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It’s Not Just The Shooters Who Are Insane

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It’s Not Just The Shooters Who Are Insane

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Reprinted with permission from Uexpress.

On Aug. 1, 1966, Charles Whitman opened a peculiarly American chapter in the history of violent deaths. Mowing down unsuspecting students and tourists from a tower at the University of Texas in Austin, Whitman pioneered the era of mass shootings in this country. He killed 15 people and injured 31 others.

Since Whitman’s massacre a half-century ago, mass shootings have become so commonplace that politicians, police officers and journalists have ritualized their responses. President Donald J. Trump has now given his first White House address in response to such an act of “pure evil,” but, if his presidency lasts the expected four years, it likely won’t be his last.

According to a database assembled by Mother Jones magazine, there were 37 mass shootings during President Barack Obama’s tenure, including terrorist attacks at Fort Hood, Texas; San Bernardino, California; and Orlando, Florida, as well as the unspeakable atrocity at Sandy Hook Elementary School. (Obama’s administration changed the definition of “mass shooting,” lowering the minimum number of victims from four to three.)

Yet, here in the most powerful and wealthiest nation on Earth, here in the land of incredible technology, of Nobel laureates and first-rate universities, of a constitutional democracy revered the world over, we do nothing to combat this strange malady. We have become inured to this particular madness, even though we know the next mass shooting may well be worse than the last. If the gunmen are crazy, what are we?

The opioid crisis has grabbed the attention of lawmakers — as it should. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdoses from opioids — a class of drugs that includes heroin as well as some prescription meds — killed more than 33,000 Americans in 2015, the last year for which reliable figures are available. The Food and Drug Administration, the CDC, the Drug Enforcement Administration and local governments have responded with alacrity, tightening guidelines for prescriptions, opening centers for treatment, even arresting doctors who run “pill factories.”

But more than 33,000 Americans are killed every year with firearms, and we shrug. And buy more guns. (The vast majority of gun deaths, by the way, are suicides, not homicides.)

This is an American disease. No other nation has elevated guns to religious objects and given them a sacred space.

Don’t say that our Constitution demands it. Go read the Second Amendment again. It begins this way: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state …” For most of the nation’s history, legal scholars, liberal and conservative, agreed that the Founding Fathers did not intend to protect an individual’s right to firearms. It wasn’t until 2008 that the U.S. Supreme Court rewrote the meaning of the Second Amendment, declaring, for all intents and purposes, that an individual may own as many guns as he or she wishes.

That’s just part of the insanity. The National Rifle Association sees no limit to the arsenals that private citizens should be allowed to own. And it goes further: It doesn’t want to apply any commonsense measures that would stop thieves or terrorists from obtaining firearms. The gun lobby has objected to technology that would allow a gun to recognize its owner’s handprint and be fired only by him or her. Why?

The NRA has even bullied Congress to shut down any funding to the CDC to study deaths from firearms. In other words, the gun lobby won’t allow the research necessary for us to learn how we might prevent the loss of so many lives.

If you think that sanity will be restored in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, think again. Because the NRA has spent decades in an illogical wilderness of its own making, it is now being hailed for the tepid gesture of suggesting that “bump stocks,” which allowed Stephen Paddock to fire so many rounds so rapidly, should be more tightly regulated. But that doesn’t go nearly far enough to stop future atrocities.

It’s likely to be decades before the nation can bring itself to confront this crazed gun culture. In the meantime, many more Americans will die.

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25 Comments

  1. Dominick Vila October 11, 2017

    It doesn’t really matter if Paddock, a domestic terrorist, was afflicted by mental illness, drug use, extreme ideology, or “pure evil”, what facilitated the massacre in Las Vegas was the availability of lethal weapons to anyone with enough money and a willingness to buy them. Without those weapons, that massacre would not have occurred. The same goes for Newtown, Columbine, Sandy Hook, Orlando, and the daily killings that take place in every city and town in the USA every single day.

    Reply
    1. yabbed October 11, 2017

      You are absolutely right. It’s the guns. It’s the guns. It’s the guns.

      Reply
      1. idamag October 11, 2017

        It isn’t really the guns. The guns are a symptom of a deeper and more dangerous problem that the NRA lobbied to protect them when they came out against a CDC study.

        Reply
        1. yabbed October 11, 2017

          It’s the guns that kill people.

          Reply
          1. idamag October 11, 2017

            A gun without the crazy coward behind it is an inanimate object. I remember when they were classified as tools. I do believe we do not need to make them so easy to obtain. However, with the boot quaking scared people who seem to need them and the psychopaths who need to kill, they are just too handy. Those crazy people who have been scared witless by those who stand to benefit are a problem. Most people are not driving their cars on the sidewalk to kill people, but we have to register them, license them, be licensed to drive them and carry liability insurance on them.

            Reply
        2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth October 11, 2017

          Right you are. We all need to learn how to look beyond the symptoms and search for the cause of such. The symptom in this case—“Guns and their convenience to settle personal problems”. Possible Cause: “The person having an imbalance of mind and heart, lacking an ability to relate properly with other humans, and being out of touch with the reason for, and expectations of, being created”.

          Or something along those lines.

          Reply
      2. 788eddie October 13, 2017

        Yabbed, you are correct, you are correct, you are correct!

        Absolutely!

        Reply
      3. 788eddie October 13, 2017

        Yabbed, you are correct, you are correct, you are correct!

        Absolutely!

        Reply
  2. ORAXX October 11, 2017

    The State of Texas limits the number of sex toys one may possess to six. Public morals and all that. There is no limit on the number of guns you’re allowed to own.

    Reply
    1. FireBaron October 11, 2017

      If you disguise a sex toy as a gun, does it still fall under the possession limit?

      Reply
      1. ORAXX October 11, 2017

        Not sure. You might want to contact Ted Cruz’s office for clarification. /s

        Reply
      2. idamag October 11, 2017

        With all those restrictions on human nature, maybe it has become a surrogate sex toy.

        Reply
      3. Richard Prescott October 11, 2017

        Well it has often been stated guns are a penis extension, so yeah. Call them all sex toys Texas.

        Reply
    2. Melissa Brady October 11, 2017

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      Reply
    3. Dapper Dan October 11, 2017

      If you limit the possession of sex toys to no more than 6 what happens if you have 7 ? Does the dildo police come and lock you up ? How much time is served having more than the allowed 6 sex toys ? More importantly who decides what constitutes a sex toy ? Maybe Texas needs to concern themselves more with aiding hurricane victims instead of prying into people’s personal lives deciding how much fun they’re allowed to have. No one has died yet at the hands of a vibrator

      Reply
      1. ORAXX October 11, 2017

        I’m not sure. I doubt it’s ever been enforced. Ted Cruz wanted to outlaw them entirely, as they served no ‘medical purpose’ (debatable) and outlawing a private act was somehow going to protect public morality.

        Reply
        1. Dapper Dan October 11, 2017

          Maybe ol Ted got assaulted by a dildo and this is his revenge ????

          Reply
          1. idamag October 11, 2017

            Maybe the dildo was his rival and won.

            Reply
  3. yabbed October 11, 2017

    There is nothing strange about this “malady”. It’s all about money being more valuable than the lives of fellow Americans. It is capitalism run amuck.

    Reply
  4. rednekokie October 11, 2017

    The insanity lies within the NRA and the greed of the people who run the organization. All effort is devoted to the gun industry and making money selling guns and ammunition. No attention at all is paid to the people whose lives are affected by the crazies who use those guns.
    The greatest terror threat to the US today is not N Korea, Russia, or even Lower Slobovia.
    It is indeed, within our borders, under the name of the National Rifle Association. If any organization ever needed to be abolished, this is one, with its leaders going to prison for inciting murder and mayhem every day.

    Reply
    1. Marilyn October 11, 2017

      The NRA should be classified as a terrorist organization as they are responsible for more deaths in this country than ISIS or any other terrorist group.

      Reply
  5. Aaron_of_Portsmouth October 11, 2017

    We have a disturbing and bizarre situation in America that has taken a simple Amendment and distorted it so badly that the gun has become an item of worship.

    Those if Judaeo-Christian background no doubt are familiar with the episode portrayed in the Move, “The Ten Commandments”, in which the actor, Heston, plays the role of “Moses”—a questionable decision by Hollywood, like so many others, to reduce a Messenger of God as some ordinary person to be portrayed by a movie actor. During Moses’ absence, the Israelites revert to idolatry, erect a sculpture of a Golden Calf, and begin to worship it.

    Many of the Christian and Jewish communities in America feel this ancient urge to revert to idolatry. But instead of a figure of a calf, they have in their minds erected an image of the gun in its many guises, and conveniently use the 2nd Amendment to justify this return to idolatry. Of course they’ll all continue the official party line that they believe in God, and they need the gun in order to protect themselves from real and imagined enemies.

    But what they are really showing is a stronger preference and affinity to put they faith and trust in an object specifically created for the purpose of killing. Thus allowing for the repudiation of 3 Commandments:
    1) Thou shalt have no other gods before Me; 2) Thou shalt not make idols; 3) Thou shalt not kill.

    How degrading that so many Americans are willing to blithely ignore the 10 Commandments with such ease and disdain.And this insanity is encouraged by the NRA and its servants—political sycophants who bow down to the NRA as the “prophet” of this new and dangerous idol. The “Golden Calf” was quite tame and merely symbolic of a disobedience. The “Gun” is far more powerful in influence, and far deadlier in reality.

    Reply
  6. angryspittle October 11, 2017

    So fingerprint technology eh? How would that have stopped that idiot in Vegas? He legally bought and owned all of those weapons………….

    Reply
    1. Sand_Cat October 11, 2017

      Only one among many solutions for one among many problems. Why focus on just that?

      Reply
  7. Beethoven October 12, 2017

    As just one example of the insanity in America on the subject of guns, shortly before his term in office expired, President Obama issued an executive order that declared that certain persons could not legally purchase a gun: those were people who had been determined by a federal judge to be so mentally incompetent that they could not be trusted to manage their own Social Security or SSI checks, and had guardians appointed by the court to manage their checks. One of the few bills passed by the Republican-controlled Congress this year, and signed by President Trump, was a bill to reverse that executive order and make it legal for such people to walk into a gun shop and purchase a gun (that is, if they could somehow manage to acquire the necessary purchase price).

    Reply

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