Friday, January 14, 2011


I mean it! Newt and Beck and Palin and the sheriff, all the pundits and reporters and talking heads, Limbaugh, Stern, all of you, just zip it. This isn’t about one crazy guy in the hinterland; it’s about guns, pure and simple, and their availability to any idiot who wants to make a statement.  The events in Arizona are tragic, as is the loss of any life to violence, and they could have been forecast. Every few months, someone buys or steals a gun and goes on rampage. There’s nothing new about, and we’re inured by now. The NRA has done its job in desensitizing the country and making us believe guns have nothing to do with killing people. Effing amazing, the logic, if you just pause to think about it.

The media plays into this, despite its plaintive editorials. Every newspaper in the country printed the picture of a demented-looking Jared Lee Loughner looking just like a real berserker should look—shaven head, piercing Manson-like eyes (remember the Manson photo?) mad grin showing no remorse whatsoever—as if making it obvious that this was indeed a natural born killer who didn’t really need a gun to do evil. No doubt he could have killed all those people with a box of Cheerios.

The hypocrisy of it all is really stomach-churning. Come on, folks, what the hell do you expect? According to the National Institute of Health, one in four Americans 18 and older—that’s approximately 58 million people—suffer from some form of mental disorder in any given year. Even if only small percentage of these people, say 10 percent, have a mental illness that can lead to violent behavior, that’s 5.8 million violent people walking among us, their delusions bright and shiny and just waiting to be acted upon. Most of these people can go into a gun store and buy a handgun—a powerful piece of machinery that has no other purpose but killing others—with about as much difficulty as buying a six-pack of Miller Light.

There are 65 million handguns in the United States. In 2003, more than 30,000 Americans died by gunfire. In 2005, 477,040 persons were victims of a crime committed with a firearm.  Firearms are used in 68% of all murders. Do the math.

Why then, this explosion of guilt and regrets, this self-serving breast-beating? Why bother reporting what is just a mundane event—people getting shot and killed by other people who have guns and agendas. It happens dozens of times every single day and basically, other than reacting with shock and useless verbiage, nothing is done to prevent the next massacre.  We’re back to Einstein’s definition of insanity—doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

The near assassination of Ronald Reagan 30 years ago by another madman with a point to prove led to a flurry of proposals to make gun purchase more difficult. Instead, many would tell you, in many states it is now easier to get a gun than it was three decades ago.

So here’s a thought: a little less hand-wringing, a little more balls. You want to stop massacres, you take away the tools that cause massacres: easily obtainable handguns. Or better, since the likelihood of ridding this nation of such weapons is remote, start dealing with what really kills—bullets. Legislate the manufacture and sales of ammunition. I’m willing to bet you’d see results almost immediately.     

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