I wrote the column below last year, right after the shooting in an Orlando nightclub last year that killed 49 people, the deadliest mass attack by a single shooter on U.S. soil. Until yet another lunatic with a gun, turned into a semi-automatic weapon by the addition of yet another killing device, murdered 58 people and injured hundreds more in Las Vegas in early October.
After the Orlando shooting, I was horrified and incensed, yet again. I wrote the piece below as a simple way of trying to do something, anything, to make a difference.
Do you know what I did after this shooting?
I paused my Buffer queue.
Yes, I watched horrified and sickened by what happened. I prayed. I grieved for all those affected by this act of evil, which means all of us. But as far as doing something active to stop this madness, I thought, What's the point? If we couldn't get the crazies in the NRA to wake the hell up after children were slaughtered in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, does anyone really think they're going to snap out of their love affair with guns after some adults are mowed down long enough to STOP, FOR GOD'S SAKE, AND SUPPORT REASONABLE GUN CONTROL?
I suppose I didn't, because all I did was pause my Buffer queue, taking a break from mindless self-promotion long enough to show some respect for the dead.
I'm ashamed of myself. And every person who spouts the same nonsense about the right to bear arms should be, too. There is no place in civilized society for semi-automatic weapons. Period.
I can't type anymore. Please read the column below and just change the details.
It's the gun.
The below was written in 2016
Freedom. It's the greatest gift America has to offer.
People from the world over still see America as a beacon for freedom. Freedom to live with a voice, with individual interests and passions, with, well, freedom.
But maybe now, the greatest, “free-est” country in the world has got it wrong. Maybe, just maybe, what we need now is a little less freedom.
The horror of events in Orlando last month was devastating, not only because of the loss of life and the terror inflicted upon innocent people, but because it’s happened before… too many times before.
When the nightly news brings another tale of mass murder, carried out by a crazed gunman, we recoil. The horror lasts a few weeks, and then we go back to, what has now become for us, normal, which amounts to waiting for the next horror, which we know is only a matter of time.
It’s only a matter of time before another crazed gunman will take a high powered weapon and kill. The victims will be innocents, because crazed gunmen are cowards. They will destroy lives—many lives, not only the lives they take, but the lives of the loved ones left behind to wonder how? How and why did this happen in the greatest country in the world?
Last month, a reporter in Philadelphia bought a high powered assault weapon, like the one used in the Orlando massacre, to see just how difficult it was to get her hands on a weapon of such deadliness. It took journalist Helen Ubinas a total of seven minutes to buy a semi-automatic rifle. After the purchase, Ubinas went to a local police station where it took longer to turn in the gun than it did to purchase it.
At this point, after the slaughter of children, high school students, folks out for a night at the movies, and LGBT people enjoying a night at a club, it’s clear. Yes, it’s the crazy guy with the gun, BUT IT’S ALSO THE GUN.
Any idiot (yes, I said it), who argues that guns don’t kill people, people kill people, and the Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms should be locked in a room with a nut with a semi-automatic. I’m guessing they might change their mind.
We don’t need ordinary citizens having access to automatic or semi-automatic weapons. There is no plausible reason to put a weapon of that deadliness in the hands of anyone not at war. If you’re a sportsman, I still don’t condone it, but a semi-automatic? What are you trying to do, kill the deer or blow it to smithereens? Even if you eat your prey, do you like it with a side of bullets? I’m guessing you’ll be picking them out of your teeth if you try and eat a deer killed with a semi-automatic weapon.
And spare me the argument our forefathers specifically allowed the right to bear arms in our Constitution. THEY WERE TAKING ABOUT MUSKETS, FOR GOD’S SAKE!
If you want to go around arming everyone with a musket, go for it. Muskets were either single shots or a few balls loaded into the barrel of the weapon, allowing for a single target. Further, muskets were short range weapons and notoriously inaccurate. Go ahead, give everyone a musket if you insist we all need guns. At least the majority of people facing a nut with a musket will have the odds for survival on their side.
But, for the love of all that is good and holy, we MUST ban the sale of automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Yes, there will still be bad people killing, but we don’t have to make it easy for them to get the guns into their hands.
This July fourth, call your congressional representative. Call your senator. Call the White House. Do whatever it takes to make sure we enact stricter gun laws—NOW.
It’s time the “free-est” country in the world became a little less free.
MARY FRAN BONTEMPO is a speaker, author and humorist who teaches audiences to control their most powerful influence: Self-Talk. Author of “The Woman’s Book of Dirty Words” and “Not Ready for Granny Panties,” Mary Fran proves small changes in self-talk yield big life changes, allowing individuals to redefine their lives both professionally and personally in a rapidly changing world. Her latest book, “The Woman’s Book of Dirty Words,” is available on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com, along with “Not Ready For Granny Panties—The 11 Commandments for Avoiding Granny Panties,” published in 2012, and her first book, “Everyday Adventures or, As My Husband Says, ‘Lies, Lies and More Lies.’” Contact – Website – Books