Monday, July 13, 2015

Gun, Again

And so it turns out the National Rifle Association was right—guns don’t kill people. It’s flags that kill people.

If a half-wit South Carolinian who under no circumstances should get near a firearm is able to purchase a gun because there’s a glitch in the control system; if said racist half-wit murders nine churchgoers; and if a Confederate flag is found on the half-wit’s web page, then let’s ban the flag!  Makes perfect sense.  

The “Guns don’t kill people” rationale used by the NRA was ridiculous from the start and that it endures and continues to be quoted proves a sad fact: That people will believe something—anything—if it is repeated over and over again. This is called advertising, and it is what persuades you to buy corn flakes rather than sugar pops. In the case of guns and the concomitant violence, this is also commonly referred to as the elephant in the room: An extremely large beast that takes up a lot of space, poops on the floor, bellows, trumpets, destroys the furniture and the home entertainment system but, we all like to pretend, doesn’t really exist.

Let’s belabor the obvious. In 2010, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and crime, 67 percent of all homicides in the U.S. were conducted using a firearm. According to the FBI, in 2012, there were 8,855 total firearm-related homicides in the US, with 6,371 of those attributed to handguns. The weapon used by Dylan Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist, was a Glock 41 .45 caliber handgun that he purchased in spite of being convicted of a narcotic offense. The latter should have prevented him from buying anything more powerful than a Daisy air rifle. But there was an administrative error in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and so, to misquote Dalton Trumbo, Dylan got his gun.

The NRA, in one of those truly amazing turn-arounds, blamed the shooting on one of Roof’s victims. According to the International Business Times, Charles Cotton, an NRA board member, said that Clementa Pinckney, the pastor killed during the shooting, caused his own death because of his stance on state gun laws.  Pinckney was a state senator who pushed for tougher gun regulations in South Carolina.  

The outrage caused by the shooting led the usual great diversion. Much to the NRA’s relief the Confederate flag took a hit for the team. The gun lobby dodged a bullet—pardon the expression—as across the nation, the flag was lowered. I wonder though, with the flag gone, what will be blamed next?

Personally, I’m vastly relieved. Ridding ourselves of the Confederate flag is sure to solve the problems engendered by racism, white supremacy, gun violence, crazy people buying firearms, druggies buying firearms, drug dealers buying firearms, and avowed racists buying firearms.


Really, I feel so much better now!



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