With apologies …

avoidable ... if we cared

I’ve decided to postpone the next installment of the story in light of what happened today in Newtown, Connecticut. Read the story and then a sampling of the comments that follow the story, especially some of the earliest comments. Even among those who read the New York Times, there are wackos who will defend their right to keep and bear arms unfettered even if that means that close to 30 people have to die, 20 of them children between the ages of five and ten.

Why does this happen? It happens in part because there is a lot of money to be made peddling violence in the United States and the gun manufacturers — corporations like ArmaLite, Beretta, Browning, Bushmaster (manufacturer of the semi-automatic rifle apparently used to kill most of the children), Colt, Glock (manufacturer of another one of the guns apparently used), Magnum Research, Remington Arms, Sig Sauer (manufacturer of still another gun apparently used), Smith & Wesson, Taurus, Walther, Winchester, and far too many others to enumerate here — are determined to extract every last cent of profit they can from people who revel in violence.

These merchants of death finance and support their favored pet poodles like the National Rife Association (NRA) that oppose virtually every form of gun control, including restrictions on owning assault weapons, background checks for gun owners, and the registration of firearms.

The NRA’s influence is felt not only through political contributions, but also through millions of dollars in off-the-books spending on issue ads and the like. The NRA works at the Federal, State, and local level to make the spread of weapons ever easier. And yet, in the end, this kind of gun violence happens most of all because the sniveling cowards who call themselves our leaders, starting with President Obama but including most other U.S. politicians as well, do nothing.

In the days ahead they will tell us how sorry they are for what happened, how much they grieve for the parents and loved ones of those who died. America’s politicians have become practiced in the art of grief.

They grieved after the Columbine high school massacre (15 dead, 24 injured), the 2011 Tucson shooting that left 6 dead and 12 injured, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (shot in the head) and 9-year old Christina-Taylor Green (dead), the Virginia Tech massacre (33 dead, 17 wounded, 6 injured), the 2012 shooting at a movie theater in Auroro, Colorado, that left 12 dead and 58 injured, the 2012 shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, that killed six and wounded four others, and at too many other incidents to recount here.

Grief comes easy for America’s politicians. What comes much harder is a willingness to do anything to address the problem.

If you listen to America’s politicians, at least most of them, or the wackos financed by the merchants of death and led by the NRA, nothing can be done, nothing at all. We don’t need new laws. There are plenty of laws on the books already. Besides, how can a law stop something like this? If people didn’t have access to guns, they would have probably killed all those kids in Newtown with toothpicks or something else, perhaps a CD recording of Wayne LaPierre’s latest explanation of the evils associated with gun control.

One thing’s for certain; if those five and ten year olds had been carrying guns themselves, there would have a lot less violence. You can be damn certain of that!

The point is that nothing can be done, nothing at all. We just need to recognize and accept that some children and adults will be shot down like dogs because America’s founding fathers intended for Americans to have free access to machine guns, mortars, high capacity rifles, and just about any other weapon the mind can conceive.

In the end, the American people get what they deserve. They get politicians without backbones, the lobbyists who intimidate them, and the purveyors of death who hide their greed for profit behind noble sounding sentiments.

So, no, my little protest this evening will do no good. Shameless politicians will wring their hands until Americans fall back into the collective stupor that permits those politicians to abdicate their responsibilities and the merchants of death to aid and abet the slaughter of the innocents.

Do I have all the facts? No. I don’t have all the facts. But I will protest nonetheless, at least for 24 hours, hoping that at least one other person will use the opportunity to call or write to the President and their representatives in Congress demanding action.

December 15 Update: I’ll try to put up the next chapter later this evening.

not slaughtered

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3 thoughts on “With apologies …

  1. My heart goes out today December 14, 2012 to our southern neighbours and especially to the people of Newtown Connecticut over the tragic shootings. There is nothing that one can say that will alleviate the pain and suffering.

  2. Hi Kit, For evil to exist it only takes good men to do nothing. Kit, I only hope that a lot more will take the step you have. Ask your readers who are on Facebook and other similar sites to post this. Video clips can go viral on u-tube, see if you can do this with this. I will copying and pasting on my page. Hugs, Tom

  3. I want to thank both of you for your comments. When I wrote this post yesterday, I did so quickly and in anger.

    I was angry that anyone should be slaughtered like this, let alone so many young boys and girls between the ages of five and ten; angry with Presidential press secretary Jay Carney for saying that he did not think yesterday was the day to debate what could be done to prevent future incidents like this. The man has said that so often I’m sure he has it memorized by now and only needs to substitute the name of the newest school or community where the latest shooting has taken place. But perhaps I’m being harsh.

    Most of all I was angry because I’ve seen what has happened all too often in the past. Words are spoken. Grief is expressed. And then the sun comes up the next morning and there is all that Christmas shopping to be done and life goes on after all, perhaps not for those young boys and girls in Connecticut but for the rest of us it goes on. A few days pass. We are treated to the spectacle of the victims being buried. More words are spoken, more reassurances given. And then nothing happens and we are left to wait for the next incident to happen so the cycle can repeat itself.

    I need to stop with this now because I can feel the anger rising again this morning and I realize the anger does no good and only damages me.

    Look, people, I am not an expert on this or much of anything really. I don’t have the answer. I don’t think there is a single answer that will prevent or lessen the chance of future incidents like this happening. I can think of lots of partial answers, lots of things that could be done to help; and I am sure there are people more knowledgeable than me who can think of more and better things that could be done.

    But we’ll never make any progress if we keep closing our eyes and our mouths to what is going on around us. I heard on the radio this morning there have been seven major gun violence incidents like this in the United States in 2012 alone. People ask themselves what they can do. It’s not that hard to write to the President and your congressional representatives, people.

    The President
    The White House
    Washington, D.C. 20500

    Dear Mr. President:

    Honorable John Doe
    United States Senate
    Washington, D.C. 20510

    Dear Senator Doe:

    Honorable Jane Smith
    United States House of Representatives
    Washington, D.C. 20515

    Dear Representative Smith:

    Don’t know what to say exactly? Keep it simple. Here is one suggestion.

    Columbine.

    Tuscon.

    Virginia Tech.

    Aurora, Colorado.

    Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

    Portland.

    Newtown.

    Do something!

    If you don’t know what to do, get of the way of those who do.

    But do something!

    Thanks.

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