There’s a lot to cry about these days. I know I have shed a few tears over the dead bodies piling up on American soil- dead from gunshot injuries. I can feel the grief and pain of their families as they try to cope with the sudden and violent death of a loved one. I’ve been there. I’ve cried my own tears over my sister’s gun death.
As you would expect, the controversy over abortion and a woman’s right to choose have been much in the news after a man shot up a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. Some are blaming the victims or Planned Parenthood itself for the shooting. Some are saying that if only people inside had been armed, this would not have happened.
They must have conveniently forgotten that one of the victims was an armed officer.
But back to babies, I recently read this article. There are hardly words for this “accidental” shooting:
Police say Saturday afternoon, three adults, along with Nathaniel Hitt, were in the living room of the apartment: Bartle, Selena Hitt, and another man described by police as a family friend who was visiting.
The accidental shooting happened after Bartle, who is not Nathaniel’s father, cleaned his 12-gauge shotgun in the living room, loaded the weapon and installed an accessory grip on the shotgun, police said. Bartle, allegedly had the shotgun on his lap with the muzzle pointed in the direction of the child, then attempted to stand while still holding the gun, police said. The shotgun fired, and a round of ammunition struck the child in the upper body area, police said.
“The whole thing that gets me…is why would he reload it (the shotgun) in the house,” Muntz said.
“Why wouldn’t my daughter say something?”
There are no answers for this heinous lapse of judgement and irresponsibility with guns. The thing is, the gun lobby can say what they want about “law abiding” gun owners being responsible. But in order to sell more guns, they encourage just about anyone to purchase them with no idea how to really use them or be responsible with them. Thus, these are the news headlines over and over and over again.
Can we talk about how to be responsible for the lives of actual babies after they are born? Did you know that one toddler a week is dying from gunshot injuries? Why is this not as shocking as those who scream about abortion killing fetuses who are not yet born?
For example, as this writer points out, certain models of baby cribs have been banned because a few children have died as a result of their design. We don’t want products that kill babies. Banning them is a good idea. And so this writer wonders why we don’t ban guns. Perish the thought!!! Us
gun banners can’t utter that word because…rights.
But let’s look at what this writer has to say:
We know this intuitively, since we’ve had to add numerous amendments to make up for their failures, lack, or just plain ignorance. But if we can add, we can also take away, by interpreting the Second Amendment differently or passing a new amendment that would effectively repeal it. We should never do so lightly, of course—taking away rights can be, and often is, a risky enterprise. But the purpose of a right should be individual and collective flourishing. A right, in other words, has as its goal the individual and common good, even if we don’t like to use such weighty moral terminology nowadays.
It’s not clear to me that gun ownership accomplishes that purpose. It seems more the case that it works against the good of all, in the havoc and murder it wreaks but also in the fear that in promotes. At the very least, we should have a discussion about the relationship of guns to the common good, instead of appealing like a fundamentalist to “rights” every time something happens that questions their value.
(…) A crib or, perhaps, a car, may kill under certain circumstances, but that’s not what a crib or a car is for. When death does result from their use, we assume that they have, in some way, been misused. At the very least, they have failed to fulfill their intended purpose, intentionally or not. Not so with a gun. The whole point of a gun is to injure or kill. Guns can certainly be used in other ways and for other reasons, such as sport, but these are secondary to its primary function. When a gun is used to injure or kill, it’s being used as intended. It’s the gun that’s at issue, because of the type of object that it is.
This person is speaking my language and speaks for the majority of us when he says this:
No “responsible” gun owner ever thinks he’ll ever misuse his gun—until he does something stupid, gets angry in the wrong place at the wrong time, leaves it unattended with children around, or simply snaps. Perhaps that doesn’t happen most of the time, but it happens frequently enough to raise questions, even though we usually don’t.
First of all, guns are the only product not regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Thanks corporate gun lobby.
Secondly, did I ever think my mild mannered and sort of quirky brother-in-law would “snap” and kill my sister during a contentious divorce? No. I am betting he didn’t think he would either. He might even have surprised himself but then tried to make up reasons why he just had to shoot her.
He had access to guns.
That’s what happens folks. Just because it has not happened to you doesn’t mean it won’t.
And speaking of irresponsible gun owners, you really need to check out this Christmas card from Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore showing her family armed and ready for the holidays. Nothing says Christmas joy like a 5 year old bearing a Walther P22. I can only hope that that 5 year old will be responsible with his gun in the new year.
Even scarier is that Ms. Fiore is running for Congress and has published an assault weapon calendar to make sure voters understand her adherence to the corporate gun lobby. She is exactly who we don’t want to elect to Congress. If there is any common sense for Nevada voters, they will soundly reject her.
Where is common sense? Totally lacking for many gun owners and therein lies our love affair with guns as I wrote about yesterday. But we aren’t having it. For the first time since 1920, the New York times published an editorial about the failure of our Congress to stand up to the NRA and the corporate gun lobby. It is a powerful testament to what the majority of Americans are now feeling. It is a moral outrage at the least.
Thank you New York Times. We are not helpless to stop this insidious epidemic that is killing our children and families. The Onion got to the root of the problem in their satire about helpless America not being able to do anything about our gun violence problem:
There really wasn’t anything that was going to keep these individuals from snapping and killing a lot of people if that’s what they really wanted.” At press time, residents of the only economically advanced nation in the world where roughly two mass shootings have occurred every month for the past six and a half years were referring to themselves and their situation as “helpless.”
We are not helpless. We can pass a law requiring Brady background checks on all gun sales. We can stop terrorists from being able to legally buy guns. But we don’t.
Babies don’t have to die from gunshot injuries. Toddlers shouldn’t have access to guns. Terrorists shouldn’t have access to guns. Domestic abusers, felons, those who are dangerously mentally ill shouldn’t have access to guns.
We are better than this.