I’m shedding my reporter and writer’s cloak and submitting these thoughts as an American citizen. I’ll not be as gentle as my colleagues on the subject.
Guns don’t kill people…people kill people. Some effed-up dipshit named Holmes, a 24-year-old “people” PhD candidate who was apparently prepared to leave the program, killed at least 12 “people” and wounded another 59 according to police reports, including a three-month-old baby. This happened 39 minutes into a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado.
In the January, 2011 Gabrielle Gifford’s Tucson shooting, a “people” named Jared Lee Loughner, age 22 at the time, killed 6, including a sitting federal judge and a precious 9-year-old girl. He wounded an additional 13 or 14, shooting ‘Gabby’ point-blank in the head.
Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado, was the scene of another mass shooting. A total of 13 dead (12 students, 1 teacher) and 24 injured. A couple of young brutes, Harris and Klebold, fired assorted weaponry at will inside the school. A 12-guage shotgun was fired 25 times, a Tech 9, 55 times and a 9mm carbine, 96 times. A pal purchased some of the guns at a gun store.
Just for the record, Holmes was packing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, a near-twin cosmetically to the M-16, but that’s where the similarity ends. He also carried a Remington 870 12-guage shotgun and a .40 caliber Glock handgun on his person. Another Glock was found in his car. All were legally purchased.
The granddaddy of all U.S. mass killings used to be the April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech massacre that took out 32 victims and wounded 17 more. A South Korean, Seung-Hui Cho, 23, ended the horror by killing himself. The Aurora shooting eclipsed the Virgina Tech total of dead and wounded with a record combined count of 71 victims.
Four examples all involving young men with societal boners getting off by killing innocents of all ages.
Aurora’s mayor insisted that “this is a safe city and a safe country.” Democratic Governor, John Hickenlooper thanked those who had offered help and support. “We will get back on our feet and we will move ahead. Let them know this is an isolated incident. It’s tragic, it’s horrible, but it’s isolated.” Yeah, we only kill tens of thousands every year in isolated incidents. The governor sat down with no comments about guns. Republicans? Democrats? Not a word about guns. Never a word! Until the two heroic exceptions I’ll cite in a moment.
Both President Obama and Mitt Romney also had their say on the matter. The two men were highly sympathetic. Obama, in counseling prayer, has had more practice commenting on senseless shootings. Romney indicated there is something we can do. We can “offer comfort.” Prayer; comfort?
Here’s the only comfort I can draw from this incident. CNN, to its credit, gave a fair amount of face time to the black Democratic mayor of Philadelphia, who made more courageous sense than anyone I’ve heard on this subject for years. Michael Nutter said more reasonable gun regulations and procedures need to be in place. He added further that the NRA has a disproportionate level of influence and also a stranglehold over legislators of both parties. Gimme an ‘N’, gimme a ‘U’…now there’s a man. New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, long an advocate for gun control, was quoted as saying more reasonable gun regulations and procedures need to be in place.
These men are right on point. Let’s treat the NRA like the bloodthirsty, gun-nut dictatorship it really is. I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again. If other elected officials besides the two mayors on any level dare utter ONE word against owning anywhere from one to an infinite number of guns, the NRA will use it’s ridiculous and totally unearned clout to remove that person from office come the next election.
The NRA will say, “If only people in the theater were armed they could have shot the guy.” That’s the insidiousness of the NRA. Make sure enough people have access to guns (everybody is their goal) so when a guy goes off his feed, then they can sell the ‘self-defense’ rejoinder. By the way, if you’re packing your chances of getting killed go way up. Again, as I’ve written before.
That’s what is so insidious about the NRA. They make sure enough people have access to guns to carry off horrific incidents like the ones described. Once the inevitable happen, then they can sell self-defense to the rest of the population. Republicans and an embarrassing number of democrats carry all the water for the National Rifle Association. The NRA expends millions of their dues money for lobbyists and candidates. For all the republican bitching about how a percentage of union dues might go to democrats, they don’t give the least little shit that NRA dues money might find its way into republican candidate coffers.
Then there’s the final resting place for the NRA, the 2nd Amendment. The most important right in the history of the universe, the Right to bear arms. Otherwise known as the right to kill at will. A couple of years ago the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote of course, said go right ahead partner. Feel free to stuff every overall pocket, cram every nook and cranny, pile high in every basement all the shotguns, rifles, handguns, revolvers, hell – muskets, whatever goes boom, to your heart’s content and by God, the states and locals can’t do one thing to stop you. Gee, states-righters cheering the feds enforcing their right to their little pop-guns while insisting that health care and other truly positive federal initiatives are NONE OF THE FED’S BUSINESS.
So, yeah, an occasional two-year-old might die from pop’s gun sitting on the kitchen table and hubby might fatally shoot the Mrs. in a drunken domestic dispute and 6 or 12 or 32 might die in minutes and gun-lusters will don a somber mask for a few moments before again playing quick draw in front of the mirror.
Right now, the responses of the New York and Philadelphia mayors show a lot more courage than the two men who should be leading the way.