“We decry violence all the time in this country, but look at our history. We were born in a violent revolution, and we’ve been in wars ever since. We’re not a pacific people.” ~ James Lee Burke
I just don’t understand. I don’t understand what is going on in this country. No other country in the world has nearly as much gun violence. And don’t talk to me about second amendment rights. Do you really need automatic weapons to bring down a deer? Please.
Every time this happens—and that statement itself reveals far too much (as in it has happened too many times and it continues to happen)—we starts to make comments about what we can do to prevent this, and then a month later, nothing has been done, and nothing will be done.
And by the way, more than 50 percent of NRA members agree that background checks are a necessary precaution, and in that vein, agree that the gun show loophole needs to be closed.
No, this maniac did not buy his guns. He got them from someone in his family. But still, he had access to weapons that are not used for hunting. These were weapons whose purpose is to kill, wound, maim human beings. And don’t even say that if he hadn’t had a gun, he would have used something else. Could he have killed 20 children that quickly with say, a brick?
I’m tired of your arguments. I’m tired of the Charlton Heston attitude of prying my gun from my cold dead hands. I’m tired of what we do to one another. I’m tired of nothing of any consequence ever being done by any administration because the people in charge of the NRA are myopic, and apparently everyone is afraid of them. I’m tired of hearing that “now is not the time to have a discussion on gun control.”
If not now, then when? When the next school massacre occurs? We did nothing of consequence after Aurora. We even did nothing of consequence after Virginia Tech. We continue to do nothing.
“So let’s state the plain facts one more time, so that they can’t be mistaken: Gun massacres have happened many times in many countries, and in every other country, gun laws have been tightened to reflect the tragedy and the tragic knowledge of its citizens afterward. In every other country, gun massacres have subsequently become rare. In America alone, gun massacres, most often of children, happen with hideous regularity, and they happen with hideous regularity because guns are hideously and regularly available.” ~ Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker
Other countries who allow handguns do not have the kind of violence that we have. Consider Israel, a pretty violence country, all things considered, had 58 handgun deaths last year. Compared to our country’s 10,728 handgun deaths, that’s 185 times more deaths. Is anyone else bothered by this math?
What makes us such a violent society? Video games? Movies like Batman? Pshaw. You and I both know that that’s simply not it. We are violent because we have this innate belief that we are superior to everyone else, and in that position of superiority, we do not hold ourselves to the same standards as the rest of the world. We have different rules in the U.S. because, well, just because we can, I suppose.
We do not love one another. We do not respect one another, and we certainly do not care about one another. We have rampant poverty. We have children who are starving. We have families who live in cars. But we are an advanced super power.
I’ve had it. I am so sick of the party line, whichever party it is. We have a real problem in this country, and until we face up to it, nothing is going to change.
More from Adam Gopnik:
The people who fight and lobby and legislate to make guns regularly available are complicit in the murder of those children. They have made a clear moral choice: that the comfort and emotional reassurance they take from the possession of guns, placed in the balance even against the routine murder of innocent children, is of supreme value. Whatever satisfaction gun owners take from their guns—we know for certain that there is no prudential value in them—is more important than children’s lives. Give them credit: life is making moral choices, and that’s a moral choice, clearly made.
All of that is a truth, plain and simple, and recognized throughout the world. At some point, this truth may become so bloody obvious that we will know it, too. Meanwhile, congratulate yourself on living in the child-gun-massacre capital of the known universe.
The pervasive attitude of I’ve got mine, to hell with the rest of you? It’s killing our souls.
People, he walked in and deliberately targeted kindergarten students. Does that not say something to you? Does that not speak to your very moral fiber?
I know that my rant is all over the place. For more studied and better developed commentary, take a look at the links below.
I also know that I haven’t really made any kind of cogent argument here. I don’t care, I tell you. I just don’t care. And you know what else? I would bet my mortgage money that this time next month, even six months from now, that the changes we are clamoring for, the reforms that we say are needed, that what we will see will be
In the Loop
- America’s Shame: Words and Tears Aren’t Enough (newyorker.com)
- The shooter was armed to the teeth; When Will the Country Say “Enough” to Gun Nuts and the NRA? (freakoutnation.com)
- How Will NRA Explain Away Gun Shooting At Elementary School In Newtown, Connecticut? (dekerivers.wordpress.com)
- What I Mean When Saying ‘Gun Control” (dekerivers.wordpress.com)
- Why the NRA Is Still Winning the War on Guns (theatlanticwire.com)
- Gun Control – When will America come to Its Senses? (afnclarke.wordpress.com)
- What Better Place Than Here? What Better Time Than Now? (spiffysean.com)
- How many more massacres until action is taken? (thepoliticalidealist.com)
- Here’s how U.S. gun violence compares with the rest of the world (washingtonpost.com)