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