On September 16, 2013 there was yet another mass shooting in America. It seems like this one, just as the Newtown and Aurora shootings, was ignored by our legislators. With 13 people (including the shooter) now deceased, we must ask: what are we to do about rampant gun violence in the country?
Day after day in America, there are children, family members and loved ones killed due to gun violence. There is nothing more devastating than the sudden and random killing of innocent people. What adds to the tragedy is that it benefits the NRA, and those who wish to profit off the lives of others. After each massacre, the NRA and gun manufacturers' profits increase significantly showing such a devastating relationship. Despite this the NRA still claims that it is better for a "good guy" to have a gun than a "bad guy" to have a gun, a statement that on its face seems undeniable. Yet what does owning a gun mean in the long term?
I, like many Americans do not fully understand the fascination with guns. Is it a means of power over another? Is it to show that just because you have a gun you are not to be messed with? The second amendment states that "a WELL REGULATED Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Are gun owners seeking to pursue their constitutional right to arms by this logic or are they seeking to cover up their imperfections or fears of being dominated?
We will see more shootings, one after another, and we will become increasingly numb to these tragedies. If we wait much longer to truly bring the fight to Washington the cycle will continue. Another shooting like Newtown may occur, but still many will insist it is not guns; it is instead an irrational individual -- an irrational individual WITH GUNS.
Some point to the fact that acts of mass violence occur in countries with gun regulations. In China last month there was a mass stabbing with 4 killed and 11 wounded, seeming to show that their gun regulation is not the solution. It was one of the largest stabbings in China, but the police were able to stop the perpetrator, and the results of the stabbing are minimal when compared with larger shootings. Some point to the fact that gun regulation cannot work a completely unfounded idea. If we look toward countries like Japan and Australia both of which have imposed heavy gun regulation bills, and as a result gun violence has been significantly reduced in these countries. Don't believe that regulation does not work because the NRA spouts propaganda -- regulation DOES make a difference.
It is sickening to me to see the NRA claim that after mass shootings it was not guns that were responsible. The fictional scapegoats they dwell on are movies, video games or lack of strong parental structure amongst others. As the NRA frequently receives a small donation with each gun sold they only need to have the talking point of 'the good guy with a gun,' and gun sales will increase.
Rather than letting the NRA control our policy the people must stand up and act. Out politicians are bought by the NRA, which is why when Obama attempted to enact gun control legislation there was such an outcry. While this problem with the NRA has always persisted, it has gotten far more out of hand in the past couple years. The Citizens United ruling of the Supreme Court states that 'Corporations are People,' and through this corporations can donate however much they wish to political campaigns. Therefore to win elections many legislators must cater toward the NRA and firearm industry for funding, and are beholden to them once they are elected.
A significant step to mitigating the NRA's power and to truly stop so many massacres in this country is to get money out of politics. Groups like Cenk Uygur's Wolfpac and Russ Feingold's Progressive United group advocate an end to corporate personhood through a constitutional amendment passed by states rather than the already massively corrupted federal government. This is not a question of should we do something, this is a question of how many more massacres will we see if we do not stop corporate personhood?