“I have had enough!” Once again I am thinking and saying this as I hear of the latest gun violence (this time in Orlando). As I attend another vigil. Once again I see posts proclaiming “Never again!” but “never” seems to have lost any meeting in this scenario. So many of us see a problem but there is no will by elected officials to make any common sense changes in law and in the availability of guns (either in kind, quantity, or even eliminating the possibility of acquiring them without a background check) to reduce the probability of another incident. Orlando joins other communities such as Blacksburg, Newtown, Ft Hood, DC and Aurora. And all we can safely wonder is where next?
We again have the very vocal who want the issue sidelined by attributing it as extremism of one sort or another – be it religious or hatred of the gay community. These are those who will point out that someone bent on evil will find a way to do evil and therefore we need more good people with guns to protect us…As Dr. Phil is so fond of saying “How’s that working…” for us? The data tells us “Not very well!”
I have had enough of this being a political issue with extremists of all persuasions lobbing insults at one another and using it as fodder for the next round in the fight. A hostile yelling match that will not end until the citizens have truly had enough and will hold our elected officials responsible for finding a compromise that may reduce the incidence of this sort of hate-based violence.
But we seem more interested in our ideology than in any attempt to find a solution. Every post I have seen on this subject (including my own responses) get flamed by those whose tactic is anger, name calling and waving around an amendment whose original intent was simply to make sure the state militias of the colonies had access to arms.
Are we so blind that we cannot see this is out of control? Over 130 killings so far THIS YEAR in the United States – but so many are unwilling to see that there is a problem? “Guns don’t kill people” we are told. Tell that to the families of those who were killed by a gunman at the nightclub. Tell that to the families where a toddler or young child has fired a gun and killed a playmate or family member. The reason guns were developed was to kill – they began and remain primary weapons of war. If we had fewer guns available we might still have violence but we would have fewer deaths because guns are effective machines for killing. But guns ale also a profitable industry and they pay lobbyists to convince legislators not to enact new restriction and to remove the ones that do exist.
What to me is ludicrous is that those we change with protecting us, the police, are so often vocal about limiting access to guns – getting guns off the streets and out of the hands of those who should not be allowed the privilege (and YES it is a PRIVILEGE not a right to own weapons that can be used to kill) of gun ownership. It is no wonder that the police are scared since they are often outgunned by citizens with semi-automatic weapons that have no purpose other than killing. But even with sheriffs and chiefs of police calling for regulation common sense cannot be agreed upon because of ideology and the fear engender by the very industry that profits from gun manufacture and proliferation.
Cars I have been told many times also kill. Yes, but we mandate license-based testing before one can drive a car; one needs liability insurance to drive and infractions of the law can mean revoking the privilege of driving; and car manufacturers have a liability for the products they manufacture. And there is no congressional prohibition on studying auto related deaths to find ways to reduce the fatalities.
We won’t end violence especially gun violence be enacting common sense legislation and controls – but we will reduce it. We will decrease the escalating numbers of victims. Will it be perfect? No! But it will be a start towards reducing the ever increasing numbers of victims.
Will it happen because we have just experience the largest number of injuries and fatalities in a gun violence incident? It doesn’t stand a chance in an election years with all of the rhetoric and grand standing. I do not know how may more people it will take for us voters, us average folk to get angry and determined enough to demand that common sense prevails. But then in my memory I recall my grandfather telling me “Common sense is not that common anymore!”
PS – This is not an invitation for debate… I have heard it all again and again as the number victims has increased and I have had enough of the endless debate.