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Thursday, October 27, 2016

What if we had a mass shooting and nobody noticed?

That gloomy thought came to mind as I listened to the unsettling sound of silence that followed the September 16 Navy Yard shooting in the nation’s capital that killed 12 people, plus the shooter.

Three days later it came to mind again as a shooting spree in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood made national news. Thirteen were injured, including a 3-year-old boy who was shot in the face. Four people have been charged in the reportedly gang-related incident.

President Obama eloquently expressed the grief, outrage and frustration that every decent American should feel about “yet another mass shooting” at the Navy Yard.

But overall reaction to the workplace slaughter by a reportedly deranged gunman was sadly and noticeably subdued compared to the national outrage that reignited the national gun debate following the massacre of 20 children and six educators in Newtown, Connecticut.

That’s because after all the anguish, debate and proposed legislation that emerged from the Newtown tragedy, the legislation was voted down in the Senate and everyone returned to other matters — like House Republicans voting uselessly to repeal Obamacare more than 40 times. Opposition to even modest measures was too strong, especially from rural centers of pro-gun culture.

If even the massacre of children and the shooting of then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, could not move Congress to pass new gun safety measures, it’s no wonder that the energy for gun safety seems to have drained out of Capitol Hill.

But that doesn’t mean that we Americans can’t do anything but wring our hands over the continuing carnage. As even mass shootings lose their ability to shock us, both sides of the gun debate need to face a bracing reality: The gun violence problem is not only local and it’s not only about guns.

Those points were urgently expressed by New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu and Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter in a joint speech in Washington last Thursday. They called for a new “surge” in attention and national action to the “virus” of gun-related violence.

Calls for national action are hardly new, but I was encouraged by the mayors’ refusal to be, as Landrieu put it, bogged down by the “seemingly mind-numbing debate about gun control.”

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  • Dominick Vila

    The bikers incident in New York highlights why sensible gun control legislation is a chimera in the USA. There are many among us consumed by fear of anything foreign or different from the norm, prejudiced, and ignorant. Law and order for them is analogous to surrender and unacceptable surrender. For that segment of our society, the only choice is to arm themselves to the teeth, join “patriot” organizations for training and comfort, and build bunkers to defend themselves from the schizophrenic voices that control their psyche. Needless to say, organizations such as the NRA take advantage of those fears and prejudices to profit and advance their agenda, even when they know that their irresponsible actions may lead to the eventual destruction of our nation.

  • CrossWinds

    As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be…….

    ……..Genesis 6:11………
    The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

    • Sand_Cat

      So god forbid we try to do anything about it; if it succeeded, what would smug posters of Biblical fragments do with themselves?

      • CrossWinds

        John 6:29
        Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

    • nells

      Wait a minute. I thought God created earth. So how could earth, which supposedly hasn’t been created yet, be corrupt BEFORE God lmfao?

  • tdm3624

    I agree. The causes of violence are many and complex. One solution won’t solve the problem.

  • holyreality

    One major root of mass violence is the overuse and abuse of psychiatric drugs by big Pharm, and the AMA.

    There are 22 international drug regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs citing adverse effects such as mania, hostility, violence and even homicidal ideation.

    At least 31 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs, resulting in 162 wounded and 72 killed.

    Between 2004-2012, there have been 14,656 reports to the FDA’s MedWatch system on psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects, including more than 1,400 cases of homicidal ideation/homicide, nearly 3,300 cases of mania and 8,200 cases of aggression.

    The FDA has placed “Black Box Warnings” (the most serious warnings on prescription medications) on all antidepressants which state “increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior, known as suicidality…”

    A recent Department of Defense study reports that “studies have shown a marked increase in the incidence of diagnosed mental disorders in active-duty service members since 2005, paralleling the incidence of suicide.”

    Despite the known serious adverse reactions, antidepressants are the second most prescribed group of drugs in America.

    I think just getting any anti-anxiety/psychotic, or other popular psych “medication” should bring up a flag in a background check for gun purchases. Cracking down on doctor liability for leaving their patient off a no buy list wouldn’t hurt either.

  • Sand_Cat

    We especially need “parenting” for the little boys and girls of the NRA.

  • mandinka

    No one is opposed to “gun” safety that isn’t what the Demorats have proposed. Want gun safety they gun purchases have to be limited to US CITIZENS, no one with any sort of mental defect should be allowed to buy a gun and that existing laws like the background check has to enforced.