Guns

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) – and four others – were gunned down on a baseball field. Luckily nobody died except for the gunman. Quick action by dedicated Capitol police prevented a bigger disaster. And the GOP quickly decried the ready availability of assault weapons to crazy people. All these statements are true – except the last one.

A victim of second amendment absolutism.

What Republicans did do was point out that the gunman was anti-Republican and a huge fan of Bernie Sanders. Newt Gingrich – whose longevity as a gadfly suggests he has pictures – was quick to blame the “increasing intensity of hostility on the left”. He also pointed the finger at Kathy Griffin and a Shakespearean assassination of a Trump look-alike.

Not to be outdone, one of Fox’s pretty boys, Eric Bolling, offered: “How many innocent people have to die before we realize that words do matter”. He then enumerated some recent liberal speech that was harsh.

Someone should take Eric by the hand and gently explain that words would be a lot less harmful if lunatics didn’t have guns. Also, that if you must bemoan free speech, include right-wing hyperventilation. And additionally, that the vast majority of gun deaths in America have nothing to do with politics.

Which brings us to the murder of three UPS workers by another crazed gunman on the same day. That is by far the more usual mass shooting in America – there have been 154 so far this year. But those are quickly dismissed. Why? If Muslims had committed them, there would have been hell to pay. But ‘regular’ Americans shooting each other causes little consternation – even though the victims are equally shot and dead.

Steve Scalise has the right of every American to pursue the life he sees fit without being shot. And every American has the right to lead a life without worry that some lunatic gets hold of a gun and shoots them in a school, a movie house, a church or a baseball diamond.

The usual conservative response to mass shootings is to demand more guns – as if to suggest that the real problem at the OK Corral was that there weren’t enough people shooting.

Some politicians are suggesting they should arm themselves. Let’s dismiss this nonsense. There were armed men present at the Scalise shooting. And the last time a Representative – Gabby Giffords – was shot, it was in an outdoor shopping center in Arizona, so presumably, there were guns around. Not to mention, where do you carry a gun when playing baseball?

Republicans say we have to be ever vigilant of terrorist attacks. We do. But let’s be alert for the terrorist attacks which actually happen. The ones that are perpetrated by the insane, by wife beaters, by fired employees, by white supremacists, by …. you get the point. By a lot of people who aren’t Muslim or Middle-Eastern.

If as many people died in airplane accidents as do by gun violence, Congress would pay attention. And I can safely say that the Founding Fathers did not intend the Constitution to be used as a carte blanche for the insane to get guns.

This does not deter the zealots. When it comes to the meaning of the Second Amendment, it seems everyone is a constitutional scholar. Its convoluted phrasing engenders an enthusiasm for exegesis seldom seen in English class. Regardless, the words ‘well regulated’ are in it. So let’s not ignore them.

But what I write will be as chaff in the wind. We enjoy a political environment that thinks it abhorrent to deny guns to those on terrorist watch lists. And if the mass murder of first graders at school can’t convince a pro-life Christian that something needs to be done to stop the slaughter of innocents then I can’t imagine what would.

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Really? 1.1.17 The Gun Follies Continue – And People Still Die.

January 1, 2017

She’ll never see six. Fidel Rodriguez Canchola, 34, thought it would be fun to shoot a gun across his yard to celebrate the New Year. A 5-year-old girl walked through his field of fire – and was shot dead. This doesn’t happen in the rest of the civilized world. But then the rest of the civilized […]

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Really? 3.11.16. Gun Follies in America.

March 11, 2016

“The dangerous man is the one who has only one idea, because then he’ll fight and die for it.”― Francis Crick The gun has become a symbol of liberty, freedom, and Americanism. The NRA and other gun groups have fetishized a simple tool to totemic status. In this icon worship, extremist gun owners have lost sight […]

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Really? – 1.14.15 – A Religious rapist; Gun Follies; A Pederast’s Defense.

January 13, 2016

“When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.” ― Dave Barry Religious folk insist that to be good you need God. No evidence for that contention has been produced. What is certain is that God […]

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You Won’t Die in a Terrorist Attack. Americans Don’t Understand Odds.

December 12, 2015

More Republicans (50% vs. 45%) are worried about dying in a terrorist attack than they are about dying from gun violence. Statistically, that’s absurd. Even in 2001, the number of Americans killed by terrorism didn’t come close to the number of Americans murdered by guns. The terror attacks of 9/11 killed 2,689 Americans (excluded are non-citizens); homicide by gun […]

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Are Mass Shootings Are now as American as Mom and Apple Pie?

December 4, 2015

“Guns kill far more quickly and efficiently than knives, or crossbows, or toenail clippers; and, unlike bombs, you don’t need to build one in your basement — they come ready-made! There’s a reason why guns are the overwhelming weapon of choice among mass-murderers.” ― Quentin R. Bufogle “Just another day in the United States of […]

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A ‘Good Guy with a Gun’ – the Gun Nut Delusion

October 10, 2015

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.” – Wayne LaPierre, EVP NRA Ben Carson created quite the storm when he said he would have ‘manned-up’ during the Umpqua massacre. “I would not just stand there and let him shoot me.” He doubled down by saying the […]

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The GOP Shows No Empathy for the Victims of the UCC Massacre.

October 8, 2015

The Umpqua Community College massacre has revealed Republicans as heartless opportunists – again. While accusing the President of politicizing the event, they have done nothing but diminish the victims. Jeb Bush first tweets prayers, then dismisses the tragedy as “stuff happens”. Donald Trump echoes the sentiment offering “These things happen“. Conspicuously absent was any notion of […]

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Umpqua Community College Won’t Be the Last Massacre.

October 3, 2015

“She hated people who thought too much. At that moment, she struck me as an appropriate representative for almost all mankind.” ― Kurt Vonnegut Already the gun-nut lobby and their media acolytes have pointed the finger of blame at ‘gun-free zones’ as the cause of the Umpqua Community College massacre. They are wrong. The cause […]

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