It is said that history repeats itself. It is an overused phrase that sadly applies to these United States and its love-death relationship with guns. The following words were written exactly two years ago in September 2013:
“The Teapublicans and the right wing of the right wing are adamant in their defense of what they contend is their constitutional right to own an unlimited number of guns. And on the Planet Teapublican that right even extends to what are in essence hand held weapons of mass destruction.
Even the most common sense proposed limitations, such as background checks for mental illness and criminal records are met with outrage and implacable opposition. The fact that gun massacres with multiple deaths upon multiple casualties have become a part of the American way of life is met with a call for more guns in the hands of more Americans.
What is peculiar about this adamant and absolute Teapublican defense of the right to bear arms is that it does not extend to the right to vote. The same right wing avatars that are incapable of compromising on any limits, controls or oversight regarding the right to possess firearms have no problem with the multiple barriers to voting that are being erected across this country. In fact, the same Teapublican legislatures that trample even modest gun control proposals into dusty fragments are the same legislatures that are passing voter suppression laws the likes of which have not been seen since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
In North Carolina, for example, new voter suppression laws have been passed with the express purpose of making it more difficult for minorities, the elderly and the young to vote. The fact that representatives of these demographics are not part of the Teapublican base of support is not coincidental.
And so, we are now witness to the irony that it is easier for a black man in North Carolina to own a gun than it is for him to vote. Somehow the predominantly white Teapublicans in North Carolina and elsewhere fear black people who vote more than they fear black people who own guns.
The naked illogic of this situation should be obvious as the exercise of the right to vote is far more important to the preservation of democracy and democratic institutions than individual gun ownership. Unless you believe that there are federal black helicopters about to lift off and come and take you away, voting presents a far more effective and rational way to establish and promote policies.
Say what you will about the Teapublicans, but they have managed to turn selective hypocrisy into an art form. Somehow, in this house of malevolent mirrors, the right to bear arms is an absolute right that should not be subject to any limitation whatsoever.
However, even though the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that a woman has a constitutional right to choose an abortion, the Teapublicans in many states have taken so many steps to limit that right to choose that this right is rendered virtually meaningless.
While the right to own guns, rifles, shotguns and assault weapons is inviolate on the Planet Teapublican – the right to vote of minorities, the elderly and anyone who is not a reliable supporter of the Teapublican Commandments can be modified and limited to make their right to vote virtually meaningless.
Indeed, to an observer from another country, it would seem that the only right that is absolute in the Teapublican Constitution is the right to own a gun. And it may be only a matter of time before this country is properly renamed ‘The United States of Gun’.”
As we prepare to watch another set of somber official mourners march to the gravesides in Oregon this time, we know for certainty that this will not be the last time that mass murder stains the pages of another day in this country’s history.
We can only hope against hope that, amidst the gunfire and the relentless hail of bullets, at some point sanity and self-preservation will inform the national discourse on the subject of guns.
Clearly we have yet to reach that point. And while we wait the body count continues to rise.