Guns

The gun zealot lobby has pointed the finger at everything except guns as a reason for school shootings. Their claims, of course, make no sense to a rational person. But they are convenient for politicians who have to say something to keep the NRA’s largesse flowing.

Texas Lt Gov, Dan Patrick, blamed the Santa Fe shootings on a culture of violence in movies and video games. Oliver North, new President of the NRA, blamed Ritalin. Other culprits? Abortion, too many doors in schools, divorce, insanity, overly PC liberals — and no doubt gay marriage, women’s equality and blacks getting the vote have their fans as well.

They are all easily dismissed. Other industrial countries have all of the above. And none come close to America’s gun homicide rate. And it’s not just the easy availability of guns — it is the NRA’s fetishizing of what is essentially a tool. And it doesn’t help that many Americans value life less than other nationalities.

Canada, Switzerland, and Israel all have relatively high gun ownership rates. But none of them are close to America in gun violence. Why? Until the 1970s people who owned guns did so to hunt, for target practice and because they were collectors. Self-defense was not a major reason. And even the NRA was fine with sensible gun restrictions.

But much as evangelicalism perverted Christianity for political ends, the gun lobby perverted the second amendment for power and commercial gain. They worked for the unfettered right to own a gun while at the same time they promoted the Rambo image of defiant self-defense.

Obscenities like ‘stand your ground’ laws were passed by compliant state legislatures. People only had to say they “felt threatened” and in return, they received carte blanche to blast away. It didn’t always work as a legal strategy, but gun nuts pressed on anyway.

Michael Dunn thought he could get away with shooting into a car ten times because he said he believed someone was pointing a gun at him. Jordan Davis, 17, was killed, and Dunn got life without parole. And it all started because Dunn thought the teens were playing their music too loudly.

Curtis Reeves, an ex-captain of the Tampa Bay PD, has received better news. Initially, a judge denied his request to use the self-defense excuse after he shot and killed Chad Oulson in a movie house after a dispute involving some popcorn and a non-existent cell phone. But now an appeals court has taken up the case after finding merit in his claim.

Most infamously George Zimmerman walked away after gunning down an unarmed black teen, Trayvon Martin. Previous and subsequent events have shown the Zimmerman is nothing more than a thug. But the law viewed him as an innocent man.

All three of these killings occurred in Florida. A state with some of the most promiscuous gun rules in the country. It was bad enough when a law allowing stand your ground was enacted in 2005. But it was made so much worse in 2017 when the law was amended to shift the burden of proof to prosecutors. They had to show the defendant wasn’t in fear of his life — and how the hell do you prove that?

Lost in the shuffle of gun deaths is the fact that the US non-gun murder rate is higher than countries like the UK. In Great Britain dispute resolution ends in the ER; in the US it ends in the morgue.

Even criminals in the UK are far less likely to kill a rival, preferring such intimidating tactics as kneecapping. The Krays, England’s most notorious gangsters, committed a grand total of two murders. Sammy ‘The Bull’ Gravano alone confessed to involvement in 19.

This disregard for life is especially hypocritical in those who say they are “pro-life” —  when they casually dismiss the deaths of unarmed men at the hands of the police as no big deal. When they strip away nutrition and health from poor kids without a care. And when they put women at risk by defunding health clinics. It isn’t a coincidence that America has the highest rate of infant mortality of any developed country.

It is a despicable irony that a country of church-goers is so patently unChristian.

{ 0 comments }

Tucker Carlson Claims the ‘Marches for our Lives’ Are a Liberal Billionaire Plot

March 26, 2018

Conservatives cannot grasp that there is such a thing as grassroots organizing — which makes you wonder how genuinely populist the Tea Party was. They will not believe — or find it inconvenient to admit — that the teens marching across America today did so under their own initiative. Let Tucker Carlson exemplify the standard conservative narrative […]

Read the full article →

Georgia Republican Party Boss Says the Parkland Shooting Was Fake.

March 6, 2018

Michael Davis, Vice-Chairman of the Cobb County Republican Party thought it an excellent idea to share a Facebook video uploaded by Mike Nikolaou of Athens, Greece. The video includes news coverage from WPTV during the Parkland shooting. It shows the active shooter training undertaken by the Broward County schools and other schools around the nation. Somehow from this Davis divined […]

Read the full article →

The NRA’s Culture of Death. How Fetishizing a Tool Kills Kids.

February 16, 2018

Here we are once again in the aftermath of yet another gun massacre. And once again we will do nothing. Typical is Ted Cruz’s reaction, “This could happen anywhere, we have seen that evil could occur whether in Parkland or in a church or central Texas or in schools across the country. Evil is sadly always present.” What […]

Read the full article →

Rick Santorum Blames Gun Violence on Video Games.

October 8, 2017

You can rely on the pro-life crowd to be most vocal in support of gun rights. Apparently, a dot of cells has value, but country music fans are on their own. Dead? Well, that’s a small price to pay for freedom. And no one is second to Rick Santorum in this hypocrisy. Like the rest of the gun […]

Read the full article →

The Gun Zealots Said “Nothing Can Be Done”. But Las Vegas Might Prove Them Wrong.

October 5, 2017

When terrorists hijacked four planes on 9/11, America didn’t moan: “What can we do? Terrorists will always be able to hijack planes”. No, we reinforced cockpit doors and made people stand in lines for hours. The cockpit doors was a good idea. Interminable lines may have been an overreaction. So be it. We can work […]

Read the full article →

“Too Soon”: McConnell Sticks to the NRA’s Playbook

October 3, 2017

“Too soon” — it’s the GOP boilerplate reaction to every gun massacre. “We can’t talk about it about it yet”. “Let’s not politicize this issue”. It’s the upturned palm in the face —  rule number one in the craven politician’s playbook. Delay, delay, delay — in hopes it will all blow over. Mitch McConnell wasted little […]

Read the full article →

Las Vegas. Another Massacre. More Prayers. No Action.

October 2, 2017

Fifty-nine people are killed in Las Vegas – 527 wounded. And politicians from right to far-right are “thoughts & prayers” all over social media. And that’s all you’ll get. There will be nothing done to prevent another massacre – not even a conversation about what to do. “There’s a time and place for a political debate, […]

Read the full article →

The Constitution Wasn’t Designed to Make it Easier To Shoot Steve Scalise

June 15, 2017

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. […]

Read the full article →