Friday, October 02, 2015

Insanity Is Repeating the Same Shooting Over And Over Again and Expecting a Safer Gun-Happy Result

(Update: Thank you Batocchio for the inclusion to the 2015 Jon Swift Memorial Round-Up! If you came here from another direction, I ask you to click that link to Batocchio's site and check out the other bloggers, some of them are very good reads! Good luck to all of you, and Happy New Year to you!)

Yet another shooting in a public place.  Yet another school where a classroom becomes a war zone.  Yet another week in the United States where the body count per year for our gun deaths rivals most civil wars raging in other countries.

Yet another moment for an exasperated Obama to step before the cameras just wondering when the hell Congress - and it IS the job of Congress to pass these laws - is going to do its job to make our public places ours again by enacting gun safety laws:

A visibly frustrated President Obama delivered remarks about the shooting Thursday night. Before he walked up to the podium, CNN said this speech was the president’s 15th on mass shootings since he took office.
“As I said just a few months ago, and I said a few months before that, and I said each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough,” he said. “It's not enough.”

Yet another round of distractions about gun violence in the United States.  The gun-worshipers will likely argue about the need for more guns - which doesn't keep American safe - or argue for "good guys with guns" needed in our public places - ignoring evidence that it rarely helps and that the community college was a conceal-carry location.

Yet another realization that this nation has borne the pain of a mass shooting at least once a week:

Just remember, October only started this Thursday...
Are you horrified yet that the number in each colored box isn't the number of victims, it's the number of shootings across the nation...

Another realization that we are truly an insane nation, allowing the same thing to happen over and over and over again - the ease of access to guns by angry guys who can use those guns to kill far too many people - and allowing the Republican-led and NRA-owned Congress to DO NOTHING in the face of actual preventable deaths... The insanity of pretending maybe sooner or later things will improve, that maybe next time a good guy with a gun will finally save the day, or that the guns will jam, or that we'll someday run out of angry guys.

And while we're crying over the shooting in Oregon, there's been a mass shooting in Inglis Florida with three dead and one wounded... there's been other shootings across the nation in our cities and our towns...  All of which we could work to prevent if we had safety laws and better regulation of firearms.  But oh damn, we dare not say the dread phrase "well-regulated" because we'll hurt the NRA's collective feelings, and have them screaming "shall not infringe" as those words are the only ones that matter in that damned Second Amendment.

If you're calling me crazy about claiming the Second Amendment has been turned into a license to kill, you're ignoring the fact that for 180 years our nation did just fine following that amendment with harsh gun permit laws and regulations of use, with a focus on it honestly geared towards that concept of state militias.  But the NRA went batsh-t crazy in 1977 (wonder why) and their arguments about unregulated gun ownership dominates our nation and destroys basic common sense.

And now we're at the point where the Second Amendment is infringing on an even greater right: the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble.  We can't anymore: not at our schools, not at our churches, not at shopping malls or movie theaters, not at the parks, not in our own damn homes.

I may not claim to be sane, but I am not crazy when it comes to wanting our nation and our communities to be safer.  More guns doesn't make us safe.  The Second Amendment no longer makes us safe.  Common sense regulations on gun ownership and sales do make us safe.

Every other nation on the planet that allow gun ownership have common sense regulations in place.  Their streets and schools do not run red with blood.

Ours do.  Is the United States as a whole that mad, that blind about guns?


dinthebeast said...

Also, we've got to stop making these killers automatically famous. Some of my favorite bloggers are already doing this; calling the killers "the latest asshole" in their posts and refusing to publish their names. I read a thing this morning about social media posts by the Oregon Asshole saying basically "this is the only time I'll ever be on the news".
I live in Oakland (body count 65 so far this year) but I've actually visited Roseburg, Oregon twice in the early eighties for motocross races. It seemed like a nice, calm, little place.
With the number of firearms in circulation roughly the same as the population, I don't think that this type of madness can ever be actually eliminated, but there are things that can be done to make the situation better. Whether or not we at least try to do something about this will be writ large in the description of us as a people going forward.
As for the utter poltroonery (h/t Driftglass) of our elected representatives, we're going to have to figure out a way to start electing non-cowards in majorities and I can't say I'm optimistic about our chances in the near term.

-Doug in Oakland

Kevin Robbins said...

Paul, I did come here via Batocchio and am grateful to him for the link. Wonderful piece you have up. There can never be too many voices pointing out the insane spell we seem to have fallen under in this country. The NRA running gun policy in this country is like putting a pro-drinking and driving group in charge of traffic safety.

Keep up the good fight.