Posts Tagged ‘Gun violence’

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school. The carnage included young children and their teachers. The aftermath included the suffering of survivors and family members. Not since Columbine have we been so shocked. And then there was Las Vegas. And then there was the church in Texas. It never ends.

Every time the next mass shooting takes place, and it’s always the next one, politicians immediately do several things. First they say this is no time to talk about gun violence; that would show disrespect to the families who are grieving in such a time as that. And then some elected official shows up with police to the left and right and asks for a moment of silence or says that we are sending our thoughts and prayers their way.

The next part of the dance is that a spokesperson for the NRA has a press release that expresses regret for the loss of life and that it is really about mental illness and not having enough guns to protect ourselves. Arm the teachers, the theater managers, the deacons in the church, the mall employees, everybody. More guns everywhere. We don’t have a gun problem so don’t even hint that we need to do something about that. Deny that has anything to do with it.

Of course, the politicians are owned by the powerful gun lobby. And absolutely nothing happens. Ever. And then the next shooting occurs. And we go through the same repeating ritual again. Even though an overwhelming majority of American citizens want something done, those same politicians are not accountable to their constituents. They pander only to their funders and those who can get them un-elected or primaried.

We have an epidemic of gun violence in our country. We are immobilized by powerful special interests. The 2nd Amendment is used as a kind of magic totem to ward off any action whatsoever. And more and more people are gunned down. We are sick, very, very sick. We are addicted to the very thing that harms us. And those who have the power to do something about it are either cowardly or morally compromised.

Oh, and you’ll be heartened to know this, after the slaughter at the Las Vegas corral, our Congress did not outlaw bump stocks, but they did authorize concealed carry across state lines.

I am sorry to report to you this morning: Sandy Hook will happen again. It will be repeated by virtue of a decision to do nothing. You can count on it. Tragically, you can count on it.



Posted: November 6, 2017 in Uncategorized
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To date in 2017 we have had 307 mass shootings (four or more victims) in the United States. These are overwhelmingly citizen on citizen violence, not perpetrated by radicalized Muslims or gang members who crossed over the southern border. The most recent shooting of church people at worship in Texas was committed by a young white man dishonorably discharged from the Airforce, court marshaled for beating his wife and child, held in detention for over a year.  He lived in a barn beside his parent’s house. Neighbors characterize him as an ordinary kind of guy except they heard lots of gun fire across the street at his place at night.

When he burst through the door of the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas he was dressed in Ninja black, wearing tactical gear and sporting the mass shooter weapon of choice, an AR-15 assault rifle.  All of the recent slaughters have been executed with AR-15s. Las Vegas, for instance. Add a bump stock and you’re good.

Nothing is going to be done by those who could because they are on the payroll of the gun lobby. They are owned and compromised. Our President received over $900,000 from them. My US Senator, Roy Blunt, received nearly $50,000. My Missouri State Senator, Caleb Rowden, received $5,000.

Here is what you will hear politicos say after each and every gun massacre: This is evil, this is a mental health issue, thank you to our courageous first responders, and our prayers are with you.

By the way, the present administration just rolled back limitations placed on those with mental illness and their ability to get their hands on guns. And much of the mental health money is getting rolled back in the first wave of proposed federal budget cuts. Yes, I know, it is conspicuous hypocrisy.

We have a gun problem. No one is talking about taking hunters’ shotguns away. We are talking about the glut of military style assault rifles and all their accessories. If more guns would make us safer our gun violence problem would have been solved long ago because we have more guns flooding our society than any other in the world. But the truth is we have more gun-related fatalities per capita than any other nation on earth.

What is sad, truly sad about the latest mass shooting in our country is that it won’t be our last. And it won’t be our last because our leaders are owned by powerful monied organizations who profit from the sale of guns and more guns. They will never stop because it is making them rich. And if the spilling of blood is the price we must pay in order to make them rich, they are good with that.