In order to completely disrespect every family who is currently grieving over the loss of a family member, (a child in particular) to gun violence, the Council on Promoting Gun Violence and Exploiting the Dead (my embellishment) has decided, in their infinite paranoia, to declare Saturday, January 19th “Gun Appreciation Day.” to be ironic, these fine folks chose the very weekend we celebrate the birth of a champion of non-violence, MLK. These people, who clearly pervert the Second Amendment, must make certain if any crazed, violent loon has the inclination, he or she has access to as much ammunition and high-powered weaponry as they so desire.
The number of people in America killed by firearms is extraordinary compared to other nations. If we’re not a bloodthirsty culture, as wars seldom reach our shores, we need to look at everything we can do to safeguard our people. These gun rights rather than human rights advocates clearly have a violent, profit-driven agenda in mind.
General Stanley McChrystal, a member of our conservative armed forces said, “we need to take a look at why we’d even consider allowing these (military-style assault weapons) in our society… I personally don’t think there’s any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets, and particularly around the schools in America,” McChrystal continued. “I believe that we’ve got to take a serious look. I understand everybody’s desire to have whatever they want, but we’ve got to protect our children, we’ve got to protect our police and we’ve got to protect our population. And I think we’ve got to take a very mature look at that.”
Prominent leaders’ assassinations have been the catalyst for legislative action via public outrage in our past. The 1960’s were a volatile time where we lost some of America’s greatest leaders to senseless gun violence. Martin Luther King was fatally shot by sniper’s bullet on April 4, 1968. Death was the result of a horrific gunshot wound (to the chin and neck with a fatal transection of the lower cervical and upper thoracic spinal cord and other structures in the neck), a violent end to a life of noble purpose. Just two months later, RFK was also taken out by an assassin with a gun. The nation’s hopes and dreams for peace died right along with him.
The Johnson Administration passed new gun control measures, reasonable means to minimize tragic shootings, without denying Second Amendment “rights.” Johnson’s bill banned all mail-order and out-of-state sales of handguns, shotguns and rifles; prohibited the sale of guns to minors; and required national registration of all guns and licensing of all gun owners. No reasonable citizen could argue these measures were, and still are, very logical. Unfortunately reason, logic and mental health are sadly lacking from so many who pervert the second amendment to mean they should own as many military-style automatic weapons as they can fit in their closets next to their Confederate memorabilia and Hank Williams Jr. concert shirts.
Johnson’s words were as apropos then as they are today.
“The voices that blocked these safeguards were not the voices of an aroused nation. They were the voices of a powerful gun lobby, a gun lobby, that has prevailed for the moment in an election year. . . . We have been through a great deal of anguish these last few months and these last few years – too much anguish too forget so quickly. So now we must complete the task which this long needed legislation begins.”
Somehow reason prevailed and we were able to pass some common sense safety measures.
During Vietnam War protests, outrageous gun violence was an issue compromised mainly of police brutality. The incident at Kent State, May 4, 1970 focused our gun injustices on our police and authorities’ lack of restraint. The number of massacres at the hands of police, however, pales in comparison to the carnage of all the mass shootings we’ve experienced in the last twenty years. The gun lobbyists claim violent video games, lack of prayer and lack of universal gun ownership are more to blame than the easy acquisition of high-powered firearms which they proliferate at thousands of gun shows .
The NRA has immense political power, and associates themselves with unsavory, paranoid lunatics like Alex Jones and the Chairman of National Gun Appreciation Day, Larry Ward. Their type of manufactured dystopian hysteria creates a culture more concerned with contrived future scenarios than the problem of constant gun massacres. This is evidenced by comparisons of President Obama to Chairman Mao, Stalin and Hitler. Generally, once Hitler is used as a reference, proponents of such absurdity have lost their argument and their minds.
There is utter disbelief expressed by ALL wealthy, industrialized nations looking upon us in horror at this manageable problem. We wanted fewer deaths from drunk driving, and voila, in just thirty years we’ve lowered fatalities by 50% with movements such as M.A.D.D. We raised the legal drinking age and sure enough, death rates fell. Since so many of these crimes are perpetrated by people in their twenties, maybe closely scrutinizing gun ownership by this demographic would be a great way to start.
With the recent unfathomable carnage of Newtown and Aurora, I’m hopeful the level of outrage has reached a tipping point. A recent Newtown visit by Gabby Giffords and husband, Mark Kelly has, once again, exposed the fringe element in the NRA-owned GOP. The Facebook exchange below shows just how convoluted their thinking has become.
You can’t engage a cross-section of your acquaintances without running into one or two quintessential “Obama is coming for our guns” morons. If we lessen the exposure and power of these paranoid miscreants, we may be able to make assault rifles and the proliferation of arsenals by the deranged as unfashionable as the Jim Crow South. The only way we’ve successfully conquered opposing forces clinging to outdated and inhumane policies is by collectively expressing our desire for change and forcing legislators to LEGISLATE SANITY!