Blogging for gun safety reform and changing the conversation about the role of guns and gun violence in our communities. Common sense gun laws and gun safety reform and gun rights are not mutually exclusive.
It’s the land of “milk and honey”. It’s the land of the free. It’s the land of rock and roll and country music. It’s the land of apple pie and barbecue. It’s the land of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. It’s the land of wide open spaces and crowded cities. It’s the land of cowboys. It’s the land of slaves. It’s the land of Native American reservations. It’s the land of plenty and the land of slums. It’s the land of oceans, mountains, deserts and lakes. It’s the land of guns. It’s the land of school shootings. It’s the land of child shootings and gun suicides. It’s the land of domestic shootings and officer shootings. It’s the land of the corporate gun lobby.
An article about how America dealt with the Columbine shooting caught my attention this morning. Yesterday was the 16th anniversary of that heinous shooting that seemed to be a marker for all that followed. It is why so many Americans showed up to march on Mothers’ Day of 2000 in the Million Mom March. Americans were horrified that they could watch a mass school shooting on TV and wanted not to do that again. We were hopeful that common sense would prevail and something would change. What seemed to change was the fervor of the gun rights extremists in the face of possibilities to do something about school shootings and everyday shootings. Instead of working together to stop the violence, the gun lobby dug in its’ heels and ever since has become more and more resistant and militant. Their iconic leader, Wayne LaPierre appears to be more unhinged with every passing NRA convention and every mass shooting.
But I digress. More from the first linked article, above:
After Columbine there was a general sense that something had to be done. That kids getting killed at school was a thing we weren’t going to be okay with. “Never again,” as they say.
It wasn’t some fanciful impossibility. The British did it after Dunblane. And so we did that. Everyone got together and passed sweeping gun control legislation and there was never another mass shooting in America.
Except not really. Because the “never again” response—though shared by many—was not shared by all. (…)
Both responses, “never again” and “don’t bother trying,” offer statements about the USA. The former says “America is the greatest country on Earth. We went to the moon. Surely, we can stop kids from getting shot to death at school! If the Brits can do it, so can we. ” The latter says, “No, we can’t. We’re America. The greatest country on Earth and the cost of the liberty that makes us so is that our kids may get shot to death at school.”
Every time there is another mass shooting and nothing happens it becomes a little easier to believe that the “don’t bother” crowd is right.
And when someone bothers to do something about our nation’s public health and safety epidemic, it’s not OK with the gun rights extremists. It’s not OK with the gun lobby to suggest that gun safety reform will make us safer without infringing on their “God given” rights to do anything they want with their lethal weapons. Apparently it’s not OK for performers to have the freedom to perform benefit concerts for causes of their choice.
So let’s be bothered by the extremism and myths about gun violence. We should be bothered enough to do something about this national epidemic. Changing the conversation is a first step. Even that would bother the gun extremists. Strengthening our laws to reduce and prevent some of our gun violence would not be bothersome to gun rights no matter what is hyped about it. Let’s make America the land of gun safety reform and the public health of our children and families. That we haven’t bothered to do that so far is a national tragedy.
It’s madness. Where to begin? As more people carry more guns in more places, they also say and do more inane things with their guns and their thoughts about their “God given” rights to own and carry guns. It’s pretty overwhelming actually to sift through the stories that are posted about gun rights fanatics and insane shooting incidents. So for today, I will post just a few of many. Madness and fanaticism needs to be highlighted in order for the country to see how far the craziness is going about guns in America. Most especially, our political leaders need a dose of reality and common sense in order for them to get the courage to stand up for the majority.
Let’s get started. I will post just some of what is going on around the country.
Let me remind everyone that these provisions were not passed because Minnesotans were asking for them. They were passed because the corporate gun lobby is busy pushing to weaken gun laws across the country and they have managed to elect politicians to do their bidding. Who is thinking of the children?
One of the Republican presidential candidates is calling for insurrection. You just can’t make this stuff up. Senator Ted Cruz, part of the U.S. government himself, is calling for guns to be used to fight against the government. Common sense has taken a leave. This stuff is so extreme that even one of Cruz’s ultra conservative Senate colleagues had to back away from the insanity. From the article: ” TPM’s Sahil Kapur asked Grahamwhat he thought of his Texan colleague’s view of the Second Amendment, and the South Carolina senator was not impressed. He even invoked the Civil War, which should make Cruz’s people plenty upset. “Well, we tried that once in South Carolina,” Graham said. “I wouldn’t go down that road again.”” Who is thinking of our children?
These folks are fomenting fear and paranoia and ready to shoot and fight to the death apparently against some sort of imaginary “enemy”. Of course Ted Cruz may want to remember that he IS the government when he says these things. But never mind common sense. Anything goes on the campaign trail for some folks but cozying up to the gun extremists will not be a winning strategy.
We need to talk about musicians and other performers who headline shows for causes. Apparently some musicians can’t do what they want or perform where they want to without the wrath of gun fanatics. Such is the case of country music star Tim McGraw who will perform this summer at a benefit concert for Sandy Hook Promise, formed after the killing of 20 first graders at Sandy Hook elementary school. The gun fanatics are in a state of hysteria over this. Do they own country music? What is wrong with this nonsense? Who is thinking of the children? Tim McGraw, from the linked article: ““Let me be clear regarding the concert for Sandy Hook given much of the erroneous reporting thus far. As a gun owner, I support gun ownership,” he said. “I also believe that with gun ownership comes the responsibility of education and safety — most certainly when it relates to what we value most, our children. I can’t imagine anyone who disagrees with that.”“Through a personal connection, I saw first-hand how the Sandy Hook tragedy affected families and I felt their pain. The concert is meant to do something good for a community that is recovering,” he added.” Good grief. The pain and tragedy of the families of these young children is something the rest of us can not know. Reasonable gun owners support reasonable solutions to save our children. The gun extremists are out of control.
There’s much more gun and gun lobby madness of course. Every day there is much more. The gun lobby continues to push for extreme measures to weaken gun laws. They go too far. The public is not asking for or seeing the need for guns everywhere carried by anyone with no restrictions at all. Gun rights and gun safety reform can co-exist and do co-exist. The future of our country and our children depends on making sure they are safe in their homes and their communities. The fact that our legislators and Congress members are thinking more of themselves, their agenda, extreme views of gun rights , fear of a well financed interest group, and their re-election means they are not thinking of the children.
There are solutions to our national gun violence epidemic and we can save the lives of our children if we have the will and the education about what we can do. The Brady Campaign has it right. The ASK program encourages parents, grandparents and others to ask if there are guns around where children play and hang-out. This is a simple solution to some of our preventable and avoidable gun deaths. Safe storage of guns can save lives as well. Young children are curious and will touch things they shouldn’t. It’s up to adults to keep them safe from danger. We should not be reading about babies shooting babies or babies getting shot while riding in their car seats in their parents’ cars. We should not be reading about 3rd graders bringing air soft or any other guns to school threatening their teachers. The American gun culture has gone awry. Who is thinking of the children?
We are better than this.
I have already been updating this post but since my topic is madness and fanaticism with some insurrection thrown in, I really must post a comment from one of my readers. I will not give him the satisfaction of posting it as a comment with his name because that is what he wants. He somehow believes that he can rattle me with this comment. Rather I laughed and wondered in what world he lives? I do know from what city and state he comes because that comes through on comments on this posting sight. So he is more or less hiding in plain sight. Here is his comment, made on my post about Virginia Tech and the many victims of gun violence in April. Sensitive guy this one:
Did you ever consider that in the event that you actually GOT universal gun confiscation, that the end result would be armed revolution(Civil war) by all those “right wing nutjobs” you hate and fear so much? AND FYI the gun owners in the US out number every police officer and solder on earth COMBINED, by about two MILLION to one. The “gun nuts” “only” outnumber the combined government forces in the CONUS by a paltry twenty two million to one. I understand that I am intruding into your fantasy world and that you are incapable of understanding anything not couched in stupid hippy propaganda BS , but cripes lady why do you provoke people who honestly believe that ANY anti-gun law will end with the genocide of them and their families? People who WILL fight to the death in, and may even win a civil war ,that WILL be the result of any real attempt at gun confiscation. I understand that none of this will penetrate the six inches of neo-communist armor that protects your brain from reality, but I felt I had to try and drive a reality spike into your fantasy world. Barring that I could piss you off, and that in itself is a reward.
Sigh. A prime example of my point. I hope he will get his reward somewhere else because he didn’t p%$# me off.