Nel's New Day

January 5, 2013

Gun Deaths – The Loss of Life and Happiness, Part 1

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The NRA would deprive you of the first and third, by redefining the second.”—Douglas Anthony Cooper

This morning four people, including the shooter, were killed in Aurora, Colorado where another 12 people were killed in a movie theater on July 20 last year. The deaths of these people add to the almost five hundred gun deaths in the United States since 28 people died in Newtown, Connecticut less than a month ago.

Since the death of these 28 people, the media has turned to other areas of concern. The NRA leadership is sure to breathe a sigh of relief as the public worries about the next “cliff” because the fractious Republicans hold the United States hostage. Forget the gun deaths, the media says, covering the dissension caused by those who want to  make the poor and middle class pay for the advantages of the wealthy.

The first response to the Newtown killings was to find reasons for this tragedy. Because people could not face the fact that people need guns to kill people with guns, they created irrational justifications. Feminism, abortion, and other ways that white men are oppressed were very popular  as were the lack of God in our schools and the acceptance of marriage equality, ala Mike Huckabee.  In a Tennessee Baptist church, Pastor Sam Morris blamed mass shootings on schools that teach “evolution” and “how to be a homo.”

Women in Sandy Hook Elementary School saved the lives of several children, but National Review published Charlotte Allen’s article in which she said,  “A feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel.” In other words, the women were to blame because of their passivity.

The head of Tea Party Nation accused the “sex in movies, television, on the internet” because young people’s “passions are eternally inflamed, and they wander the Earth with no outlet for their overstimulated glands.” Author Timothy Birdnow told parents to “make sure [their children] dress modestly.” Parents should have open talks with their children, he wrote. “If black thugs kidnap and rape a woman, ask if there is something in the black culture that fostered that. If an evil white kid murders a bunch of children at the school, ask the same question of the white community … We have to stop hiding from our respective national sins.” Other writers pitied the “angry white man” because they are no longer superior to everyone else.

After the NRA took down its Facebook page and hid out for a few days following Sandy Hook, Wayne LaPierre had a press conference to explain the NRA spin on this disaster:  schools are “gun free zones”; they just need armed guards for everyone to be safe.  These shootings are the fault of the mentally ill running around society, according to the NRA, as well as the copycats (who might also be mentally ill). LaPierre wants a national database of the mentally ill but strenuously objects to a national database of gun sales.

LaPierre also blamed President Obama because he’s soft on crime. In fact, the president is soft on gun control. Video games, too few lawful gun owners, and lack of gun safety training were also at fault, according to LaPierre, despite his bragging about the NRA gun education and safety training programs.

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, just blamed everyone for not carrying guns at all times. It is his belief that the shooting at Sandy Hook would have been prevented if teachers had firearms. He also wants all the people in the country to have guns “in order to control the government” and use their weapons when the government steals elections or “after a long trail of abuses.”

With the crazy reasons came crazy solutions, the most prevalent being lots more guns as Pratt suggested. As LaPierre said, “Call me crazy.”   And he is if he thinks that armed guards at schools will protect everyone. The Sandy Hook shooter got into the school by breaking a window; there was an armed guard at Columbine High School in 1999 when two boys killed 13 people and at Virginia Tech in 2007 when a student killed 32 other people. Yet conservatives, who want to shrink the government to nothing, want the government to pay for armed guards at all the schools.

The most terrifying solution, however, comes from Megan McArdle in Newsweek. “I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.” Imagine a group of six- and seven-year-olds running toward a man with a Bushmaster rifle with a magazine that holds 30 rounds.

Once all the media has died down about shootings, NRA, in connection with Koch Brothers-backed and corporate funded ALEC, will push for more gun laws favorable to their leadership:

Guns on Campus that limits regulations by college and university governing boards.

Immediate Firearm Purchases that prohibits waiting periods.

More “Stand Your Ground” Laws like the one which allowed one man to shoot another because of an argument over a pizza.

No Borders to Firearm Movement that requires states to recognize concealed-carry permits or licenses from other states.

Annulling Local Regulations on Guns removing authority of local jurisdictions.

Defending an Unregulated Gun Market.

Guns for Emergencies prohibiting states from confiscating firearms because of a declared “state of emergency.”

Semi-Automatics for Everyone to eliminate regulations that would curb the use and sale of semi-automatic rifles.

Bolstering the NRA Reading of the Second Amendment to stop “restrictive firearms laws that only serve to limit law abiding citizens in the exercise of their Constitutionally guaranteed rights while having no effect on the activities of the criminal element in our society,” according to ALEC’s resolution.

Despite the number of gun deaths, the NRA works with corporations and spends millions of dollars to promote looser and looser gun laws. Their goal is to protect gun sales because they get their money from arms dealing. NRA lobbyists will go to any lengths to keep the money rolling in. Only four percent of the people in the United States belong to the NRA. That’s not where the money is. Through the power of this organization, the NRA has made the United States into the most lucrative personal arms market in the world.


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