Welcome to America, I hope you are packing heat – a reprise of a still relevant post

The following post was written almost eight years ago, but as you read it, the events seem to come right out of today’s headlines. This is one topic I am truly tired of writing about, as lobbyists have hobbled the ability for legislators to act like parents and spouses and do something. Americans have said in surveys they want, yet nothing gets done. It reveals who butters the bread for these politicians. At this moment, one more shooting has occurred in Virginia. After Colorado. After Atlanta….

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.

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.

10 thoughts on “Welcome to America, I hope you are packing heat – a reprise of a still relevant post

  1. Yes, still as relevant today as it was 8 years ago. Well written, Keith. Like you, I am tired of writing on this topic and I imagine my readers are tired of reading about it as well, but … it is one of the single most important issues facing this country today. To your query “NRA have you no shame”, I would ask the same of the Republican members of Congress who for years have blocked any gun legislation that had teeth: “Members of Congress, have you no shame?” What does it take? Does it take one of them losing a close family member before they put human life ahead of NRA money? Sigh.

    • Jill, I honestly do not know the answer to your question. We have the head of their party who incited an insurrection that endangered them and some are trying to rewrite history saying they were never in danger. That is beyond amazing to me. Keith

      • Yes, my friend … just one of the many things that leave me nearly speechless in recent times. I wonder how and when this madness ends.

      • Jill, until more in the trump party realize they are being led by sociopath, there will be too many that follow his lead of deceit and corruption. Keith

  2. A good post is ageless. The reader can look back and marvel at how far society has come or shake their heads in despair; the this instance- the latter.
    Looking from the outside at the pro-gun folk (who may differ from those who have a gun ‘jus in case’) there is something of the fanatical belief in the ownership of firearms which will not shift.
    This seeps through in all manner of ways.
    The tragic aspect being that smoking was phased out, and yet not guns. Something very insecure in parts of the nation’s subconscious, continued by the antics of the NRA and its supporters .

  3. I remember when (per I think Bloompberg) “the most powerful woman in soccer [was] Loretta Lynch”. Perhaps soon the most influential woman in the United States will be Tish James.

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