It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine why it’s never the time to talk about gun violence in the United States of America. All one needs is Google.
Only a few short days ago, another massacre – this time inside a church – happened in Sutherland Springs, Texas. At least 26 people died, and at least 20 people were injured by a man wielding a semi-automatic assault rifle and packing 15 loaded magazines. Donald Trump and the entire GOP is telling us this is not the time to address gun violence in this country. Same thing they said after Las Vegas. After the Pulse nightclub. After Virginia Tech. After Sandy Hook. And on and on and on.
A quick search on Google reveals 117 reasons why members of Congress are so afraid of the NRA and the reason is simple. Money. Money from gun manufacturers.
A quick Google search produced a list of gun manufacturers in the United States. 117 of them. There are most likely more that didn’t make the list. Even the site says “it is not all-encompassing.”
Those 117 companies count more than the 90 percent of Americans who want stricter gun laws. They count more than the people who are victims of the ongoing slaughter of innocents at the end of a firearm.
The bullsh*t comeback from defenders of the indefensible is that gun control amounts to a ban. Which is patently false, but facts have no meaning to those who are determined to be able to buy any weapon at any time and to hell with you for saying they can’t! Another bullsh*t comeback is that the only defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun; and the defenders are saying that some guy who ran out to his truck to get his rifle prevented the Sutherland Springs shooter from killing more people. But that isn’t true either. The shooter had already exited the church and was running away when the “good guy with a gun” shot him twice, injuring him. The shooter then decided he wasn’t going to pay for what he’d done, so he killed himself.
After Las Vegas, everyone expected a ban on bump stocks. Didn’t happen. Several weeks ago, I wrote about how the GOP buried a provision for deregulating the sale of silencers in an otherwise innocuous bill that always receives bipartisan support. Love the title of that one: The Hearing Protection Act. No, instead of putting in place measures that would at least have some dampening effect, the Orange Scourge decided it would be a good idea to repeal the Obama ban on selling firearms to the mentally ill. In light of Trump branding this the act of a mentally ill person (because he was white – if he’d been a person of color, he would have been a terrorist and we’d have to do something RIGHT NOW!), it would be funny if it weren’t so damned sad.
The Sutherland Springs shooter was mentally ill. There is no doubt about that. But he passed a background check, because the Air Force failed to file a report detailing his history of violence. The reason he was able to kill all those people was because he could walk into a gun store and buy anything he wanted. Just like the shooter in Las Vegas. Just like so many others who have wrought havoc in our communities.
It is far past time to stop this. The world is watching in disbelief as we continue to allow this carnage, and the mass shootings are just the tip of the iceberg. Every day brings new heartbreak to families all over this country as they bury their toddlers or their daughters or sons or mothers, fathers, sisters, or brothers who had the terrible misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
This is what we need: a ban on assault weapons, high capacity magazines, armor piercing bullets, and silencers. Regarding the assault weapons, instead of picking through the long list of that type of weapon and allowing some, while disallowing others for whatever reasons, make it easy. Define the type of gun to be sold to civilians by the features of the weapon. That way, no one will be banned from purchasing a hunting rifle – and there are many from which to choose. Nor will those who feel they need a firearm for home protection be prohibited from purchasing a handgun, as long as that handgun is not a semi-automatic weapon. In close quarters, the last thing one would need in an emergency situation is a weapon that can fire multiple rounds that may pierce walls and injure members of the family you are seeking to protect.
Dwight. D. Eisenhower warned us of the industrial military complex in his farewell speech to the American people in 1961. His warning has come true, and we are paying dearly for it. Whether it is sending our troops into endless wars or allowing unfettered access to guns on our streets, we are at the mercy of an industry that cares for profit above human lives. We are the largest armament manufacturer on the face of the planet, dwarfing our nearest competitors in the sheer magnitude of weaponry and related products. Consider the number of armament manufacturers by country: Argentina – 4, Australia – 7, Austria – 3, Azerbaijan -1, Bangladesh – 5, Belgium – 2, Brazil – 8, Bulgaria – 3, Canada -12, Chile – 2, China – 9, Columbia – 1, Croatia – 4, Cuba – 1, Czech Republic – 4, Egypt – 1, Estonia – 2, Ethiopia – 1, Finland – 3, France – 11, Germany -11, Georgia – 1, Greece – 7, Iceland -1, India – 18, Indonesia – 5, Iran – 1, Israel – 10, Italy – 16, Japan – 15, Kazakhstan -1, Kenya -1, Malaysia – 2, Mexico – 2, Netherlands – 2, Norway – 3, Pakistan – 6, Peru – 1, Philippines – 4, Poland -3, Portugal – 1, Romania – 4, Russia – 15, Saudi Arabia – 2, Serbia – 7, Singapore – 1, South Africa – 6, South Korea – 10, Spain – 3, Sri Lanka – 1, Sudan – 1, Sweden – 2, Switzerland – 5, Thailand – 2, Turkey – 10, Ukraine – 5, United Arab Emirates – 3, United Kingdom – 16, United States – 71, Vietnam – 1, Zimbabwe – 1.
A country that profits so intensely from violence and war cannot be a country intent on making peace. That is the bald truth.
The elections held on November 7, 2017 offer us a glimmer of hope. We CAN turn this around if we take back Congress, but we have to keep up the momentum and not lose sight of the goal. Once we have a firm grip on Congress, then we must contact the representatives we put there and demand they do our bidding and not the bidding of the terrorist organization known as the NRA.
Never give up. Never back down. #2018 #2020 #Resist
Ann Werner is the author of thrillers and other things. Show her some love and check out her books!
Visit her at Ann Werner on the Web