Early this morning a conservative friend of mine told me that banning the sale of assault type weapons in the United States wouldn't change anything about this country. He claims no amount of legislation will halt the sort of nightmare that visited itself on Newtown, Connecticut.
So there you have it from one perspective. Take no action whatsoever. Someone just needs to tell the parents and grandparents of twenty babies their kids were murdered because they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Yes, you have our sympathies, but their deaths are the price we pay for personal freedom in the United States. And oh, by the way, how 'bout them Dallas Cowboys?
Then of course there are guys like Larry Pratt. He is the executive director of something called Gun Owners of America. He, along with at least one Oklahoma legislator, believes the answer to all this violence is more guns. Arm the teachers, arm the principals, arm the school custodians. Never mind that practically every educator and law enforcement official in the U.S. thinks that idea makes about as much sense as attempting to put out a fire with a bucket of gasoline. When pushed by Chris Matthews, Pratt finally started babbling about how the American public needed military style weapons in order to protect itself from the government. Other comments on the internet this morning parrot that same line. We need the guns to protect ourselves from tyranny.
Mr. Pratt and the others did not specify when the tipping point would be. You know, that moment when they and they alone decide the legally elected government of the United States of America needs to be forcibly overthrown. One would presume they will have the courtesy to let the rest of us know when the revolution begins.
The London Daily Mail's online edition today printed some chilling statistics.
While the United States has only 5% of the world's population, we own 50% of all firearms available to mankind.
190 Americans were shot this Saturday alone.
94,388 Americans will be shot, wounded, and killed by years end.
In Australia 37 people were killed by firearms last year. There were 60 gun related deaths in Spain and 39 in England and Wales.
During the same time frame 9,484 people were killed outright by firearms in the United States.
You know what tyranny is? Tyranny is having to plot an escape route from a movie theater every time you see a film, because there is no telling when some demented fuck will show up on stage with an AR15. Tyranny is sweating blood every day you send your child off to school, because schools are now the targets de jour of every whacked out loner who has his hands on a Bushmaster .223. Hell, tyranny is believing you must pack a weapon every time you leave your home.
Simply put I can't believe we're even arguing about this. I can't fathom any rational human being seeing the need own, or sell a semi automatic assault style weapon and thirty round clips of ammunition. Hopefully at some point we'll grow mature enough to realize that owning the biggest, most deadly, gun in the world doesn't equate to manhood. America, are you more free than the Australians because you can buy a weapon of mass murder? Are you more free than the British? Do you really think someday you'll need to storm the west wing of the white house? Do you actually think you'd be successful when you do?
This is madness, utter madness.
Today in Newtown funeral services will be held for James Mattioli and Jessica Rekos, both forever age six. In addition wakes will be conducted for Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, and teacher, Victoria Soto.
Meanwhile earlier this morning, according to various sources, Longmont, Colorado police discovered four people shot to death in an apparent murder suicide. Police arrived at the scene after a call was made by an unidentified woman to 911. The dispatcher reported the woman screamed, "No, no, no!" then heard a gun shot. A man then came on the line and said he was going to shoot himself. A second shot was heard, followed by silence.
Kris Kristofferson once wrote this lyric, "Freedom's just another word for nothing else to lose." It has never seemed more true than today.
Welcome to America. Just keep in mind if you bunch up and don't continue moving, we can get all of you with one burst.