Welcome to America – I hope you are packing heat

I have written several posts about our excessive gun violence in America. We lead the world by far in gun deaths and children gun deaths. Yet, we continue to do nothing about it. We have a parade of children led shootings at schools the past few weeks, yet we continue to do nothing about it. Pick up any US newspaper anywhere in the country and count the number of gun death or violence stories. I wrote a post about Googling a “six-year-old kills four-year-old” and counting the number of stories that pop up. Yet, we still do nothing about it. We have mass shootings, which are horrific tragedies, but dwarfed by the daily killings of kids, yet we still do nothing about it. And, Americans by virtue of reputable surveys, clearly want better background checks and more elongated waiting periods, yet we still do nothing about it.

Here are a few links to these previous posts.

https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/please-check-out-elon-university-poll-on-gun-control/

https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/another-gun-death-in-america-x-year-old-kills-z-year-old/

https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/another-day-in-america-16-year-old-kills-13-year-old-friend/

https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/how-do-you-know-who-the-good-guys-are/

https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/if-i-were-a-groundhog-in-the-us/

I am thinking of the person who finally asked Senator Joe McCarthy during his communist witch hunt trials, “Senator, have you no shame?” That was actually the beginning of the end for McCarthy. I fully recognize the complexity of what is causing gun deaths, but the NRA and strident gun amassers would like you to believe that guns have little to do with gun deaths. Responsible gun owners know this not to be the case, which is why they take great pains to teach their use and put them away for safekeeping. So, using the McCarthy line above, “NRA, have you no shame?”

We are well past the time to act on these issues. It is a poverty issue, it is mental health issue, it is a lack of civil discourse issue, it is a violence in entertainment issue, but make no mistake about it, it is an access to guns issue. Without access to a weapon, the child does not kill his sibling or cousin. Without access to a weapon, the depressed teenager, college student or adult does not act on an impulse and end a life. Without access to a weapon a drunken patron at a bar or ball game does not go to his car and come back guns a blazing because they were offended.

NRA, have you no shame? You could have acted responsibly like the majority of gun owners, yet you decided to fan the flames of a fervent crowd and crow about Second Amendment rights, which I still have not seen anyone threaten. You have also usurped the leadership of the GOP and taken them down a darker path along with some other fervent misconceptions. As a result, we cannot have the long overdue civil, appropriate debate about this topic looking at all issues, including what Americans, even Republicans want by far – better background checks and elongated waiting periods. We should do more than that, but those two issues are no brainers and largely popular.

It is past time. NRA, have you no shame? NRA, stand down. We need to have a better conversation without your involvement, as you violated the trust of Americans and responsible gun owners, whom you no longer represent.

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8 thoughts on “Welcome to America – I hope you are packing heat

  1. I agree in principle, the problem is that legislation on this particular issue is extremely hard to execute. There are at least three problems: 1) you can’t take away the right to carry arms, because that would leave only the police and the armed forces with them and that’s a horrible situation; 2) making the possession of weapons illegal wouldn’t stop the criminal, only the guy who intends to follow the law to begin with; and 3) if you restrict access to guns, how would this be done and does it really make a difference? It’s safer to leave the law as it is, but make sure we have a much stronger conception of right and wrong, and a better system for dealing with those with mental health issues. And any kid who takes a weapon from his parents’ house should automatically lead to the parents’ imprisonment for at least a decade. But I think that’s where the real problem lies; so many people have crazy ideas and behaviors that, if knocked out of them as a kid, they would never act on again.

    • I agree it would be hard to execute. It would take a series of measures designed to help. This is why the concerted dialogue around all of the issues is needed. Yet, many gun deaths are family and friends. Arguments ensue or a child finds a loaded weapon. Or, with the amount of depression, the family member is the shooter and victim. This is why we need the NRA, who used to care more about safety than they do today, should get out of the way and let the discussion occur. I like to cite that Canadians like their guns as much as we do, yet have 1/3 the gun death rate. Thanks for your thoughts.

      • I agree. But how the heck do we stop children from finding loaded guns in the parents’ homes without taking away the rights of the parents to hold guns at all? You can’t legislate against stupidity. Trust me, I’d be the first to try to do it…

        As for the others, I think there are ways to legislate for those.

      • You are so right, you cannot legislate away stupidity. I feel so sorry for those parents, kids and victims who are family or friends, because the parents did not lock away the guns. Nor am I surprised when I hear of a gun death such as this. I think training on weapons safety must be a vital part of a sale of a gun. Why not require some to test for gun ownership like you do to drive a car? If it saves a few kids, then it is worth it. But, your initial point is very well taken and on the money. Thanks for your thoughts. BTG

  2. There’s a brand new thought process in town. “in fact, Guns really do kill people.”

    To your point, without such easy access to guns, the misunderstanding and disagreement might lead to bloodied lips, but both combatants would still be breathing in the morning. Mass killings, such as Newton, would go away.

    There is no reasonable argument for possession of cop killer bullets, high capacity magazines, speed loaders, or semi-automatic weapons. None! There is no reason for possession of super high caliber weapons, some the size of WW II aircraft armament.

    Until we get a political group with the balls to take on the small (3 million members, not even 1% of the US population) NRA, we will be at the short end of a very treacherous road we are traveling down.

    • Barney, thanks. To your last point, it boggles the mind that a leader cannot support a significant majority opinion on select gun control issues, supported even in the majority by Republicans, because of the monied interests and threat of being primaried by the strident minority. The one idea the police also want is to codify all bullets, so that they can solve crimes, yet the NRA is even against this. Chris Rock may be right, let’s make bullets cost $5,000 apiece, so that gun deaths would go down. Thanks bro, BTG

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