Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Guns... Guns... Guns... Guns...
Guns... Guns... Guns... Guns...

It must be the Club of CrooksCops and Commandos marching along, 'cause it surely isn't the Mickey Mouse Club armed to the teeth...

First, a quote from Michael Moore that has been around the 'net for a while:

Well, I do what I can do in the voting booth, but in Texas, that isn't very damned much.

Leslie Salzillo at Kos provides us with the full quote, originally from Moore's Facebook page in 2014:

With due respect to those who are asking me to comment on last night's tragic mass shooting at UCSB in Isla Vista, CA -- I no longer have anything to say about what is now part of normal American life. Everything I have to say about this, I said it 12 years ago:

We are a people easily manipulated by fear which causes us to arm ourselves with a quarter BILLION guns in our homes that are often easily accessible to young people, burglars, the mentally ill and anyone who momentarily snaps. We are a nation founded in violence, grew our borders through violence, and allow men in power to use violence around the world to further our so-called American (corporate) "interests." The gun, not the eagle, is our true national symbol.

While other countries have more violent pasts (Germany, Japan), more guns per capita in their homes (Canada [mostly hunting guns), and the kids in most other countries watch the same violent movies and play the same violent video games that our kids play, no one even comes close to killing as many of its own citizens on a daily basis as we do -- and yet we don't seem to want to ask ourselves this simple question: "Why us? What is it about US?"

Nearly all of our mass shootings are by angry or disturbed white males. None of them are committed by the majority gender, women. Hmmm, why is that?
Even when 90% of the American public calls for stronger gun laws, Congress refuses -- and then we the people refuse to remove them from office.
So the onus is on us, all of us. We won't pass the necessary laws, but more importantly we won't consider why this happens here all the time. When the NRA says, "Guns don't kill people -- people kill people," they've got it half-right. Except I would amend it to this: "Guns don't kill people -- Americans kill people." Enjoy the rest of your day, and rest assured this will all happen again very soon.
And so it has, several times. It seems that if anything, such horrific incidents are more frequent every year.

Our nation's founders did not guarantee a right to bear arms with the purpose of watching our fellow citizens kill each other off at an ever-increasing rate; neither did they anticipate that an organization of gun nuts would emerge who are hellbent on, and have the support of the Roberts Supreme Court in, ignoring the whole stated purpose of the Second Amendment as made explicit in its first clause.

If we insist on not taking the founders at their word regarding what the Second Amendment means, our nation may not survive another century. We have handed the bears the raw meat and asked them to distribute it fairly, and you can see as well as I can what we've gotten for our troubles.

Meanwhile, some gun store owners view the massacres with enthusiasm because they bring more business from frightened customers. What is wrong with this picture?

Democratic blogger and magazine editor Ed Kilgore points out that Hillary Clinton has outlined a plan of gun control legislation, concluding his post with the disturbing thought, "But it’s important to understand that according to the Cult of the Second Amendment, opponents of gun measures have every right to fire back, literally." Again, it's hard to dispute what Kilgore says.

And The Nation's National Affairs Correspondent Joan Walsh points out that Sen. Bernie Sanders has made no similar statement to date offering any plan for dealing with the increase in gun violence, making guns the one issue on which Clinton is running a more progressive race than Sanders. (Being from a small state of small towns is bound to make a difference in Sanders's outlook. I'm just sayin'... but it's still an imperfection in an otherwise nearly ideal presidential candidate. Sigh!)

Most of my posts on guns deal with specific incidents or specific reactions to them, and many of the posts contain a photo of the model of firearm involved. This one doesn't work that way because it encompasses a plethora of incidents in the past few years. Unfortunately, Moore will be right before he is wrong: we will have a lot more of them to add to our casebook before the matter is resolved, and we can only hope and pray our loved ones and our own selves are not among the victims.

One last thought: the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence offers a possibly useful resource, a listing of current federal gun laws and comparative lists of state and local gun laws. I hope you don't have any use for it, ever.

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