Before speaking to this issue I need to discuss my relationship with guns. Full disclosure and all that, you know. I love guns. I deer hunt when I’m invited. I am a Vietnam combat veteran so have been intimately acquainted with rifles and guns for years. I’ve been shooting since I was a child having spent time on a farm. When I was growing up one of my responsibilities on the farm was “varmint control” and I got pretty good at it. Varmint control is shooting rats, coyotes and other animals that feed off farm animals. Rural counties used to pay bounties for certain varmints so I made extra cash this way beginning at age nine.
Now that I have that out of the way, I need to emphatically state that I am appalled at the state of gun control in the United States. The other day in the San Antonio Express News I saw where a young Latino, he is 21, was sentenced to life in prison for shooting a man after a road rage incident. His rap sheet indicated that he had been in trouble since a very young age having been arrested 15 times as a juvenile and was deemed a hazard to public safety by the courts. In the same issue of the newspaper I saw where a member of the infamous Mexican narco gang, the Zetas, has been arrested and facing life in federal prison for attempting to run guns, many automatic weapons, from the United State to gangs in Mexico.
Nationally, we’ve had a young man walk into Taft High School in California and gun down a student, wounding two others in the process and then it turns out this person had a “hit list” he was working off of. We had the heart rending mass murder of all those children in Newtown, Connecticut, the theater shooting in Aurora and I don’t even know how many other “wanna be’s” have been stopped from either shooting folks in theaters or schools. We have had individuals sniping from freeway overpasses, shooting up shopping malls, and the list goes on.
And, how do you think the country responds to all of this mass murder. Holding vigils, calling for gun control at all levels, and then silence until more violence occurs.
I’m with retired General McCrystal, you know the commanding general of our troops in Afghanistan who was fired by President Obama for losing face in a Rolling Stones article, that we need some sort of logical and practical gun control in this society. As it currently stands all we have are somewhat superficial back ground checks on hand gun purchases. Most of the gun runners use proxies, who can pass background checks, to buy guns for them. There are also a large number of individuals throughout the United States who can sell you a gun “off the books” that are not registered. How do you think guns get into the hands of violent criminals?
So, what is being done to change this chaotic policy area? Nothing! ¡Nada! Nothing at all other than politicians at different levels wring their hands, send condolences, and participate in prayer services appearing somber.
Why is there so little going on to address this extraordinary loss of life? Because gun enthusiasts and their spokespersons, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA), have a major role in gun control policy.
The NRA makes major campaign contributions to politicians and expects a quid pro quo in return. The NRA employs a sophisticated and well-funded lobbying operation at all levels of government. The NRA has played a major role in creating a gun culture in our society. The NRA threatens politicians with their demise if these brave individuals dare go against guns.
The president has treaded lightly in this area appointing Vice President Biden to oversee policy in this area. VP Biden has met with the gun lobby and various policy makers to try and come to some consensus surrounding government action in this area. However, gun politicians and the NRA are not going quietly. For instance, the governor of Texas, Rick Perry also popularly known as “Governor Good Hair,” has asked the legislature, popularly known as “useless pieces of furniture,” to pass legislation arming marshals for the state’s schools. One Texas State Senator has also filed a bill allowing licensed individuals to carry concealed weapons on public university campuses.
¡No me digas! The answer to gun control and prevention of public violence is more guns!?! You have to be kidding me! That’s all we need a bunch of gun happy, trigger happy, wanna be soldiers, cops and security folks walking around getting ready to gun play at the drop of a hat. You don’t think any young children or innocent bystanders could be accidentally wounded or killed in a good old fashion Texas shoot out? Do you?
[Photo by phoosh]