Friday, December 14, 2012
The latest news reports indicate that a person or persons entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, this morning - armed to the teeth - and started shooting.
There are, at last count, 27 people dead, 18 of which are children.
Who needs foreign terrorists? We've got homegrown, organic ones! We've got them in the cities, towns and rural communities across our land.
Newtown, Connecticut was considered by some to be a very safe place. It isn't. No place is safe.
And tomorrow, some sick puppy carrying enough firepower to take on the Taliban, may show up in your hometown - in a school, a movie theater, a church, a mall!
That person is just as much a terrorist - and perhaps more so - than a radical Islamist - for he or she can easily obtain access to our most vulnerable citizens - our kids.
It is difficult to pin the blame for these random acts of incredible violence, but part of it must be aimed directly at the National Rifle Association. I am a gun owner, but the NRA's actions down through the years has been unconscionable, for it has, without evidence or reason, conducted a campaign to ensure that every kook in the country has access to every kind of death-dealing weapon made today.
The NRA spent millions of dollars over the last two election cycles trying to defeat President Obama, claiming he would "take your guns away," even though the President never said he would do that and made no effort to do so. But the cumulative effect of their blatant lies and unending propaganda created lines at local guns stores as people "stocked" their armories in case Obama's "Armageddon" took place.
A second finger should be pointed at the television and movie industries. Violence is endemic to many movies and television shows today; gun violence. Life is cheap at the movies. Shoot to kill is the way to go. If someone is your enemy, blow him or her away! The new James Bond is a good example. Violence always played a part in the old Bond movies, but it was within a broader context and usually tongue-in-cheek. Not so, anymore. The new Bond movie is two hours of unremitting high-tech violence and bloodshed.
See for yourself. Consider the top ten movies and the highest-rated television dramas over the past year. I'll bet that a majority are violence-ridden and involve a variety of pistols and automatic weaponry.
This is small consolation for those who mourn their dead in Colorado, Oregon, Virginia, Michigan, Connecticut and all the other places where innocent children and adults have been murdered by some insane fool with a gun.
Perhaps it would help if we called the NRA to account, if we took another look at the Second Amendment and either amended it or deleted it. The Second Amendment was never conceived as license to kill, as the Bible for the individual shooter, or to suggest that everyone has the right to walk around armed with deadly weapons. It was to ensure, in those troubled times, that states had the ability to create a militia quickly in time of need. That time has passed. We have a militia - it's called the National Guard on a state level and the U.S. Military Machine on the national level.
Something must be done. But we've got one more finger to point - and that's at those Congresspersons, whether they be Republican or Democrat, who have taken money from the NRA, who are fearful of being targeted by the NRA, who refuse to create sane and sensible gun-control laws because they'd rather have children die than lose the good graces of the NRA and thus lose their seats of power in the government.
As it is said, this issue is not rocket science. At the present time just about anyone in this country can easily legally obtain just about any kind of weapon made. In some states one no longer even needs a license to carry a concealed weapon.
And thus, Jimmy Dipstick, fuming and festering because of some real or imagined slight, gets his hands on an AK-47 and decides to shoot up a school, to kill as many people as possible. He may be insane. Actually, by any reasonable definition of insanity, he is insane. But if that's the case, then that's all the more reason, at the very least, why we should strive to keep weapons out of his hands.
And until we do that, as sensibilities crumble and the world gets more complicated and frustrating for the troubled and the stupid, we will continue to see our friends and our children, our leaders and ourselves, shot to death for no reason at all.