Is It Time NOW?

shootingenoughMy first reaction was not shock. My first reaction was, “not again”. I sighed and turned up the volume as I spent the morning cooking, listening to the reports.

Isn’t that something? I was not shocked.

How can we be shocked? This is now something that happens with regularity in this country. It’s nothing new. Another news cycle of interviews with all the usuals–the families, the almost victims, the psychologists, the police, the politicians. The awful intrusions into the private horror and despair of grieving families, the endless speculations about the “shooter.” It’s all too predictable, all to common for us now.

And the usual things are said by the usual people. “It’s time to talk about gun control.” “They are using this tragedy to push their agenda of taking our guns away from us.” “Now’s not the time to talk gun control, it’s a time to grieve.” “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” “A man in china cut 22 people with a knife. Shall we ban knives too?” This dialogue is the same, just the location changes.

And what am I to say? More of the same?

The Right is already at it. “Obama will just use this as an excuse to take away our guns. We knew he would. There will never be another election.” We are reminded that if we mention it, we are “using the tragedy.” Did we use the tragedy of Katrina when we talked about new levees for New Orleans? Did we use the tragedy when we talked about how to improve our national security after 9/11? How are we using this tragedy by discussing the insidious love affair we have in this country for violence and weaponry? How are we using this tragedy to figure out ways to stop this slaughter of the innocents?

But guns don’t kill people they tell me.

You know what? YES THEY DO. They kill people more efficiently than any other means short of bombs. Just because they need a human operator takes nothing away from their lethal potentiality.

Knives kill people. You want to ban knives?

No I don’t want to ban knives. Knives can be lethal but are a step down from guns. More people survive knife attacks than they do gun attacks. Knives take longer, you can’t mow people down with a knife.

The NRA remains steadfast that ANY legislation will take us down that “slippery slope” which ends in the total banning of guns.

WHO SAYS?

Is it the same fool that tells me that allowing gay marriage will inevitably lead down the slippery slope to animal-human marriage?

Or the one who tells me that use of marijuana will lead me down the slope to a full-blown shooting-up heroin addiction?

Or the one that tells me that masturbation will cause me to go blind?

You know what?

I’m sick of the NRA. Who are these crazy people? Why they are in the business of selling guns. They don’t want to sell less. They don’t have hearts and souls like yours and mine. They don’t care that what they produce kills. When President Obama was re-elected, gun sales went up 45%. Forty-five PERCENT. Because the NRA fools told the jackasses that love them, that Obama is gonna take away their right to buy and possess guns, and of course he’s a commie/pinko/socialist/NEW WORLD ORDER guy who is gonna destroy America so you better be prepared for the REVOLUTION.

And guess what? Gun ownership is actually down in the US. You can’t believe that can you? Neither could I at first. There are over 300 MILLION guns in America. But ownership is down. The percentage of people who own guns is DOWN. So that means that more guns are being concentrated in fewer hands. Mr. Patriot out there is building an arsenal. How’s that make you feel? Nervous? I sure am.

Explain to me why on God’s green earth or any other planet for that matter, why anyone other than the military NEEDS assault rifles, high-powered handguns, any handgun, multi-clip ammo, or any of probably a hundred other things I don’t even know about but whose only point is to kill something from as far away as possible, as surely as possible, and frankly as explosively as possible?

Tell me why such things are necessarily required in your closet, in my neighborhood?

You like to shoot them?

Fine. Let’s have licensed ranges all over the freakin’ country and you can go out there, pick the weapon of your choice and shoot at plastic deer until the cows come home. But you go home without your little friend. Get that?

You want to hunt? Fine. You can have a shotgun or a regular rifle.

Do you know it’s illegal in some states to hunt ducks with a gun that can hold more than THREE cartridges? Otherwise it’s not sporting. It’s just blasting away at a space and figuring you’ll probably hit some. Yet you can own an assault rifle with a 100 ammo clip.

This is not the wild west. No matter how romantic you think it was, it wasn’t. It was ugly and mean and people died horribly. There is nothing noble about Rambo. All your “let’s pretend we are Navy Seals and kill bad guys” video games are designed to make you comfortable with guns and the culture of violence. I promise you, the reality is nothing so fun or clean. It’s dirty, it smells bad, it looks worse, and rational people do not find such things either “fun” or exciting.

We need to stop blaming the shooters in these tragedies, for they are simply sick souls. Can you figure out why someone who feels that the world has screwed him thinks the way to go out is to kill innocents who had nothing to do with his “wrong”? No? Neither can I, which leaves the only answer–people do this because they aren’t right in the head. We need to identify them early and help them before they are so deranged that killing people in a blaze of suicidal glory sounds appropriate to them.

We need to end this.

I’ve had enough.

I’m don’t want to spend the remainder of my life wondering what’s in the mall besides the stores and the merchandise.

I don’t want to live that way or think that way.

It’s time to demand rational gun laws from our ELECTED officials, and damn them if they don’t pass it.

Enough is enough.

shooting2

 

 

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24 thoughts on “Is It Time NOW?

  1. “Knives can be lethal but are a step down from guns. More people survive knife attacks than they do gun attacks. Knives take longer, you can’t mow people down with a knife.”

    Nor were knives designed solely or even primarily for killing people today.

  2. It is time to talk about gun control today, just as it was time yesterday and the day before, and the day before that – maybe not every day there is mass shooting, but people get shot and killed every day.

    • You are exactly right. The President mentioned the “corners of Chicago” in his remarks which of course reminds us that this kind of senseless killing goes on every day. Believe me, after working 20 years in criminal defense, I know just exactly how many murders are “senseless”…the vast vast majority.

  3. I was stunned yesterday when I read about the shooting. Two massacres in one week! You’re right — this is becoming far too common of an occurrence in the U.S., and it needs to stop. Now. Oh, and the far-right needs to stop exploiting these tragedies as opportunities to pontificate and fear-monger.

    I think part of the problem is that high-quality mental health services are difficult to access and expensive in this country, meaning that sick people can’t help the help they need. (Thank the insurance industry for that!) If the recent shooters had gotten GOOD mental health services in time, a lot of suffering and bloodshed could have been avoided.

  4. You ask a very important question. “Can you figure out why someone who feels that the world has screwed him thinks the way to go out is to kill innocents who had nothing to do with his “wrong”?”

    Your answer, “people do this because they aren’t right in the head.” only identifies the people who are inclined to commit this type of act. In fact, the vast majority of people who are not “right in the head” don’t go out and kill masses of people.

    I think the real question is what drives these people to commit these crimes. And I think as you drive down through the questions of what drives these people you will reach the conclusion that it comes from a feeling of desperation and disconnection which comes ultimately from inequalities in our society, social and economic inequalities.

    Throughout history, public uprisings, which often start with individual dramatic acts, stem from social and economic inequalities; inequalities that we are approaching in this country.

    • I believe that most of these people are basically suicidal but are also filled with such rage over the circumstances that led to their suicidal tendencies that they wish to inflict pain on their entire community out of twisted revenge. IIRC, the shooter who opened fire in a Lubby’s restaurant in Texas ten or so years ago actually yelled out that everything was the fault of the county in which the restaurant was located.

      • surely I think you are right. But of course it’s irrational. We need a two-pronged response–mental health care that intervenes much earlier of course and sane gun control.

  5. I was working in welfare in California when Saint Reagan was governor. He wiped out adequate mental health and likely contributed to these mass slaughters. The more immediate and obvious result was that folks who were completely incapable of taking care of themselves, ended up on the streets. Our “homeless” problem pretty much started with the reign of Ronny Raygun. We never did find that Welfare Queen (with the dozen Cadillacs) he ran on, though…..

    • it is criminal that people who suffer from mental health issues are treated as diseased and criminal themselves. This happens all over the country. As long as you don’t “bother” anyone, people just don’t want to be bothered. I saw this a lot when I practiced law. Police just wanted them to “go away”. It is simply awful how little attention we give to those who so need our help.

  6. I am just sick. of all of it. I could parcel out a few opinions…..but it would not matter. Soooooo I did what I could. I wrote my own (not a form letter) and I sent it to all my city council people, my state Senator, my State Representative, my Congressman, my Senators, the President. I have NO PROBLEM with responsible gun owners, hunters, sportsmen. They value safety and the environment. Stuff! Without hunters Wisconsin would be over run with deer, rabbits and squirrels! But there are some guns that no one has a right to own, there should be no problem with stringent registration,there ishould be no concern with long waiting periods and strict background checks. If your gun is not registered….you should pay heavy fines, heavy taxes should be placed on ammunition;it should not be cheap and readily available….but what the fuck do I know……I am just a child loving , people loving, dog loving hippie liberal.

    • rational people everywhere agree with you Jimmy. I cannot fathom how someone could not, yet I had one dope yesterday ask me, “just what is wrong with a big clip? and you know, you need big assault rifles to shoot predatory animals” What? since when? If somebody has no clue about big magazines and why they should be banned, then frankly they are way too stupid to own a gun in the first place.

  7. Pingback: A roundup of responses to Friday’s tragedy

  8. At this point, all I can do is shrug and accept the reality of life in 21st century America. Nothing is going to change because under our system of government, the GOP has the power to prevent any change and the GOP is presently ruled by lunatics. It’s not just gun control. Consider the recent failure to pass the Disability Treaty, a treaty which did not change American law at all but which merely encouraged other nations to strive to pass laws of their own comparable to the ADA. It was blocked by 26 GOP Senators who believe (or are willing to pretend to believe for the benefit of their constituents) that if the treaty had passed, the UN would have gained the power to force Christianist homeschoolers to send their children to public schools. Against insanity, the gods themselves struggle in vain.

  9. I was shocked and horrified. If this isn’t enough to make the NRA back down, then what the hell is? I have to believe that the US isn’t so lost as a civilized country that we can’t have real gun reform. But people’s voices need to be heard and do what okjimm did – write your representatives in Congress.

    • I agree Jean. Given the last SCOTUS holding that one has a “right” to have a handgun in their home, I’m thinking we are in for a tough go at this, but we must do as much as we can, and frankly, consider an amendment. Our 2nd amendment was for another time and place, and frankly has not nearly the relevance it had then to our world today.

  10. The way I see it right now, there’s a lot of tension in America. Although ‘things are better” now than during the collapse, for a lot of people that is only marginally so. Things have changed. And there’s an underlying feeling of uncertainty, or possible fear of the future. Tension is high, both from within and without. People are cracking, melting-down as a result, and…there’s few basic services available.
    Our whole society is violent. From the toys and games our children play, to sports, movies and TV, to actual crime on the street, violence has permeated our culture [ a pass is given to our foreign wars, which now is just normal].
    Violence is not only condoned, it’s worshiped in this country (think about it), People are starting to get calloused about it, “oh there’s another one”, as a means to cope. Pretty frickin scary. I agree with you that its time to have a major change of attitude about guns and semi-automatic weapons.
    BTW that “Who Says” old wives tale about masturbation makin’ ya go blind was sure a crock of shit wasn’t it? Funny thing is, now in old age, my eyesight is deteriorating, and I do have to wear glasses all the time. :)

    • we certainly have a culture that sees violence as entertainment. I am increasingly appalled at video games directed to “pretend to be a Navy seal” and that sort of thing. Perhaps we should all take a look at a few more open coffins of returning dead from battlefields to sober us up that this is not “fun”. Figured you’d like the masturbation remark. lol..

  11. When guns can be obtained so much easier than mental health treatment, well, here’s the result. There are parents all over America with “problem” children. Kids who act out, make threats, harm themselves, animals, and others. The parents take them to school psychologists, and some even find a way to afford mental health exams for the kids… but most don’t want to see the problem for what it is and take action.
    So they put video games like “Call of Duty” into the kids stocking and hope for the best… while their home arsenal sits in an unlocked closet.

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