For decades the NRA gun lobby has violated the rights of 90 percent of the American people. With every mass shooting, this terrorist organization supported the rights of the murderer and ignored the rights of innocent victims.
I was a journalist for a Las Vegas newspaper on December 14, 2012, when a lone gunman, armed with a military assault rifle slaughtered 20 small children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I was assigned the responsibility of documenting every minute of the tragedy from the moment it was reported by the mainstream media.
This was the most horrific and unbelievable incident in my lifetime. I was 68 years old at the time, and not once in my lifetime had I ever imagined the events of that day which allowed 20 very small children to be executed by a deranged man in a matter of minutes.
As I wrote the story, in my naivete I believed that his was such a horrific story that Republicans would finally denounce one of their owners and pass sensible gun legislation. I obviously underestimated the desire of Republican politicians to secure donations from the gun lobby. For right-wing politicians it was just another day in America and the event had no importance in American history or for the safety of the majority. Once again money became more important than human life.
Since that unimaginable and preventable tragedy seven years ago mass shootings in America have become the norm. A mass shooting is defined as four or more individuals harmed or killed by a single shooter during a single event. For the last two years there have been more mass shootings than days on the calendar.
Women and men knowledgeable about gun violence confirm that if military assault rifles were not accessible to virtually any individual in America, the egregious number of innocent men, women, and children slaughtered each year in America would not be possible.
The bottom line is that the United States is the only nation in the entire world which experiences the deaths of more than 33,000 individuals each year with the use of a gun. Only in America are individuals diagnosed with mental illness allowed to purchase weapons of mass destruction. Only in America are individuals who have been placed on the ‘no fly list,’ considered possible terrorists by Homeland Security, allowed to purchase military weapons designed to kill as many individuals as possible in the shortest period of time.
Recently, as discussion was undergoing in the senate about reform of our gun laws, a report of another mass shooting was reported.
“When Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., started speaking on the floor Thursday morning, he had not yet heard about the mass shooting at a Southern California high school a little less than an hour before. During Blumenthal’s speech on gun control legislation, a staffer passed him a note alerting him to the shooting. Although he incorrectly stated that the shooting took place in Santa Clara, Calif. instead of Santa Clarita, Calif., Blumenthal quickly pointed to the massacre where two people died as a real-life example of the need for the legislation.”
The rights of 10 percent of all Americans is supported by Republicans over the safety of 90 percent. Common sense does not exist on the right side of the aisle. All Republicans in name only are either stupid, or are greedy and place campaign contributions ahead of human life. Either way, they must be removed from our government.
Reality can no longer be ignored.
Op-ed by James Turnage “The Truth Lives Here”
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