries. Places such as Japan and South Korea have close to zero gun-related deaths in a year. The United States has around 30,000.
This disparity is the central fact that needs to be studied, explained and addressed. When seen in this light, it becomes obvious why focusing on mental health is a dodge. The rate of mental illness in the United States is not anywhere close to 40 times the rate in Britain. But the rate of gun deaths is 40 times higher. America does have more than 14 times as many guns as Britain per capita, and far fewer restrictions on their ownership and use. That’s the obvious correlation staring us in the face, as we insist on talking about every other possible issue.
And then, he says what is now being spoken out loud but was only quietly said after each of the other now more frequent mass shootings that inflict only America:
Given the Second Amendment, America’s gun culture and the influence of the gun lobby, there isn’t any simple answer. But there are many small fixes that would make a big difference: universal background checks; restrictions on military-style weaponry (of which banning bump stocks would be a tiny first step); a ban on selling to people with a history of domestic violence or substance abuse. But first we have to stop the dodges and the diversions. When you consider America’s stubborn inaction in the face of this continuing and preventable epidemic of gun violence — I sometimes wonder if it is all of us Americans who are crazy.
It is actually not all of us. It is some of us. But we are all responsible for not taking on the lapdog politicians who owe allegiance to the corporate gun lobby. Shame on us all.
Who will be next? Where will the next deadliest shooting take place?
The NRA is trying again to fool us all ( cleverly and cynically) by saying maybe they would consider dealing with the “bump stocks” that were used in the nation’s worst massacre from guns. Who do they think they are fooling? Lapdog politicians for a few.
Why are “bump stocks” even a thing?
We are not fooled. The fox is guarding the hen house. In what world does the industry that makes the weapons used to mow down this many people get to decide on the policies that have allowed this to happen in the first place?
The NRA and its allies in the gun-rights movement want to avoid the airing in Congress of controversial issues such as universal background checks on gun sales, a ban on assault weapons and limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines.
When we make noise, it doesn’t look good for them. Profits may tumble. Power may crumble. More lives may be saved.
It’s been a hard week. The NRA went dark while the rest of us had vigils and calls to action. And no, thoughts and prayers are clearly not going to fix America’s unique national gun violence epidemic.
In what other country does this happen? It did happen once in Norway. When it happened in Australia, they acted. When it happened in Scotland, they acted.
The result? No more mass shootings.
Other countries have angry people and domestic abusers and felons and people with dangerous mental illness. What they don’t have is these people killing innocent citizens with guns they shouldn’t have had in the first place.
All brought to you by the corporate gun lobby.
Now is the time to talk about our gun violence epidemic. NOW IS THE TIME.
94% of Americans know this. Even Republicans. Even gun owners. But their leaders are not acting and, indeed, acting against the wishes of their constituents.
Those who refuse to act lack the courage to do what even in their own hearts they know is right.
Here are the ones who have taken the most money from the gun lobby. They are in part responsible for the carnage. There is really no other way to say it any more.
We can see you. We can see how much you have taken to stop efforts to save lives.
Shame on you.
It’s the guns, stupid. Or is it the stupid guns?
Our local Rabbi sent me this when he regretted he could not attend our candlelight vigil the other night due to a Jewish holiday:
“I join with all those who grieve at the massacre that took place in Las Vegas and who are frustrated at the timidity of our elected representatives who fail to enact reasonable gun control measures or, worse yet, seek to loosen those that already exist.”
Yes- loosen. Speaker Paul Ryan took the SHARE act off of the table- for now- knowing how insane it would be to consider deregulating gun silencers in light of the discussion about how much worse this mass shooting could have been had the shooter used silencers.
They got caught this time. The media and sane politicians exposed this insanity.
But we don’t trust that it will stay off the floor. After the tears dry and the talk dies down and the victims’ families quietly mourn, the lapdog politicians will try to sneak it in.
And we know that the NRA has already said that their priority is the national concealed carry reciprocity act. In light of the Las Vegas massacre, we ought to consider how cynical it is to push this bill right now. But it will be used as another excuse to loosen gun laws that need tightening. Because- rights- the second amendment. I mean, think about how a person without a permit or training could have saved the day outside of the Mandalay Bay hotel that night!
In their dreams.
Fantasyland. This article explains it better:
The least fantastical is the idea that if a criminal threatens or attacks tomorrow, you want a gun handy to kill him. Being prepared for a showdown with a bad guy is the main reason gun owners give for owning one, and in the surveys that answer has doubled since the 1990s. During the same period, the chance of an American actually having such an encounter has decreased by half. In New York City, where restrictions on owning and carrying guns are among the strictest in the United States, the chance of being murdered is 81 percent less than it was in 1990. (…)
But beyond the prospect of protecting oneself against random attacks—and by the way, among the million-plus Americans interviewed in 10 years of Crime Victimization Surveys, exactly one sexual assault victim used a gun in self-defense—several outlandish scenarios and pure fantasies drive the politics of gun control. One newer fantasy has it that in the face of an attack by jihadi terrorists, armed random civilians will save the day. Another is the fantasy that patriots will be obliged to become terrorist rebels, like Americans did in 1776 and 1861, this time to defend liberty against the U.S. government before it fully reveals itself as a tyrannical fascist-socialist-globalist regime and tries to confiscate every private gun.
A friend noted on her Facebook page that it dawned on her that gun control is actually guns controlling our politicians.
Where is common sense?
Now is the time.