Friday, June 19, 2015

Another Shooting, But Move Along. Nothing to See Here

I was saddened yesterday to read about yet another mass shooting in my native country.

How many more people must be gunned down by before somebody stands up and says, "Enough?" How many more young people of all colors and ages must die on our streets before somebody says, "Enough?"

Must we swim in blood before our elected officials get their heads out of their collective asses?

Why is it okay to be the nation that leads the world in violence?

Even the U.S. President, exasperated and frustrated, said yesterday that he didn't know how to stop this endless parade of stupid and irresponsible deaths. Wrong political climate. Too much power in the wrong places.

"At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries," Barack Obama said in response to the killings in Charleston - his 14th such address to the nation in the last six year. "It doesn't happen in other places with this kind of frequency."

And of course people dismissed this fact; I saw it happen several times on Facebook yesterday, but it is true. Among wealthy, first-world nations, we have three times as many homicides as other nationalities. We have more than Turkey, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Spain, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Italy - more than 30 other countries that are considered wealthy and civilized.

Does that make us the least civilized of the 30? I think so. In fact, I think we have become a nation of lunatics, apparently bred from wrong-thinking stock sent over long ago, with the fruitcakiness now oozing its way out of our brains and becoming mainstream, mistaken for some semblance of sanity.

I mean, why is your right to kill me greater than my right to live? Because basically that is what gun advocates think. They think their right to carry a piece outweighs my right to live a peaceful, tranquil life. They think it outweighs my right to breath and continue living.

Well let me tell you, buddy, it doesn't. You can take your gun and shove it where the sun don't shine, up there with the heads of those idiotic politicians. We need gun regulations and we need them now.

And guess what? If you already believe that mentally ill people and convicted felons should not have guns, you believe in gun control, too.

So what do we do, us citizens who "want to take our country back" but not in the way that the people who usually say that mean? Those of us who still have some sanity left and want to see a land of the free that is peaceful, with well-maintained infrastructure, and happiness for most instead of just a measly one percent? What do we do?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Get money out of politics (bye bye Citizens United)
  • Make voting mandatory
  • Reinstate the draft
  • Elect people with common sense instead of idiots
  • Do away with the electoral college
  • Dismantle corporate monopolies
  • Stop watching Faux News & listening to hate-talk radio
  • Bring back the space program so that people have something in which to have national pride
  • Change the educational system so that it is focused on individuals and not lemmings. Add back art, music, philosophy, and civics courses.
  • Institute a jobs program to upgrade the public infrastructure
  • Tax the churches since they have become political
  • Write letters to your elected representatives
  • Write letters to media suggesting that hate-filled TV shows be replaced with things that teach morality (think Andy Griffith)
  • Write letters to sponsors of TV shows that advocate for violence and extremism
  • Don't watch that kind of stuff on TV
  • Stop advocating foreign policies that do more harm than good (i.e., military intervention)
  • Upgrade and improve our mental health system and stop using the penitentiary to warehouse people who are mentally ill.

And guess what, I've disabled comments so you can't fuss at me, because unless you agree with me, I don't care what you think. And guess what again, I own guns. I can shoot guns and have shot guns. I live on a farm and I think guns are necessary at various times and places.

But I also think you should have to pass a stringent background check before you own one.

Let me repeat this one point so that it goes deep inside your brain:

If you already believe that mentally ill people and convicted felons should not have guns, you believe in gun control, too.

For a similar point of view, and interesting comments about how much guns are actually used in self-defense, check out Dan's Smith's commentary here.