‘God Bless America’ – Where Gun Rights Trump Slaughter Of Innocent Children

“Happiness is a warm gun – bang, bang, shoot, shoot.” – from a song written by John Lennon, who was shot to death outside his New York City home in 1980

A Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted February 15th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

As someone with a number of friends and relatives, including a 26 year old daughter, living in the United States, I cannot help but say a few words about the latest gun carnage that occurred there because I worry for my loved ones south of the border, and I know many of them worry too.

Students in Florida mourn classmates gunned down in latest mass shooting in America

I was enjoying some time out this February 14th , when I returned home in the afternoon to “Breaking News” on the cable news channels about another mass shooting in America – this one at a high school in what, by all appearances, seems a quintessential  suburban community called Parkland in the State of Florida.

Seventeen dead!  Almost all of them young people in their teens!

Another dozen or so badly wounded, in what was being described already by reporters on CNN and MSNBC as one of the single worst mass shootings in a country that has already gained an infamous reputation around the world for this kind of gun carnage.

And believe it or not, this was the 18th occurrence of a mass shooting in an American school this year – a year that, at the time this one happened, was not quite eight weeks old.

How much more breaking news about these blood baths in America do we have to tune in to on cable news? When is it ever going to stop?

The front cover of this February 15th’s edition of The New York Daily News may just about say it all.

At the risk of sounding callous, I have found myself growing tired and even angry over all the usual commentary coming at us from survivors and bystanders and politicians at or near the scene of the  massacre about how “shocked” they are that this happened. The only shock or surprise there is in this land where for many, including lawmakers it seems, the right to buy and own unlimited stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction means more than the right to vote,  is that blood baths like this don’t happen more often.

In the wake of this latest mass shooting, like  so many others, you have a state governor and the clown in the White House, along with a steady stream of senators and congressmen (and yes, almost all of them are men), explaining away they crimes as some combination of “mental illness” and “evil.”  

Not a word is said about guns unless a reporter follows up with a question about “gun safety” or “sensible gun laws” (no one dares utter the phrase “gun control” any more), at which point most American politicians concerned campaign donations and earning more brownie points with the National Rifle Association (NR) respond that “it is not the right time to discuss that now.”

Trump laps up applause as he receives the endorsement of the NRA at a meeting of the gun lobby organization in 2016

In a sane world, the U.S. government would list the NRA, a powerful lobby group for the gun-manufacturing industry, as a terrorist group as dangerous, if not more so in terms of numbers of Americans cut down in schools, in churches, in shopping malls, in nightclubs, in music and movie theatres, or on bike paths or public roads, as ISIS, neo-Nazis or the Ku Klux Klan.

But that does not appear to be about to happen – not with a clown like Trump in the White House whose presidential campaign was supported with an about $22 million (a record amount contributed to a candidate by a single donor), from the NRA.

Figures reported on American cable news networks this February 15th, showed NRA contributions to a number of state, governors, senators and congressmen – both Republican and Democrat – ranging anywhere a couple of million dollars to as high as $7 million and change for ailing Senator  and  2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Little wonder then that last year, U.S. congressional representatives rolled back Obama administration  laws making it harder for individuals with mental illnesses to purchase guns and that a law that would have barred people who are on the FBI’s terrorist watch and no fly lists failed to gain any traction.

Some of the many bumper stickers that speak to America’s gun culture

If that isn’t outrageous enough, NRA lobbyists have recently been pressing congressional members to pass a law making it easier for people to purchase silencers for guns (a device we normally only ever see deployed by someone playing a hetman in a mobster movie), and there is a move afoot for a federal law that would allow people to carry concealed guns all over the country.

So there was Trump this February 15th, never once mentioning guns in a brief address to the nation about the Florida school shooting for fear that it would inflame the angry mobs that yell and scream for a wall and for prison for Hillary at his rallies.

So he chalks the whole bloody thing up again to mental illness. You could argue until doomsday that statistics show – and they do if you want to look them up – that the rates of illness in the United States are not much different than they are in most other developed countries around the world. The only significant difference in a country hosting an extraordinary number of gun deaths is the easy access to AR-15, assault-like guns and other weapons of mass destruction.

But arguing with facts or common sense probably won’t do any good, not in Trump-land. So doomsday will come in the form of another mass shooting, in another week or two, or a few months down the line.

And it will go on and on and on, with the same bullshit responses from politicians bought off by gun nuts and the NRA.

For my dear friends and relatives in the United States, I worry on and I am sure most of them do to in the wake of this latest needless blood bath, carried out by an individual too young to buy a case of beer, yet  able – in a Sunshine State seemingly proud to boast some of the weakest gun laws in the lant – to legally purchase an arsenal of lethal weapons.

In contrast to Trump’s NRA-sponsored drivel, view the following  statement from former President Barack Obama on a mass shooting, delivered in the White House on October 1st, 2015, by clicking on

A Brief Summary Note – Canadians should know that police reports have stated that a significant number of guns used in violent crimes in Canada crossed the border from the United States. All the more reason for Canadians to support any and all efforts by our American neighbours to restrict easy access to guns.

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For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders



2 responses to “‘God Bless America’ – Where Gun Rights Trump Slaughter Of Innocent Children

  1. What is also shocking and disgusting is that we all know the names and faces of the gunmen before we know the victims. Murderers should be made as anonymous as possible and not given glory. That’s what many of them want and what inspires other crazies. We remember murderers – Gacy, Dahlmer, Manson….who remembers victims?

    “Now is not the time”. We hear that every time. When is the time?

    In the US you need all kinds of ID to buy some benign pharmaceuticals but not to buy a gun. You can be on a “no fly” list and buy a gun. You can buy guns at a gun show.

    Social media is full of the tin foil hat types that can influence others to violence but these media let them slide. They don’t monitor or report.

    Trump’s thinly disguised hate speech makes bigotry and hate not only acceptable but even admirable. People who commit spousal abuse, sexual assault, protest with Nazi symbols and other such idiots are described by this jerk as “good people” or their behaviour denied as “fake news”.

    He tries to blame this on mental illness but then cut funds for mental illness! This is Trump logic. There is mental illness everywhere. The difference is, they don’t have access to assault weapons and 60 round clips. When are these people taken down? When they reload.

    NOBODY ….absolutely nobody… needs assault weapons. They have one purpose and one purpose only, TO KILL. If you hunted with one, all that would be left of Bambi would be a hoof (yum!). To protect your home, what about a handgun that shoots six bullets? (One father in western NY accidentally shot his own son, mistaking him for an intruder.) Target shooting… RENT them at the range.

    The gun mentality is SICK. The founding fathers included the 2nd amendment back when the weapon du jour was a musket and defence was needed against the British and so called “savages”. Try a mass shooting with a musket! By the time you reload, nobody would stay around to be shot. See – https://youtu.be/LORVfnFtcHO for a laugh about a guy going into his office to shoot people. Even they provided for amendments to allow changes with the times but gun ownership is sacred. Laws change as needed. Do we still have buggy whip factories or runners in front of horseless carriages.

    John Oliver on You Tube, (https://youtu.be/ECYMvjU52E) did a series on the gun laws instituted in Australia, another gun loving nation that fought the legislation tooth and nail. The PM lost his post but now most Australians agree with him and there has not been a single mass shooting since. Politicians interviewed in Australia said they had to do what was right. In the US their concern what they had to do to get re-elected. Sad.


  2. An afterthought – Is there any other country on the planet where a gun lobby gives ratings to elected politicians?


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