Tag Archives: gun control

The Failure Of Thoughts And Prayers

Another school shooting.  This one was here in Maryland, down in St. Mary’s County, and again we have public officials sending out “thoughts and prayers.”

I don’t begrudge anyone their desire to pray about something, but isn’t too little attention being given to the central question of why these kids are taking guns to school?   Are they all hearing voices or is the answer more complex and maybe having to do with an acceptance of violence by our society coupled with a rejection of attributes like kindness and peace with the need for health care and education being replaced by dog-eat-dog capitalism at home and expanding militarism overseas?

Maybe these kids see adults not giving a damn about one another and they’re following suit?   Their condition amplified by violent video games, tv and movies?  Could it be that being raised on a steady diet of visual violence is causing some young people to act it out?

It could be that this isn’t just about gun control or any other single issue – although the question of why any American civilian needs a military-grade assault weapon is certainly valid and needs to be hashed out.   Beyond that, it could be this requires a broader look at our cultural phenomenon of wanting to kill one-another in near record numbers.

You’d probably have to go back to the the mob wars in Chicago in the 30’s, or maybe even the Civil War,  to find this many Americans blowing one another away on a regular basis over a prolonged period of time.  Think about Florida and Las Vegas and Sandy Hook and all the others.  It’s slaughter.  But we seem to have no clear idea as to why.   Isn’t that the central question?   Don’t we need to identify the cause before setting out to cure the illness?

Thoughts and prayers clearly aren’t working.   Talking about what a great job the lone cop in the school in Maryland did, and whether we should have cops in some schools while training and arming teachers in others is not the discussion we should be having.    Common sense tells any sentient being that introducing more weapons into a society that’s already armed to the teeth is not a reasonable response to the problem of people shooting one another.

Those leaders left standing who can get beyond their personal political aggrandizement, should be putting together a panel of the nation’s top mental health professionals to figure this out.   To prepare a report based upon the best science available, so that we can all have a little more information going forward.   Something more than thoughts and prayers or the latest position from NRA-funded politicians.   Something that might point to an actual solution.

Until then, please be encouraged to keep praying.    You may be all we’ve got.


Guns -We Need To At Least Try


After Orlando, San Bernardino, Sandy Hook and so many other mass murders it still takes a filibuster to convince the Republican-led Senate to take up the issue of meaningful gun control?  Well, wonderful, but that probably won’t get it done.

Even if the Senate comes up with something that has potential for meaningful impact the measure will then go to the Republican-led house, which is sure to water the bill down before sending it along to President Obama, who, if the bill is relatively meaningless will either refuse to sign it (in which case the Republicans will blame Obama for a meaningless bill’s failure) or will go ahead  and sign it anyway, because something is better than nothing , making it appear the Senate and House have finally passed something to deal with the flood of weapons on American streets – when in fact the impact will be negligable and the gun lobby will have again succeeded in shooting down gun control.

The only way to get meaningful legislation aimed at getting military-style assault weapons out of the hands of a civilian populace with no reason for owning such weaponry will be to completely clean house.   To throw the Republicans out, reelecting another Democrat in the White House and putting Dems in charge of both houses of Congress.  Otherwise there will be no meaningful change on guns. And if the Republicans remain in control of the House and Senate, we’ll be stuck with four more years of no meaningful progress on anything, as the “party of no” continues its chokehold on the system.

The following headline from the Washington Post is pertinent- “From 2004 to 2014, over 2000 terror suspects legally purchased guns in the United States.”

Time and time again, Republicans in the House and Senate have proven themselves to be masters of obfuscation, refusing to even support discussion on background checks or the so-called “gun show loophole” even though that’s exactly what the American people want.   By one count, 91% want such legislation enacted.  And now comes the information that individuals suspected of having terrorist links can actually walk into a gun store and purchase assault weapons.    It would be madness were it not for the fact that Republican lawmakers, and some Democrats as well but mostly Republicans, are being paid by the gun lobby to kill meaningful legislation regardless of their constituent’s wishes.

The term “throw the bums out,” has never been so applicable.   It won’t fix our broken government as billionaires, millionaires and corporations will continue to buy American political leaders by the truckload, but it will at least be a step in the right direction.

It’s time to finally begin to at least try to get assault weapons off the streets.  It won’t happen overnight and it won’t be easy, but a start must be made.   It’s plainly immoral to say it can’t be done, therefore there is no use in even trying as Americans, so many of them young adults and children, continue to die.

12/14/2012          Sandy Hook               20 children, 6 adults shot dead

12/2/2015             San Bernardino       14 shot dead, 22 injured

6/12/2016             Orlando                       49 shot dead,  53 wounded

American children are being slaughtered and the Republican-led Congress repeatedly refuses to act, countermanding the wishes of the American people?   Is that not an election year hot-button topic?

The one and only purpose of assault weapons is the effective and efficient slaughter of human beings.   To kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible.  That’s it.   They need to be banned.



Another mass shooting.   This time it was clearly race-based, with a white man who can be seen in photos wearing racist patches on his jacket killing nine black people in a black church.   Sadly, Jon Stewart is right, nothing will be done about it.   Sadly,  mass shootings have become a common occurrence in America.   They have come to be expected.   Nothing will be done.

In April of 2013, USA Today reported on statistics from the Children’s Defense Fund,  writing that  “In 2010, 15,576 children and teenagers were injured by firearms — three times more than the number of U.S. soldiers injured in the war in Afghanistan, according to the defense fund.  Nationally, guns still kill twice as many children and young people than cancer, five times as many than heart disease and 15 times more than infection, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.”

But nothing will be done.

Even though the United States has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world, with 89 guns for every 100 Americans.  Even with Sandy Hook (27 dead), Charleston (9 dead), San Ysidro (21 dead), Columbine (13 dead), Oakland (7 dead), Oak Creek (6 dead),  Killeen, Texas (22 dead), Washington, DC (13 dead), Aurora (12 dead), Virginia Tech (32 dead),  and all the rest, nothing will be done, because so many of our leaders have been co-opted by the NRA and other special interest groups representing gun manufacturers, owners and promoters.   Because, as Bernie Sanders has reminded us, our government no longer works.   It is broken.   We truly do have the best government money can buy.

At the very least, our gun laws need to be reformed to include backgrounds checks.   It should probably go even further, but that at least would be a place to start.    Better controls on the sale and ownership of firearms is one  part of the problem.    In Charleston, the other part involves decades of ignorance, fear and hate.  In other words, racism,  with thinking people growing weary waiting for non-thinking people to evolve while rebel flags continue flying over South Carolina, promoting terrorism against American citizens on American soil.

And we the people, steeped in denial and locked down by a dysfunctional government do nothing, other than run out of things to say as we face moral and ethical exhaustion waiting for the carnage to continue.