“It breaks my heart every time you read or hear about these kinds of incidents”
Yet again the President Of The United States Of America, the most powerful nation on earth looked worn down and saddened as he had to deliver another briefing on two more tragic violent deaths in the US. Again he had to call for gun control, the central theme of eight years in office, and a signal failure of his time in The White House.
“Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day”
When is enough going to be enough. When will we see an end to the circle of violence that takes lives defended as a right. In the next few days the NRA will come out and say two things, guns stop bad guys, and that now in the emotional period after a shooting it’s too soon to speak about gun control. Well perhaps Wayne LaPierre can tell us when that debate should happen because with one set of deaths after another when will be the time that it’s not too emotional to discuss, when will it be ok.
The NRA are part of the problem, they refuse any form of control, they campaigned against the ban on weapons invented for the battlefield such as assault rifles, they campaigned against a restriction on how big a magazine could be, they have shown no inclination to provide leadership on registration and gun licencing. What they have done is spend millions of dollars making sure guns stay in the hands of killers, ones who fit their good owner profile right up until they pulled the trigger. Remember when Wayne went on meet the press and said there was no need for gun control, it was all down to video games and music?
There is a constitutional right to have a weapon, but where does it end, is a hand gun enough, is a rifle, is a 1000 round a minute belt fed machine gun enough. Is it a constitutional right to not require any form of background check, is it a right to allow someone to walk into a supermarket and stroll out with a case of beer and weaponry.
Two years ago I watched Jon Stewart on The Daily Show talking about after yet another shooting, now might be the time things began to change in peoples minds, taking head on the culture of saying you need to defend yourself, your family and your home.
“Their paranoid fear of a possible dystopic future prevents us from addressing our actual dystopic present.”
The simple fact is that thousands of Americans have been killed, maimed, hurt, or lost someone because of guns, the list of victims grows daily. Many of those deaths were related to legally owned guns sold to the wrong people, the culture of the lone gunman, and the increasing refusal to take on the situation. It’s like finding you have a deep wound and refusing to go to the Doctor.
America must find a way to separate what is best for ALL it’s citizens, it must say that party politics doesn’t play a role in this debate. Both sides must make an issue of how political funding is skewing the debate, the gun lobby is the 3rd biggest in the system. It’s time to discuss if you must have guns, who can, after how long, after what check and where they can keep them.
Here in the UK after each tragedy we made it harder to get guns, we put more checks in place, we said no more if can help it and we have done much better, our gun death rate is 0.07 per 100,000 compared to 2.72 in the US. Surveys in the US still show over 80% support for background checks. Let us not forget the Republican icon Ronald Reagan supported the Assault Weapons Bill passed by the Clinton Administration. Change can happen, and both sides can want it.
I’ll leave you with one final thought from Jon Stewart . .
“What blows my mind is the disparity of response between when we think people that are foreign are going to kill us and us killing ourselves. If this had been what we thought is Islamic terrorism, it would fit into our — we invaded two countries and spent trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives, and now fly unmanned death machines over five or six different countries, all to keep Americans safe. “We’ve got to do whatever we can. We’ll torture people. We’ve got to do whatever we can to keep Americans safe.”
*I waited to post this, I wanted it to be removed from the anger that I felt the morning I saw the news but that anger and weariness at it happening again didn’t dissipate so here it is word for word as it came from my thoughts.