The Widdershins

Archive for July 24th, 2012

Another 24/7 news cycle devoted to yet another tragedy wrought by another “lone shooter” in Aurora, Colorado.  Like we haven’t been here before.

Only last year another heavily armed gunman shot into a crowd of people injuring Cong. Gabby Giffords who has spent the last 18 months recovering from her almost fatal wounds.  Some involved in that episode weren’t as lucky.

The “talking heads” blamed the mental health system, the entertainment industry, a public becoming more isolated within communities, and the failure of family members to “report” suspicious behavior. Just another round of regurgitated “talking points” that we’ve listened to over the last 20 or so years when mass murder is conducted throughout our communities like nothing we’ve ever seen before.

But the truth lies elsewhere in my estimation. Much of the easy access for gun ownership can be placed at the feet of the powerful NRA, the gun lobbyists, and the spineless politicians throughout this nation who would rather bow to the wishes of that powerful, money laden industry rather than to protect its citizens from harm.

These weapons of mass destruction can be purchased from the Internet, gun shows, and across the counters of businesses who thrive in this trade.  One need only look at the recent purchases made by James Holmes that would indicate to any normal human being that buying this amount of ammunition alone would have raised red flags.  “Easy peesy” since Holmes was “clean” by the standard of background checks up until he made his entrance into a crowded theater and sent those automatic bullets flying.

The problem as I see it is the grip the NRA has on this nation. They have threatened lawmakers with their own version in  reverting to a “primary” challenge should they vote against their wishes.  Money is poured into districts where a legislator is deemed “unfriendly”.  For those who bow under the pressure, “spinelessness” is at work.

Why is it considered “acceptable” to sell automatic and semi automatic weapons that are designed for military use to the public at large?  Whose “freedoms” are at risk here by prevention of those sales?  As Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) pointed out on Meet the Press, this stuff goes on each and every day across the country but until the number reaches a certain level much of it goes unreported by the national press.

Domestic violence, drive by shootings, grudge matches where people come armed to seek revenge are commonplace.  In my city of 160,000 the daily reporting of drive by shootings and domestic violence events no longer are front page news but part of the fabric of daily life.  People seek “restraining orders” for reasons and many do with the fear of being shot at by disgruntled exes in possession of a gun.

No place is safe.  Schools, churches, parking lots, places of employment, social gatherings, public events, and now movie theaters have become “war zones” for the disgruntled, disturbed, and the disenfranchised who, with the power of a weapon, create havoc upon the rest of us.

Mayor Bloomberg has asked the presidential candidates to speak out.  So far the usual lip service is offered as a balm to those who suffer from these tragic events but little is said about the proliferation of weaponry that suffuses this nation and creates fear in the ordinary.  When is the correct time to send the NRA and its agenda packing if not now?

Someone tell me how owning a weapon of this destructive magnitude makes me “safer”.  Someone explain to me how banning these automatic weapons of destruction is an intrusion upon our “freedoms”.  Someone enlighten me in why one industry is allowed to sell and promote products that produce “fear” among the populace is a guaranteed right.

Until the next tragedy takes place – and it will – the talking heads and politicians will manage to skirt the real issue of the undue influence of the NRA and call for “calm”.  Some will even go so far to insert “god” into the debate in order to exonerate this organization from blame.  Few will show the necessary backbone needed to override that toxic influence and nothing will change.

I seriously doubt that the Founding Fathers had this in mind when they inserted the “right to bear arms” into the Constitution.  The price we pay today for this misinterpretation is much too high to defend.

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