Following the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater massacre, I posted the following blog with the title
Stand Up to the Merchants of Death:
Enough already with the Second Amendment baloney. Enough already with the Constitutional right to bear arms. It's bogus. The deranged individual who bought four guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition - legally - was not a member of a duly constituted militia of citizen soldiers; he was a person who was intent on killing as many innocent people as possible in the shortest period of time, just as was the case in Tucson and numerous other cities during the last decade.
And is the gun lobby repentant? Absolutely not. They are doubling down on their efforts to hold hostage any politicians who stand in their way. Not because all these heavily-armed citizens will make us safer from some unspecified threat, but for profit. They are intent on selling their merchandise to any individual who wants to arm himself to the teeth with weapons and other equipment that have no other purpose than to kill large numbers of people efficiently. It's not about patriotism or protection. It's about money. It's about maximizing profit for the gun industry and it is obvious that they feel no remorse for the deaths, pain and suffering that their products inflict on innocent men, women and children.
Shame on the NRA and the gun lobby for putting profit before public safety. How dare they show their self-serving faces in public after the growing list of catastrophes for which they have been responsible. Enough of the "guns don't kill peope, people kill" malarkey. Try telling that face-to-face with the victims of the Aurora massacre and their families. How many would have been dead or injured by a knife- or club-wielding crazy person or even one carrying a handgun or hunting rifle? The "guns don't kill" mantra is simply a disgraceful effort to promote unlimited gun and ammunition sales and shield the gun lobby and gutless politicians from the consequences of the death and destruction that mass shootings inflict randomly but no longer unpredictably.
As for the politicians who are their enablers - and regrettably that is the majority -- shame on them for consistently bending to their blackmail. Shame on them also for masking their craven cowardice behind phony Second Amendment and chest pounding patriotism. They are not patriots -- they are engaged in a deadly form of prostitution. How dare they show their bought-and-paid-for faces in public, in light of the mounting number of calamities that they have allowed to occur.
Am I angry about what just happened in Aurora? You bet I am. But my anger is exceeded by the deep sorrow I feel for the innocent victims - the dead, the terribly wounded, and their families - of our disgraceful disregard for their safety. Shame on all of us for allowing this type of incident to occur over and over again. Our collective disregard for their wellbeing and the consequent pain they are suffering is unforgivable. For letting the NRA and the rest of the gun lobby, abetted by cowardly politicians, get away with their lethal scam, we too deserve our place in the Second Amendment Hall of Shame.
In the name of the victims of all of these mass killings, let's resolve to make the NRA a dirty word in the public arena and make gun industry lobbyists persona non grata in the offices of our public officials. Let's insist that our representatives, at every level of government, purge themselves of NRA and gun lobby support and show enough real, rather than phony, intestinal fortitude and patriotism to sign up for a program of sensible gun control legislation. And let's resolve to keep after them to ensure that they do. That's the least we can do for the casualties in Aurora, Tucson, Columbine, Fort Worth, and all the rest.
I had hoped that this latest of a series of mass killings would move the American public and our elected representatives to act, at last, on sensible gun control legislation. At the very least, the issue would be put on the table for rational discussion. Unfortunately, nothing like that occurred. On the contrary, there was deafening silence on this matter all across the political spectrum.
Now, we have the slaughter of twenty little children and six women devoted to their care and education in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. And what do we hear from the political class and the mass media? Endless speculation about what might have caused the shooter to commit such a heinous crime and how he got his hands of multiple deadly weapons. As if figuring this out is going to prevent the repeat of this kind of massacre. Get real, folks, for Heaven's sake. It's not that we should ignore our failure to be vigilant and proactive in addressing the needs of those among us who are mentally disturbed, as well as seriously assessing the roles of our culture and the mass media in normalizing, if not promoting, violence. But, as anyone with an iota of common sense and a modicum of integrity knows, the core problem is the ready availability of guns and our gutless politicians who are too intimidated by the gun lobby to do anything about it. Will Newtown change that? Let's see. But don't hold your breath.