Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bang Bang You’re Dead

Oh hum, another massacre, in Colorado, was it? How many this time, 12, and half-a-hundred wounded? And last time, where was it, Arizona? Michigan? Ah, the all-American horror. People with guns shooting down innocents in public venues has become as Red White and Blue as apple pie.

There’s no sense deluding ourselves. The killings don’t matter. The all-powerful gun lobby has already begun revving its engines, and we no longer even consider that a change in the firearm laws might be possible. Soon the apologists will tell us that guns don’t kill people—an outrageous lie on the face of it—and that asking for change is a shameless use of tragedy to further a political agenda.

Me, I remain astounded, disgusted, bemused in a horrible way. I live just a few miles from the headquarters of the National Rifle Association, and I pass the big, glass-sheathed building at least once a week. Every time I do, I wonder what would happen if a deranged young man—because that’s more often than not who does the shooting—were to appear in the NRA’s lobby armored and armed to the teeth with Glocks, assault rifles, grenades and shotguns. Does the NRA have a contingency plan for such an event? And if a massacre were to occur there, would we in the aftermath hear that same ridiculous falsehood? Well yes, of course we would. Presidents have fallen, as have Congressmen and Congresswomen, students, elderly people passing by and small children playing in front yards, and still the refrain remains.

What the latest outrage points to is the great cowardliness of our elected officials. It pains me to remember that Obama addressed the gun issue during his first campaign, and has refused to consider it since his arrival at the White House. 

Whenever the smallest anti-gun tremor sweeps the land, the NRA dutifully takes the offensive. No sooner had the smoke cleared form the Virginia Tech killings than a suggestion came from the NRA headquarters. Let’s arm all the students, said the pro-gunners, so they can defend themselves should another madman terrorize the campus. The idea was ludicrous and got no traction. Even die-hard members of the Association distanced themselves, at least for a little while.

Gun-based outrages often beget legal outrages, such the laws passed by several state Senates allowing the carrying of concealed weapons without permits.  In Florida, the so-called Stand Your Ground laws essentially remove a person’s duty to retreat and dictate the person may use deadly force if he or she “reasonably” believes their life is in danger. Stripping the law of legalese BS, it enables people with little or no training in such things to make a split-second decision to wound or end the life of someone else.  Essentially, according to the SYG law, a judge can grant immunity to a defendant should he or she find that “Stand Your Ground” applies.

Here inside the Capital Beltway, the outrage at mass murders left the building long ago. There is not the dimmest hope that the Colorado killings will alter anything. There will be tut-tutting, and hand-wringing, and tears, and memorial services attended by politicians, and family members of the victims and the assailant will be interviewed. The President, or First Lady--maybe both since this is an election year--will fly to Colorado for an hour or two. The mental health of the presumed shooter will be examined in painstaking details by a plethora of experts who will come to the same inescapable conclusion: the young man was not in his right mind. That such a deranged person had access to firearms will not be an issue though there may be some discussion on how he came to possess the weapons. Faults will be found, but not with the existing laws that, claiming to protect the Second Amendment, allow almost anyone to buy guns.

It’s too late to try to enact gun registration laws. The estimated total number of guns held by civilians in the US is 270,000,000 and there is not a single entity, government or private, capable of organizing or enforcing registration. So let’s do something else.  Let’s regulate ammo. That’s feasible. It’s not an immediate solution, since existing ammunition will have to be grandfathered, but it’s a start. Laws controlling the flow of bullets and shells to gun users will allow our officials to remain cowards by sidestepping the issue, and this is OK. Cowards who act are better than brave people who do not.

And remember, you heard it here first.

1 comment:

  1. Wow that was the most poorly written and uneducated piece of shit i have ever read two paragraphs of... no wonder you only have 5 followers. Your a fucking retard