Let’s stop pretending what we all know; the United States of America is the most violent, hate-filled nation in the free world. The facts cannot be denied and the reasons are obvious. In the last two years America experienced more mass shootings than days on the calendar. Since 2015, hate crimes have increased by 800 percent. No other nation in the entire world suffers from the gun violence which has now become acceptable within our government and our media. Sexual assault in our universities, our military, and within our communities is a growing problem, but has not been addressed by government at any level.
Here are the facts; they may not be in chronological order, but many efforts by the American people to force their government to allow them to feel safe going about their daily lives have landed on deaf ears; shopping, attending a movie; going to church; or assuming that their children were safe at school have been ignored by an entire political party. In support of billionaires who manufacture and sell their weapons of mass destruction, Republicans have refused to enact legislation which would make the majority of Americans feel safe.
On December 14, 2012, the most unbelievable of all tragedies occurred in Newtown, Connecticut. Earlier in the day parents dropped off their small children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. They expected to pick them up at the end of the day, possibly take them to a music or dance lesson, and then share dinner as a family in the early evening.
At 9:34 in the morning gunshots were heard inside of the school. Later estimates reported that 15 shots had been fired. A call came into the 911 dispatcher at approximately 9;35. The entire attack lasted for 11 minutes until the shooter, 20 year old Adam Lanza, took his own life. 20 small children had been slaughtered, and it was later discovered that Lanza had killed his own mother, a teacher at the school, before he began his rampage. Six educators had also been gun downed with the semi-automatic weapon. Lanza died without a motive ever having been discovered. He had documented mental problems, but accesses the weapon and the result is unforgivable.
Earlier in July of 2012, James Holmes stood on the stage of a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Armed with an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and at least one of two .40-caliber handguns, Holmes murdered 12 and wounded 70. Holmes was reported to have mental problems which led to the orchestrated slaughter.
In January of 2011, Jared Lee Loughner shot Representative Gabby Giffords in the head in Arizona. Before the attack was over, six innocent people were killed, and 14 were injured, including Giffords and a 9-year-old girl.
Sarah Palin’s PAC had posted a map of districts they intended to take back from Democrats. Each location was marked with what appeared to be a gunsight’s crosshairs .
After her initial recovery, Giffords offered a statement to the press. “We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district, and when people do that, they’ve got to realize there are consequences to that action.”
On Wednesday, as Republicans were at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, a man who had voiced his anger at Donald Trump and his party opened fire on the participants. Four people were injured, including two Capitol policemen. The most seriously injured was House Majority Whip, Steve Scalise. James Hodgkinson, the shooter, was confronted on the scene, and died after a gunfight.
At the same time this was happening, a disgruntled UPS employee killed three individuals across the nation in San Francisco, and then killed himself.
All of the guns were purchased legally.
Each year 33,000 Americans are killed by the use of a gun. Statistics prove that 93 men, women and children die each day from gun violence. 12,000 homicides occur each year. Many of these are women and children who were acquainted with their murderer. For every person that dies at the hands of a gunman, two more are injured. 62 percent of suicides each year are by the use of a handgun. Seven Americans under the age of 19 are killed with the use of a gun each day. 50 women die from gunshot each month, committed by an ‘intimate partner.’ Our nation’s death rate by the use of a gun is 25 times higher than all other ‘high-income’ nations. Black men are 14 times more likely to be shot and killed by the use of a gun than non-Hispanic whites.
Earlier this year Republicans in congress voted against a bill which would have prevented mentally ill Americans from legally purchasing a weapon of mass destruction. They continued to support those men and women who have been deemed as possible terrorists by the FBI with their efforts to purchase assault rifles and other weapons.
Facts cannot be denied unless you are a Republican or a lobbyist for the NRA; and it’s getting worse.
Hate crimes are rising at an alarming rate since the illegitimate election of Donald Trump. His incitement of anger, hatred and violence at his rallies continue to be a growing problem. The worst of America have come out of the shadows, and America is the worse for it. They have a leader who is defiling the White House.
The truth, and therefore the statistics are endless; Americans love violence, and believe in hatred based on ignorant prejudice and racism.
This is the new/old United States of America. I once believed that we had evolved, but with Republicans in power we have definitely devolved.
The revolution has begun and will be won in November of 2018 if the American people stand up to its corrupt and immoral government.
Please re-post; thank you.
Op-ed by James Turnage
Photo courtesy of Elvert Barnes
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