Are Americans desensitized to mass shootings? On the 274th day of the year there have been 273 mass shootings according to the Gun Violence Archive. A mass shooting is defined as “four or more shot and/or killed in a single event, at the same general time and location, not including the shooter.” So, in effect, in the United States of America we have one mass shooting a day. This is insane.
Yet, our electoral politics, and our governing institutions and its leaders are beholden to the absurd dictates of an ultra-conservative culture and organization that defends weak to nonexistent regulation of weapons that in no way reflect the sportsmanship of a hunter, assuming there is such a thing. Of course I am referring to the National Rifle Association (NRA).
We are a society that revels in the second amendment and wary of the first amendment. We are a nation that is devoted to firearms and view sensible regulation as an assault upon our freedom to own as many as we choose. It makes no difference whatsoever whether the intent of the weapon of choice is to kill rabbits or human beings. Yet our leaders profess great shock and sorrow as innocent American citizens are murdered while watching a country music festival or are merely attending grammar school or simply going church or work.
Urban America is on the frontline of violence and Mayors have registered their profound pleas for legislation at both the State and national levels of government for effective efforts devoted to curbing the proliferation of guns, especially assault rifles whose only purpose is to kill people in rapid fashion. But despite the outpouring of grief when events like what just happened in Las Vegas happen nothing of significance happens when the NRA trains its political muscle on our elected officials.
In fact, in a monumentally stupid and counterintuitive fashion the default of organizations dedicated to arming the population argue that the most effective deterrent is to advocate the proliferation of weapons among the population. If I had my wish we would rescind the second amendment and place heavy restrictions upon all guns except those used for purposes of hunting. That is not going to happen anytime soon if ever.
Congress passed and President Clinton signed into law a Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 1994 that prohibited the manufacture for civilian use of certain semi-automatic firearms and large capacity ammunition clips. However the law expired in in 2004 and has never been seriously considered in Congress over the past 13 years. It is now possible to effectively turn your weapon into essentially a functioning automatic weapon. And to compound matters Congress was on the verge of considering and approving expanded use of silencers this week. This effort was spearheaded by non other than Donald Trump, Jr. Talk about collusion that would continue to rip this country apart!
This is the state of sad affairs we now find ourselves in, yet the White House insists now is not the time to discuss such matters. Are you out of your minds? Yes that is a rhetorical question. Republicans were quick to rally round the White House and denounce even the idea that we should have a highly public dialogue or any discussion for that matter on the dangerous state of violence that we expose our society to on a daily basis. The Secretary of State is right, the President is a f@#%ing moron.
These are the very same politicians that are quick to restrain civil liberties, systematize racial discrimination, promote economic injustice and inequality, suppress the right to vote, deny the right to health care, criticize religions considered to be foreign to the United States, and prevent a woman the choice on how to control her own body but see no responsibility to help prevent its citizens from being victims to gun violence. It could be argued that they are promoting genocidal policies against their own populace.
The President is absolutely clueless and stubbornly ignorant of the consequences of his actions and words. His arrogance knows no bounds and he will go down in history as the most profoundly destructive President the nation has ever known. He is a liar, a thief, and criminally responsible for strangling any notion of democratic process that would promote liberty, freedom and justice in the United States of America.
No, Mr. President, now is the time to have this discussion, you sniveling coward. You lack any semblance of empathy for your country’s citizens. These people in Las Vegas are every bit as much your people as those who are suffering in Puerto Rico. It is your responsibility to tackle issues that put your people in danger. Your lack of integrity is only matched by your relentlessly defensive fear of criticism. The country is screaming for leadership and you are fiddling obsessively on the twitter sphere. Put on your jock-strap and get in the game.
For those Republicans who have had enough, Rep. Charles Dent of Pennsylvania and Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee come to mind, and any others who have the integrity and guts to tackle issues that are killing Americans and the American spirit, before you leave put together a governing coalition of legislators and force Congress to do its job. Put before the President legislation that reflects the will of the people through a bipartisan process that at least attempts to address important issues like gun violence that are literally ripping the country apart.
Force the president to make hard decisions or face the wrath of an angry public. It is the only way we are going to at least begin the process of healing that is so desperately needed.