“Trying to find what is ailing, living in the Land of the Free.” ~Jimmy Buffett, Banana Republics
Yet another American massacre. Kindergarten.
The gun lobby will chant their tired mantras that we can’t stop the crazies intent upon mass mayhem, but do we, as a society, have to keep trading our safety for a gun fetish disguised as “freedom”?
It didn’t take long for the rabid Right to crawl out from the woodwork to blithely blame the lack of school prayer or concealed weapons for Friday’s tragic mass shooting of 28, including twenty young children who never made it past their tender years.
In the tall, dark tower one can see from the chronically clogged I-66 freeway outside of Washington, D.C. in Northern Virginia, I imagine the spin doctors at the National Rifle Association are multi-tasking; on one hand begging us not to talk gun control in the days following yet another mass carnage, while getting the glossy fundraising mailers ready for their massive mailing list, warning about the illegitimate, reelected, closet Muslim Kenyan usurper coming after your so-called “firearms freedoms.”
Yeah, this time it’s for real, the gun loving Boys Who Cried Wolf scream, the peril from the Administration who timidly avoided common-sense gun laws to instead expand the ability to carry concealed weapons in national parks and aboard Amtrak trains.
Dunblane’s 1996 school massacre in Scotland tightened gun laws in a finally shocked enough Britain. Tasmania’s massacre the same year did the same for Oz (Australia.) Only in America can we turn our porch lights on in “solidarity” for the victims and get on with ignoring the problem. Happy Holidays!
Even well armed societies such as Israel, fearing invasion and terrorists, and Switzerland, which stayed armed for the invasion which never came, have far, far fewer gun death cases as we do. Never mind the gun lobby’s folklore, both Israel and Switzerland have gun laws which would make the “armed citizens” here wail and yank their hair out. First World regulations in advanced, industrialized societies. Except here.
“Banning guns” is a fool’s dream, unlike Japan, whose firearm death rate approaches zero like the first week non-honors Calculus lecture on the theory of limits. At last estimate, we could ban the manufacture and sale of civilian firearms and still have almost as many guns as citizens. Besides, if government is so inept at everything, how, pray tell, would mass firearm confiscation make it far out of a government conference room?
I guess the far-Right thinks more “freedom” will magically make things better … with an extra portion of baloney. What’s next? Packing Derringers in kiddie lunch boxes with the Snackables? Gun brandishing parents camped out in their children’s classrooms rehearsing a shotgun wedding in the future? Cue the banjo music.
The latest cost of “firearms freedom:” Twenty 6 and 7 year olds who will miss much more than Santa this month. Six professional public school educators, so often maligned, but who put their pupils’ lives before their own, and were murdered for it.
America’s gun victims keep getting younger. Do we bury our heads in the sands of “liberty” and wait for the nursery school shootings? The hospital newborn cribs and incubators might be safe for a little while longer while Americans continue to do nothing.
First steps: reinstate the Assault Weapons ban and close the loopholes to background check every firearms acquisition, regardless of source. Health care reform can help make mental health treatment more accessible than the gun store, no matter how profiteering health insurers and their paid Republican shills scream.
We’ve seen your “firearms freedom.” America can’t afford it.