Not a damn thing

What a surprise, yet another shooting in America. This one occurred in my home town at a place where I have visited. That disappoints me, but is irrelevant. It can happen anywhere in a America and the legislators will do what they tend to do – not a damn thing.

As I was learning of the Jacksonville Landing shooting, I saw three more stories about shootings where I live now. To witness the magnitude of the problem, just count the gun death stories in the news for a month. Gun deaths happen everyday and you know what will be done about them – not a damn thing.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different outcome. It could be said about continuing to do not a damn thing and expecting a different outcome. It is apparent doing little to nothing is not working. Shootings occur everywhere, but the numbers bear out the US is a far more dangerous place to be than the other top twenty-two nations in the world.

Gun deaths in America occur for many reasons – suicide leads the pack by far, but the reasons include incivility, immaturity, hate-crime, drug crime, accident, mental health, entertainment violence and alcohol. But, the constant in all of this is access to a gun. Guns do not kill people, people with access to guns kill people.

Until recently, with the kids and teens making an ongoing statement after the Parkland shooting, not much happened. Their efforts to speak out got the Florida legislature to act, but not much happened at the federal level. And, what Florda’s legislature did was a first step, but more is needed.

The kids get it. Too many adults in leadership positions are paid to do not a damn thing. We will hear many reasons over the next few days how a certain action will not prevent a certain shooting. That may be the specific case, but not doing a damn thing is obviously not working. We must act.

The NRA has spoken with its money and marketing efforts. I understand where they are coming from, although I disagree with them on a number of fronts. But, now let legislators go in a room with real data, law enforcement and behaviorial psychologists and come up with well-thought out solutions.

The first thing we must do is admit we have a problem. Easy access to guns is a problem. We govern driving a car, driving a  semi-truck, driving a boat, inspecting these vehicles, fishing, hunting, and marriage. We can at least govern the ownership of guns better than we are doing.

We need our legislators to do more than not a damn thing. If they do not, vote them out of office.

 

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26 thoughts on “Not a damn thing

  1. Their solutions: Bars? More guns. Schools? More guns. Churhes? More guns. Grocery stores? More guns. Movie theaters? More guns. Gun free zones? Hell no. This is what we’re up against. You’re so right. They won’t do a damn thing. I keep waiting for a bottom. There’s no such thing for these people

    • Good summation. Taking just one of your examples, mixing guns, testosterone and alcohol is a very unwise move. A small slight can easily turn into a death. Keith

      • To me, it is obvious as the nose on our face. Another example is the NRA pushing for guns on college campuses, which is a horrible idea says college psychologists and counselors. Colleges have a higher percentage of depression than general society, so all it takes is one impulsive act and a student is dead.

    • Quite true. What is overshadowed is Jacksonville had a gun scare at a high school football game two days before. The kids get this, I just wish they could vote as too many adults have been sold a bill of goods and defend the indefensible. Keith

  2. Great post, Keith! I have a friend in the UK who said that frankly, she would be afraid to even visit the U.S. where anyplace you go, somebody may be carrying a gun. The California legislature just passed 3 gun laws — one that places a lifetime ban on purchasing a gun for any with a domestic violence conviction. It is not near enough … a drop in the bucket … but it is, at least, a start. Since the federal government insists on doing not a damn thing, the states are beginning to do their own thing. I applaud their efforts, but it will never be enough until Congress steps up to the plate and defies the NRA, putting people ahead of profit.

    • Jill, there are several services for travelers where they can learn what to expect if they travel to visit or live in a country. One of the subjects is “Safety and Security.” I wonder what they say about traveling to the US? Keith

      • Jill, it might say, “If you travel to the United States, do your best to avoid political discussions and supersizing fast food. If you rent a car, avoid eye contact with other drivers. If you are dark-skinned, move slowly if stopped by law enforcement keeping your hands visible. No matter your skin pigment, if you do not speak English, learn how to say you cannot as clearly as you can.” Keith

  3. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    As you all know by now, I am a proponent of strict gun laws at the federal level … the sort of gun laws that gives the NRA and weapons manufacturers nightmares. We have just had another mass shooting in this country, and I was debating about whether and how to write about it, when I came across Keith’s excellent post. Why re-invent the wheel, right? Thank you, Keith, for this post. Someday, perhaps, people will clean out their ears and listen to us, eh?

  4. Powerfully put Keith.
    Looking from the outside the most dangerous aspect would now seem to be the mindset of the minority of gun owners who are over-reacting to any control measures and since you have a creature in the Whitehouse who is incapable of moderation this is an unhappy situation to say the least.

    • Roger, it is frightening. My many earlier posts said we need to get our legislators acting like parents. Now, we need to emulate the kids who keep asking why have you not acted? Keith

      • It will be a hard fight now Keith. The opposition will mobilise under social media and sympathetic outlets. Out of interest I did try to communicate with a couple; it’s a one-way conversation, no sense of compromise and a great deal of ‘rhetoric’

      • Roger, I agree. If we can get these words to sink in – “I think we can still protect 2nd Amendment rights and pass better gun governance laws. What are your thoughts on how to do that?”

        Maybe by asking the question, a conversation can start. Keith

  5. You want something to change, Keith. Have someone walk into Congress, or the Senate with an AK47, and open fire on your legislators. Have someone else walk into the NRA head offices, and mow all the bigwigs down. Then maybe, JUST MAYBE, they will pay attention. Hit them where it hurts, not where it hurts someone else. Maybe drop a bomb on a munitions factory… but run like hell before the armoury explodes…
    As long as it isn’t hurting the legislators and the NRA, nothing will ever be done.

    • Rawgod, that is on the extreme end, which I cannot condone. Yet, even after Congresspersons Gabby Giffords was shot nothing happened. These legislators are paid not to act. Keith

      • I was not recommending anyone do that, but rather it will take an extreme action before they will act. Shooting one legislator was not enough. 20 at a time, priceless.

  6. The voice of sweet reason seems to go unheard. I doubt anything will be done at the federal level until the NRA are chased out of Government. And anyone else with a vested interest as well. You legislators will never vote with their conscience as long as they are ‘paid’ to vote in certain ways. It’s going to take getting Republicans out and hoping Democrats aren’t open to the same bribes.
    Hugs

    • David, I was disappointed, as was Obama, that nothing material happened after Sandy Hook. If you cannot get change after 20 kids are killed, when can you? Keith

  7. Note to Readers: One of the tactics by my former party, at the suggestion of the NRA, is gun deaths are a mental health issue not a gun issue. Of course it is a gun issue and mental health is a factor. But, these are words. If it is a mental health issue, then why did Congress eliminate the restriction on people on Social Security disability for mental health reasons from buying a gun. And, why do the Republicans want to eliminate the ACA and access to mental health benefits. These are questions that must be asked.

    We can preserve Second Amendmebt rights and still better govern gun ownership. Elongated waiting periods, funding for detailed and holistic background checks, permitting a judge to seize a gun temporarily if the person is deemed dangerous to themselves or others, finger-printed triggers (to protect kids from accidents). I personally would take away assault weapons, but the above would accomplish a lot.

  8. Dear Keith,

    If future leaders want to win election, I pray that the voters will demand results. It is frustrating to me that the gun laws have not been fixed to allow for the most sensible of gun control measures like with the Brady bill that expired via both republican and democratic administrations.

    These lawmakers need to get the message that we expect results or else. For me, I find it disgusting that Flint, MI is still having to deal with water contaminated with lead after 5 years. There comes a point where we want government to work for all of us and not just the powerful like the NRA.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, the Flint water example is another where people got screwed. It truly amazes me how people are getting screwed by this party on various issues – healthcare, climate change, debt, environment, credit, diplomacy, civil rights – yet, think otherwise because the President tells them what a great job he is doing. He thinks his administration handle Puerto Rico hurricane support superbly. Really? Keith

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