“Happiness is a warm gun. Bang, bang. Shoot, shoot.” – from a song by former Beatle John Lennon, who was gunned down in America in 1980
A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted May 27th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
I know this is going to sound callous, but when CNN came in with “BREAKING NEWS” this May 26th that there has been another mass shooting in America, my first instincts this time were to switch over to the Food Channel or turn my cable screen off completely.
How much more mass shooting news from America can one take, with all of the stock lines from residents and political leaders in the community like; “I can thought this would happen here” and “This is not who we are.”
And this has always been one of my favourites from members of America’s powerful gun lobby; “Now is not the time to talk about gun control.”
This May 26ths mass shooting took place at a large transit terminal in San Jose, California where one of the terminal’s long-time employees, who reportedly had anger management issues, killed at least nine of his fellow employees before cheating some lawyers of work by doing himself in.
I once felt the sorrow and shock that so many others have at the news of these mass shooting, but they have become so routine in the United States that it is getting harder and harder to work up some tears for them, even though one knows how tragic they must be for families of the victims.
So far this year, according to a report this May 27th on the American cable channel MSNBC, there have been a total of 232 mass shootings across that country, including this one. That is 232 mass shootings in a year that is only 146 days old as of this post.
Yet it doesn’t seem to move lawmakers in Washington, D.C. one yard closer to taking meaningful action to better control who gets to purchase guns, up to and including military-style weapons, in that country.
Frankly, I came to the conclusion nine years ago, after no action to control guns was taken after all of those young children and some of their teachers were mowed down by a troubled young man in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, that when Congressional representatives failed to bring in sane gun laws after that, they probably never would.
Yet as recently as this May – just to cite one insane example – lawmakers in the State of Texas were working to make the right to purchase a gun easier, even as they were passing legislation restricting the right to vote.
The recently elected U.S. President Joe Biden who, unlike his predecessor Donald Trump, who took pride in being in bed with the National Rifle Association (NRA), issued a statement following the mass shooting in San Jose, calling on Congressional representatives again to support stronger gun laws.
I, for one, will be pleasantly shocked if Biden’s plea leads to any meaningful action.
I was also surprised and encouraged to see California Governor Gavin Newsom, in the hours after the San Jose travesty replace the usual rhetoric about how shocking it all was with some of the following words; “There’s a sameness to this, and a numbness I think is something we’re all feeling,” he said. “It begs the damn question, ‘What the hell is going on in the United States of America?’”
Whatever is going on south of the border, I know that I, as at least one person on the Canadian side, have been spending more time at home than I want to during this pandemic, and watching too much of this American carnage over the past 14 months or so on my screen.
It leaves me with the feeling that, if and when the Canada-U.S. border crossings open, I will be more anxious than I have been before about entering a shopping mall in the United States or attending any other larger gathering of people where someone might walk in with an AK-15 and start firing.
I also believe that more than ever before, our Canadian border guards have got to do more screening of Americans wanting to come here for any guns they may have hidden in their trucks or cars.
There have been reports in the past that most of the guns used in acts of violence in Canada found their way here from the United States.
Canada must do everything possible to make sure that America’s epidemic of gun violence, which shows no promise of ending, does not spread here.
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
To watch a news video of California Government Gavin Newsom making his remarks after the San Jose mass shooting, click on the screen immediately below –
For some statistics on the gun epidemic in America, you can visit this BBC report by clicking on – https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41488081 .
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