The years 2016 and 2017 shared one sad and preventable statistic; both years had more mass shootings than days on the calendar. During the last 48 hours of 2017, four mass shootings occurred in four different states.
In Las Vegas, two security guards were killed by a gunman running from a casino.
In a suburb of Denver, Colorado, responding to a report of domestic violence, five officers were shot by a barricaded suspect. One of the officer’s wounds were fatal.
In New Jersey, a 16-year-old boy murdered his mother, father, sister, and a close family friend.
In Alabama four New Years Eve party-goers were shot; none fatally.
Is there any way to stop gun violence in America, and prevent 2018 from becoming another horrific statistic? I have an outlandish suggestion. It is very radical, but it just might work. Let’s stop allowing every man, woman, and child to have guns of any type, including military style weapons.
But first we must rid our nation of a criminal organization which has been deceiving Americans since 1976.
Prior to 1976, the National Rifle Association supported safe and sensible gun ownership and use. They put out pamphlets with suggestions for proper gun use and training. If individuals made the decision to keep guns in their homes, they offered procedures to prevent family members gaining access to their deadly weapons. After 1976 this same organization became a gun lobby and continued calling itself the ‘NRA.’ Today its only purpose is to increase the sale of guns and ensure that gun manufacturers and gun sellers experience billions of dollars in profit. Their plans are working; 10 percent of Americans own 90 percent of all guns in the United States.
Every time sensible legislation is proposed, they scream “second amendment,” although the law would have no relationship to second amendment rights.
The United States is different from every other developed nation in two areas. We are the only country which does not provide free or inexpensive healthcare for every citizen. We also lag behind in other humane issues such as paid vacations, paid family leave, and acceptable retirement arrangements.
Secondly we are the only nation in the world which has more than 33,000 deaths each year from gunshot.
So, you might ask why Congress fails to take action to protect our nation’s citizens; that’s a very good question.
Last year saw two of the most deadly shootings in our nation’s history. A lone shooter, using military style weapons and an attachment which made them ‘automatic,’ slaughtered 58 people in Las Vegas; wounding 500 more. In a small Texas church, a lone gunman, again with an assault rifle, murdered 26 church goers, and wounded 12 more.
Once again discussions about new gun laws arose. Discussion lasted for less than two weeks. Republicans blamed everything they could think of for the shootings, other than the fact that weapons designed to kill as many people as possible in a short period of time can be purchased by anyone; including the mentally challenged, and Americans on Homeland Security’s no-fly list. They also ignored the idea of comprehensive background checks for all gun purchases.
You’re probably asking; “why don’t Republicans care about the safety of most Americans in support of the gun nuts?” The answer is simple; “profit before people.” The NRA donates tens of millions of dollars to GOP politician’s reelection campaigns. Think about this; all 535 members of congress have a base salary of $174,000 per year. Each of them files tax returns which show a gross income of approximately $1,000,000 per year. Where does the rest of the money come from?
Let us; nearly 300 million strong; began a campaign to remove all lobbyists from Washington. Let our focus begin with the NRA. They are openly criminal and celebrate every one of those 33,000 deaths each year; it’s good for business.
Please re-post; thank you.
Op-ed by James Turnage
Image courtesy of DonkeyHotey
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