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.