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Do you remember when…

Remember back to that weekend in late March when there were two mass killings in the space of days on opposite sides of the U.S. (Georgia and Colorado)?

Oh… but why would you remember?

There’s been too many mass shootings before – and according to the New York Times – the 2020 murder rate rose by a stunning 29 percent (!) – the largest one-year increase since the FBI has been keeping statistics.

Well then would you remember how Senator Ted Cruz began his defence at the gun violence hearing soon after?

Every time there’s a shooting…

Matt Davies Political Cartoon, April 25, 2021

This Ridiculous Theatre

In this month to contemplate the place of violence in our times, I wonder if this is really how you want to start to defend the open access to a device used to instigate, propagate, terminate with violence? Astonishingly Cruz is so unaware that uttering “every time” says more about the subject matter than anything he would say afterwards!

Though he was ridiculed for calling the outpouring of grief over mass murders as “this ridiculous theater”, he would double down on the comment by falsely claiming:

 “What happens in this committee after every mass shooting is Democrats propose taking away guns from law-abiding citizens.” In fact the Democratic party has not proposed any such measures; it has however proposed gun control measures that are supported by at least 84% of the American public.”  (Andi Ortiz, The Wrap)

When are You no longer a “Law Abiding Citizen”?

It fascinates me that military gun advocates tend to be worried that all guns will be taken from “law abiding citizens” without reflecting on the fact that in many cases, like in Georgia and Colorado, the shooters were law-abiding right up to the moment they used their numerous automatic weapons to kill numerous people. It’s too late to call the killers “criminal” after these automatic weapons were so easily obtained.

Neither is there a critical word about the “legal” sale of automatic weapons sold to erstwhile legal gun owners who were not criminal until they went on killing rampages. Are not the sellers culpable in this insanity… or is it their right to make a living by selling firearms to virtually anyone?

Even the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on the subject when Justice Scalia indicated that a wide variety of common gun control regulations would pass constitutional muster:

[Nothing] in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

I Admit It:

I admit: I am an outsider looking in to this astonishing military gun culture and freedom narrative constructed since the American War of Independence. I know of no other nation so entrenched in a story that reinforces so much gun violence in the name of safety.

I admit: I am non-partisan when it comes to politics in general and American politics in particular. I do not care to defend the rhetoric of either political party in the States.

I admit: I am baffled by a nation that has the highest gun crime/death rates among the G20 – cannot seem to grasp there is some sense to restricting weapons from the mentally disturbed and criminally inclined (and that means screening applicants first). I do not know why people don’t need to be licensed for a gun as they would for other very dangerous activities such as: driving a car, or getting married. (See why backgrounds checks alone will not solve America’s gun violence problem in The gun solution we’re not talking about):

Meanwhile as of September 1st “Texans can openly carry guns in public without a permit or training“.

I admit: I don’t understand why there is little interest to limit the killing potential of a gun by restricting the number of bullets that can be held in a clip and its capability to be automatic.

I admit: I am defenceless both to a person who would want to cause me harm and to the logic that continues to promote military gun culture with its inevitable result of gun violence (to understand why, see on my Thoughts on War and Peace).

I admit: that every time there’s a shooting, I wonder at the senselessness of it all.

Do you have some Insight?

No one should deduce that I am against farmers and hunters using guns for hunting and protection against predatory animals. But as I’ve said before, I have yet to see hunters and farmers use assault rifles to hunt or deal with predators. Am I being reasonable about making this distinction? Or is a gun just a gun?

If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you will know that every November, I commit all articles to speak to the theme, “the place of violence in our times.”

I have yet to receive a cogent defence of the massive pro-military gun culture of the U.S. Do you have one?

If “normal for the United States is a mass shooting once a week”… I wonder if this would be a time to consider how to change the place of violence in our times?