Fact: On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, a young, mentally unstable white male, walks into an elementary school and begins a mass shooting spree, killing 26 people, the majority of which were children.
Fact: On July 20th, 2012, James Holmes a young, mentally unstable white male, walks into a Colorado movie theater and begins a mass shooting spree, killing 24 people.
Fact: In March of 2014, Curtis Reeves an elderly white ex-cop shoots a man in a Florida movie theater for texting while watching the previews.
Fact: In July of 2015, a middle age white “drifter” with mental issues stands up in a Louisiana movie theater and begins a shooting spree, killing 2.
Fact: In October of 2015, Chris Harper- Mercer a young white male walks onto an Oregon college campus and begins a shoot spree, killing 9.
Fact: In December of 2015, a young Middle Eastern couple walks into the husband’s California office and begins a mass shooting spree, killing 14.
These are the mass shootings I can remember off the top of my head. Only the dates and number of victims were looked up for accuracy. There are many, many more but I think you get the point. At least I hope you do.
By now, many of you may be rolling your eyes and sighing. There she goes again about the need for gun control. No, not today. It’s not to say I don’t think we should regulate gun sales, I do. But if the idea of mentally unstable people, people with little to no gun safety training, or suspected terrorists having access to fire arms doesn’t scare you, then I am not sure how we can even begin to have a conversation. Why would I want to?
What scares me, and why I made this list, is of what has happened in the days following the California shooting. I am talking about the incendiary talk by those who are seeking higher office, and those who follows these idiots.
You see, these are the same people who defend the rights of the mental unstable, the irresponsible, and possible terrorist’s rights to own weapons; these same people who scream about their 2nd Amendment right as if God himself, decreed it to be so. These same people, who will not even discuss sensible gun laws, are now declaring that ALL people of the Muslim faith are our enemies and should be treated as such. Never mind that the real threats to Americans, according to statistics, are mentally unstable men and toddlers. Yes, toddlers! More Americans have been killed this year by accidental discharge by toddlers than Muslim extremists, yet we are now being told we must fear ALL Muslims, even though the majority of American Muslims have never commit a crime.; even though thousands are serving in our military. This type of talk must end! For it is this type of talk that incites violence and gives meaning and a voice to bigotry. It is the type of talk that led to 6 millions Jews to suffer in concentration camps, to suffer torture and death. It is the kind of talk that divides a nation that is already on the brink of social collapse.
If these self-styled defenders of the Nation want to talk about keeping us safe from violent extremists, why then are they pandering to American extremists? For it is these Americans, the people who fear the unknown, the unnamed assailant, who are their target audience. The majority of Americans do not buy into this madness (at least not yet) but as history as shown, time and time again, violent speeches lead to violent deeds. How can this make us any safer?
It would be laughable if it weren’t so insidious. Statistical data shows us that in the last year alone, there have been more mass shootings by white American males than there have been by outsiders ,yet it is the “outsiders” who are now our scapegoats for all of the bloodshed on American soil. This has got to stop!
If we don’t want to have a conversation about common sense gun laws then we have no right to point a finger at one group and declare “they are the problem”, not when so many of the modern mass shootings have been orchestrated by another group, one that will not be named. Not because we can’t but because if we do, then we will be forced to concede that our policies and 2nd Amendment may be flawed.
Just a few days ago, the Republican led Senate voted to defund the Affordable Health Care Act and Planned Parenthood but defeated a bill that would prohibit firearm sales to people on the No Fly List. Let me ask you a question, which makes you feel safer? Knowing HCA may be dismantled leaving millions without health insurance, knowing PP has no more money for cancer screenings for the poor or knowing a person of interest can walk into any gun store and buy a firearm?
When asked about gun safety laws Jeb Bush shrugged and said, “stuff happens”. This was said after an American born male went on a shooting spree. Here is his Tweet about the California attack.
His Tweet would seem innocent and kind enough had just weeks earlier he said, “I pray for the victims and their families” instead of “Stuff happens”. He was being asked about an American caused shooting spree and all he could muster was “Stuff happens”. When it came time to say something about a possible terrorist attack he shows more compassion. Hum.. I wonder why Jeb?
Yes Jeb, stuff does happen, and it will continue to happen, and possibly escalate if the candidates for higher office, the media, and the sitting congress continues to react as if only terrorists, if only the “others”, are to blame for American deaths.
We can’t have it both ways America. We can’t shrug our shoulders and say, “Don’t blame me for the few crazed Americans with access to guns”, all the while screaming, “Blame all Muslims for the few extremists with access to guns!” This has got to stop. We are better than this. At least, I hope that we are. For if we are not, well you know, stuff happens.
After posting this I came across an article in which a Fox news commentator said this:
Now, certainly Stuart, we could use more intelligent approaches to keeping guns out of the hands of psychotics. The Founding Fathers did not intend for every drunk psycho to have a machine gun collection. But law-abiding Americans owning guns is not the problem here. The problem is Islamist terrorism.
2 thoughts on “Having it both ways when it comes to mass shootings”
So many of us across the world have heavy hearts over not only mass killings but over the irrational responses by people such as Jeb Bush, Donald Trump and Fox ‘news’ commentators. People like them with fixed minds and stunted emotions aren’t susceptible to rational arguments or any sense of empathy with strangers. If individuals or groups of people are not ‘one of our kind’ then xenophobia becomes a ‘good thing’; if a threat to disarm them of death-dealing weapons becomes a threat to their sense of self then it’s not the ownership of said weapons by all and sundry that becomes the problem it’s everybody else.
The same issues have emerged in the UK over the vote in Parliament to bomb Daesh/IS in Syria. When at least half the population believes that bombing (with its likelihood of killing the innocent along with IS supporters) is not the most effective way of opposing IS then the Prime Minister — yes, the British PM — feels free to label them “terrorist sympathisers”. (At least, that’s what he’s reported to have said in Cabinet, but he hasn’t ever denied saying it.) Pacifists are terrorist sympathisers?!
“Whoever is not with me is against me,” Jesus is reported to have said (Matthew 12.30) — sadly the bigots have twisted the complex theology of this chapter to justify their warped beliefs.
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It’s part of an “us versus them” mentality that affects far too many people. “it’s not us, it’s criminals who should be deprived of all their rights . . .” which is why the NRA says it’s all in favor of the Feds picking up convicted criminals on gun charges, why a popular meme a while back erroneously claimed that several of the mass shooters were Democrats, and why now it’s Muslims. Thank a nonexistent god that atheists don’t kill others for their religion, or they’d be pariahs, too.
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