I CERTAINLY don’t mean that either literally or figuratively.
But it is at least a way to try and first, get your attention and second, make a point about an entirely absurd, masochistic situation that just continues, and continues, and continues here in the United States.
Every time something happens, like what just happened in Las Vegas, you can absolutely predict the responses we are certain to hear. I’m sure that the NRA had their publicity machine in action before the first body got to a Las Vegas hospital.
Republican congressmen have gone back to their cliff notes about gun control to make sure that they are prepared to answer the same questions they have received, and deflected, and obfuscated over, again and again and again.
Democratic congressmen also have gone back to their prepared responses even though they know that nothing will change, and some of them are likely privately glad that it won’t. (Oh, I know. How naive of me to even consider that some Democrats may be in the pockets of the NRA as well. That could not possibly be true. Yeah, right.)
- It’s people who kill people, not guns.
- We have more than enough gun laws on the books already. We just have to enforce them.
- The bleeding heart liberals are just out to repeal the 2nd Amendment
- Bringing up gun control every time there is a mass shooting is simply using a tragedy to further the liberal agenda.
- Now is the time to unite as a country, and not the time for political debate. (We have already heard that one from the Trump administration.)
- The Right to Bear Arms is guaranteed by the Constitution. If we give that up, then we give up our freedom.
- Any further infringement on the right to own a gun is a slippery slope that will inevitably lead to the complete repeal of the 2nd Amendment.
- Yadda, yadda, yadda, f@#$%ing yadda
Statistics are not going to convince anyone, or at least convince those who need to be convinced. Statistics alone certainly have had no effect so far. The gun lobby is as much entrenched in the unrestricted gun ownership dogma as are Trump supporters who will continue to support him regardless of what he says and does, day after day.
“I could shoot someone in the middle of the street, and my supporters would still vote for me.” He could easily have added, “And if I do, I damn well better have the right to own whatever type of weapon I choose to accomplish the shooting.”
I am not a huge fan of all Democrats, and I am anything but some bleeding heart liberal. But there is no path that I see to the removal of Trump, or to the removal of the threat of the sadistic, self-serving Republican agenda, that does not involve kicking the Republicans out of Congress and replacing them with Democrats – warts and all. That also includes any possibility of ever enacting any type of common sense controls on – NOT the elimination of – the right to own a gun.
Could any type of legislation have stopped what occurred in Las Vegas, or in Newtown, or in Columbine, or in place, after place, after place, after place? No.
It is way too late to have prevented those from taking place, and it is likely too late to prevent similar things from occurring for many years to come.
But just because we can’t stop the carnage right now, and for our generation, does not mean that there is a real chance that if we take action now, our grandchildren, or perhaps our great grandchildren might, just might, live in a country where this type of thing is incredibly rare … and not simply commonplace and accepted.
Everyone knows what the problem is. The trick is coming up with a solution, selling that solution to the majority of the American public (most of whom already agree that common sense gun restriction is needed now), and most importantly, steeling the public to the need to once and for all stop fearing and bowing to the gun lobby.
Here are my two suggestions.
- First, make it clear that this has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with repealing the 2nd Amendment. For those who do believe that repeal is the only answer, they just have to shut the Hell up.
- If it takes agreeing to some sort of legislation, or making some sort of formal declaration by Democrats that they guarantee that no effort will be taken to repeal the 2nd Amendment, then go ahead and do it.
- This should NOT be about the 2nd Amendment.
- Besides, “that hay is already in the barn”, “that train has long since left the station” … insert whatever clichéd metaphor you want. There are so many millions and millions of guns already owned and in circulation, removing them all will never be an achievable solution.
- Second, make it equally clear that the single goal is to make the possession, purchase and sale of any weapon of mass destruction a federal crime in the United States.
- If you guarantee the right to own a gun for personal protection, or for personal recreation, then there is absolutely no legitimate reason whatsoever why the right to own weapons like those used in Las Vegas and elsewhere cannot be eliminated entirely.
This will most certainly not prevent the vast majority of gun deaths. People will continue to shoot each other because they feel that they have a right to do so. Hey, it’s what makes us Americans, right? I demand to have the right to blow your ass away, if I feel like it.
However, what it will eventually do, not this year, nor the next, nor perhaps even for our generation or for the next, but eventually, it will mean that most people will be limited to only being able to kill a few people at a time. It will also make it incredibly more difficult, and far more expensive, for criminals to use automatic weapons during the commission of crimes, and to use those weapons against law enforcement.
What this would also do would be to take automatic weapons completely out of the gun control discussion. It has no business being any part of that discussion. Then let people continue to debate about how to reduce the ridiculous amount of individual gun deaths that occur every day, because that discussion certainly needs to continue.
It’s sad to say that is the best we can hope for, but it IS something that nonetheless can be achieved … and it can start now. We may not prevent another Las Vegas, or Orlando, or Fort Hood for years to come. But we can lay the groundwork so that there is a realistic chance that these tragedies become so isolated in the future that, if and when they do occur, the outrage felt will be so real, and so visceral, and most importantly so lasting … not something to just blindly accept as a being part of the American experience, and to then just wait for the inevitable next time to happen.