As I sit on the futon trying to concentrate on reading Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich for my Existential Philosophy class I find myself unable to stay focused today. There has been another shooting at a school today, and my heart is aching for the loss of more lives due to gun violence. The question “when does it end?” does not even begin to address the issues at hand.
Today’s school shooting in Troutdale, OR makes this “74 school shootings since the Newtown massacre less than two years ago.”
Michael Luciano echoes some of my sentiments in the Daily Banter today, saying:
In this country we always talk about how we can better educate The Children to prepare them — and the country — for a future in a globally competitive world. But how in the hell are we supposed to do that when we can’t even protect them in the place they should feel the safest outside of their own homes? Preparing The Children for the future? That seems like far too much of an ask when we can’t even protect them right fucking now.
Each time there is another incidence of gun violence in America, those of us concerned with the gun violence voice our concern, rant and rave that something needs to be done, and yet nothing ever gets done. Here we sit, watching helplessly as the gun nuts and the NRA claim we need to arm more people, or put armed guards in schools. neither option is the right answer here.
During a Tumblr discussion at the White House today, President Obama said:
“My biggest frustration so far is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage.”
“We’re the only developed country on Earth where this happens and it happens now once a week, and it’s a one day story. There’s no place else like this.”
Obama is right on both counts. The gun culture is out of control in America. We no sooner recover from another horrific incident of gun violence and we hear of another one within days, sometimes hours. And the NRA drumbeat goes on pressing into the minds of their members that they need more guns because the Democrats and President Obama want to take their guns away. No one on the left side of political aisle has said, “hey, we want to take everyone guns away.” Those words are only echoed by the NRA’s propaganda machine and those who buy into their twisted logic.
The brightest spot of my despair on the latest round of gun violence came from a post on Esquire today from a truly admirable military man who says he is ready to be “be part of the solution.”
Moms Demand Action is getting some traction, but they can use the lean-in of a few U.S. Army Airborne Infantry Rangers. I am only sorry that I did not stand up to this threat to our nation before. I am sorry. I was busy.
I have been overseas in Afghanistan and in NATO nations for half a decade while the insanity of the National Rifle Association expanded and exploded, and the NRA became, essentially, the tool of death in the United States. They made mass killings normal.
Well done, NRA. But this shit is too much.
Here’s a fact, we need more men like Lt. Col. Robert Bateman to stand up and say enough is enough. Responsible gun owners must eschew the right wing/NRA talking points on guns and join the movement to protect innocent children, and innocent people from random and pre-meditated gun violence. The time is now.
If you call yourself a “responsible” gun owner, it is time to separate yourself from the NRA.
If you call yourself a “responsible” gun owner, it is time to take a stand for reasonable and rational gun control.
If you call yourself a “responsible” gun owner you need to let Congress know that you are on the side of gun control.
Gun control won’t solve the issue, but it will make a difference. What is at stake is our children’s futures and our credibility as a rational nation that does not stand by while innocent children are gunned in their schools.