Dec. 14 is the one-year anniversary of the Newtown massacre, when a crazed gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and killed 26 people, 20 of them small children. And he fatally shot his mother, from whom he got the weapons.
Sadly just a few days ago we had another school shooting in Colorado, leaving a 15-year-old girl critically wounded and the teen shooter dead. Details are still coming out in that tragic case.
But we can all agree having nearly five million assault weapons (some of them fully automatic) out and about in the population poses no immediate danger to society.
Sure, we have these guys that take a few of those high-powered killing machines into places like elementary and high schools, movie theaters and who knows where next, to kill 20-30 people or more, but really, that’s a small percentage of the people who own these guns and an even smaller percentage of the legally-owned assault weapons.
Many people who own assault rifles own more than one. How many Bushmasters does one person need?
We need them because one of these days that Barack Hussein Obama, the Kenyan-born commie fascist occupying the White House, will one day send out his black shirt domestic assault troops to confiscate all the firearms in America and shoot those of us who resist.
Stands to reason. So, a few dead kids are a small price to pay for liberty.
What they should have had in Sandy Hook that day was armed teachers, administrators and students. That would have ended the carnage early. And instead of making schools gun-free zones, we should make them free-fire zones and teach the kids how to mark their fields of fire.
About 33,000 people have died by the gun since the Newtown massacre, but let’s look at this figure realistically: roughly 60 percent of those were suicides. So really, that’s only 13,000 or so homicides and accidental shootings and really, how many of those were committed using assault weapons? It’s much ado about nothing …
Unless of course you’re one of those parents, one of those loved ones, who will face another holiday season without that member of your family or circle of friends. Then it isn’t “nothing.”
What’s been accomplished since those 26 people in Connecticut were murdered? As far as curbing this type of gun violence, or any other type of gun violence for that matter — nothing.
Now there’s something that is nothing.
One thing people seem to agree on, and let me reiterate: it only seems like people agree on it — we should have a national registry of all the crazy people in America. They would be on watch lists for just about anything: buying guns, driving, flying the friendly skies … you name it, the national registry of crazy people could have a myriad of uses.
The problem with that is: who decides who the crazy ones are? Seriously, I have friends who will swear on the lives of their children that I am certifiably crazy. Now, I’ve been to see a couple of psychiatrists in the past few years and neither of them saw fit to certify me crazy.
Would the national registry include people diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? How about depression? Schizophrenia definitely.
We don’t want to have more thorough background checks for buying firearms. That would be like … gun control! Can’t have that.
Let’s get a little reality here: It’s a very small percentage of the assault rifle owners who go out and commit mass murder with those weapons.
These assault rifle owners may have the high capacity clips and drums, but not to shoot their neighbors. They generally just do some target shooting and play citizen militia in the woods with their fellow soldier wannabes.
And they like to remind the president and all his guv’ment cronies that they are willing to die in their fantasy battles if — no, when — Obama’s jack-booted thugs come kicking down doors in downtown Little Hamlet on the Prairie.
To answer the question posed a few paragraphs up: you need at least two Bushmasters: one for each hand, just like we see in those action-packed shoot’em ups where one guy wins the war and takes out every commie lovin’ terrorist on the screen.
GOOD FOR BUSINESS
Mass shootings like the one that took place a year ago are good for business. Smith and Wesson’s sales jumped 43 percent after the Sandy Hook massacre. That’s more of a spike than President Obama’s re-election and boy, let me tell you, the paranoia was running high over that election.
This is ’merica — if you don’t really have an opinion about firearms, then you gotta get behind more profits. Some people think the worship of Jesus is our national religion (despite that pesky document called the Constitution), but realists know the national religion is the worship of material wealth.
And if you can wrap the cold, dead fingers of Jesus around the trigger housing of a Bushmaster to help generate more money into the coffers of a few specifically chosen individuals, all the better.
Then that money truly does trickle down — into the coffers of a few specifically chosen federal legislators who successfully stand in the way of any meaningful legislation that could help curb gun violence of all types.
The background check bill that was shot down in Congress earlier this year was the least regulatory piece of gun legislation that could be drafted and still be called effective — and it didn’t pass.
Those smiling faces in the gun lobby trickled down real good.
So this small percentage of the overall population that buys assault weapons and organizes into militias — not to kill you or your children, but to protect themselves from the government assault they are sure is on the horizon — they keep the firearms manufacturers profits rising with their never-ending need to buy more of the assault rifles and all the neat little things to go with them, like single-point gun slings, aluminum quad rails and laser gun sights.
They have their own Facebook pages, websites and YouTube channels where you can link to Youtube videos with great product reviews and inspirational messages.
Speaking of inspirational messages from the citizen militias, one man asked, on a podcast: why were there people in New Orleans standing on rooftops holding signs that said, “Help” after Hurricane Katrina?
Because, according to this guy, the people in New Orleans were brought up receiving government handouts and didn’t know how to take care of themselves. They get everything from the government and live in section 8 housing.
The reality of course being that those people on the roofs of their own homes (privately owned rentals) were primarily people with jobs. People who paid taxes to support Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, not to mention FEMA.
And according to guys like the one being interviewed for the podcast, the liberals want everyone to be dependent on the government. These militia guys, well, that just want everyone to be self-reliant, so they’re defending the Constitution.
It sounds funny, like a remake of Dr. Strangelove, with a 21st Century twist, until you realize people like this do exist and they do network with one another to provide mutual support for their conspiracy theories.
They have these crazy ideas about the government and people on government assistance, which by the way includes military people with families who need food stamps to survive, plus notions that the government is out to subjugate all of its citizens in a maniacal scheme to put all U.S. citizens under the control of a one world government controlled by liberals.
And Jews, if they’re anti-Semitic.
WHO CONTROLS THE GUN DEBATE?
So, they need their mountains of assault rifles and ammunition for that day when the men in black helicopters come to take away all the guns. One group in California even brags of having a helicopter with a gun mount.
“Why does a domestic agency, the Department of Homeland Security, need 3,000 armored personnel carriers,” the man on the podcast asks?
So the National “We Lobby for the Arms Manufacturers” Rifle Association stokes the fears and conspiracy theories of this small percentage of the population to control the debate, at least on a national level, by threatening to put out of office any politician that dares oppose them. At least the politicians in areas that have a large number of gun enthusiasts.
There are 4.5 million members of the NRA, less than two percent of the U.S. population. The majority of NRA members support stricter background checks for gun purchases. But that doesn’t really matter to the management of the NRA.
Regardless of how many people are members of the NRA, they control whether or not our nation adopts sensible laws to control the spread of assault weapons and all the neat little stuff that goes with them.
So people can run around the woods practicing for that day when the men in the black helicopters come swooping in; and the arms makers can reap record profits, especially if some nut goes off and tries to kill as many people as possible.
Like the guy in Arapahoe, Colorado, who walked into his high school to kill one of his teachers. He injured two of his fellow students, one of them critically, and then killed himself.
Why did he pick the day closest to the anniversary of Sandy Hook to walk into his school and start shooting? Maybe, like the shooter in Newtown, CT, the Arapaho shooter was fixated on mass shootings, especially in schools.
The silver lining in this is: the shooter didn’t use an assault rifle, he used a shotgun. And he only killed himself so it’s no big deal — unless you’re the 15-year old girl in critical condition.
We’re not likely to see an end to mass shootings. Guns are too easily available. Even if the government managed to ban assault weapons, there are already about five million out in the public and it’s highly unlikely more than a few owners would voluntarily give them up. They didn’t break the law.
THE REASON GUN VIOLENCE IS EPIDEMIC
What is it really that makes mass shootings in the United States so epidemic? Other westernized nations have the same mental illnesses, violent TV shows and movies, the same video games. They share our culture, so is it any of those things that are the root cause, if any cause at all, of the high number of gun deaths in America?
The only significant difference between the U.S. and the rest of the Western world are the gun laws. Those other countries actually have strict, enforceable gun regulations that prohibit high capacity magazines and drums, assault weapons; laws that make owning a firearm as regulated as owning an automobile.
Yep, they have gun-related deaths — accidental, suicide and murder plus the rare mass shootings — but nowhere near the rate we experience here in the U.S.
Australia banned assault weapons after one mass shooting in 1996, with popular support from all quarters, and people actually turned in their illegal weapons voluntarily. There haven’t been any mass shootings since.
And there’s the difference: we in the U.S. feel entitled — about a lot of things. We are probably the most selfish, self-centered population on Earth and the people who are gun owners, responsible people in most, if not all respects, they feel they are entitled to own as many of whatever firearms they wish to own, no questions asked with no government oversight.
IT’S THE SECOND AMENDMENT, STUPID
It’s in the Second Amendment. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
John Howard, the conservative former prime minister of Australia (and the man who pushed for the Australian ban) said in a New York Times editorial earlier this year, the Second Amendment is the main reason doing the same in the U.S. will be far more difficult than it was Down Under.
As long as we feel entitled to all the weapons that are legally sold in the U.S., this nation will continue to lead the industrialized world in the number of gun-related crimes.
And the U.S. will continue to live under the constant threat of mass shootings taking place virtually anywhere at any time. Because frankly, we are not ready as a nation to do anything about it.
We let the gun manufacturers, through their mouthpieces like the leadership of the NRA, control what our state and federal legislators do — or don’t do — in relation to firearms. They won’t even allow stricter background checks.
Did you know? The government is prevented, by law, from funding studies that “advocate or promote gun control”? Since 1996.
Three years earlier the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), through their National Center for Injury Prevention, funded a study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled, “Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor For Homicide in the Home.”
The study concluded having a gun in the home, “…was strongly and independently associated with an increased risk of homicide.”
The NRA went into action immediately to have the National Center for Injury Prevention eliminated. What they got instead was the law preventing any funds from being used to investigate the impact of firearms on homicide rates. Now the CDC barely spends a hundred grand on gun studies of any kind — down from 2.6 billion in 1996.
You want to significantly decrease gun violence in America? Stop acting like the Second Amendment entitles us to own as many firearms of any style as we can afford and pass meaningful, enforceable gun laws. Until the zeitgeist of the nation turns, that isn’t going to happen.
Right now the only thing we can do is be prepared: the next mass shooting could include you.
If you want to see how fast a Bushmaster assault rifle can fire rounds, watch this video.
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the elected government officials and business were so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that.