Friday, August 17, 2012
How Many Shootings Will it Take ?
It's seems we have had a rash of shootings lately in the United States. After the Colorado theater shooting, we have had shootings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, near a university campus in Texas, at a right-wing hate organization in Washington, and at a trailer park in Louisiana. The only differences are the number of people killed and evidently a variety of reasons driving the shooters (from mental illness to right-wing politics to sexual preference).
Frankly, the reasons don't really matter much. They are all equally stupid. You have the right to disagree with anyone in this country, but you never have the right to shoot anyone. Another thing these shootings have in common is that all of the shooters purchased their guns legally. Isn't it time to at least have a national discussion over the easy availability of guns, and what changes could be made to our gun laws to prevent as many of these type of shootings as possible?
But that's not a discussion the right-wing wants to have. They think there are not enough gun owners in this country, instead of too many. They think the solution is to arm more people. They have also tried to take one shooting, at the hate group in Washington, and blame the "rhetoric". They say it is because the SPLC had labeled the Family Research Council as a hate group that the shooting took place. That's ridiculous. They are a hate group. But that does not make it OK for anyone to shoot at them.
Americans do not want to admit it, but the primary reason for so many shootings is the easy availability of guns and the lack of restrictions on where those guns can be possessed and by whom. The right will say that if guns are not available, these killers will just use knives or bats. That may be true, but not nearly as many people could have been killed. How many people could the Colorado or Wisconsin killers have murdered if all he had was a knife? Not nearly as many!
It is time for Americans to realize that human lives are more important than allowing every nut-job who wants a gun to actually get one. At the very least, it's time to seriously examine our options.