In the course of one week, eighteen Americans were slain by automatic assault weapons wielded by serious deranged Americans. ISIS had nothing to do with this. Black Lives Matter had nothing to do with these killings. Even the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys had nothing to do with these killings.
The only thing that these killings had in common was the ease of access to incredibly lethal weaponry in America. And at the outset it should be a matter of settled fact that any person who picks up an automatic weapon and kills eight people in in massage parlors in Atlanta, and another who walks into a supermarket in Boulder and kills ten people in a matter of minutes are seriously deranged.
But there are seriously deranged men and women all over the world, but in America 41,000 Americans were victims of gun violence. This is a mortality rate that is exceeded only in Yemen – which is in the middle of a civil war. Over 112 Americans died from gun violence every week last year –which is the equivalent of 4 fully occupied 737 jetliners crashing every week – killing all aboard.
From the Texas Bell Tower Massacre to Sandy Hook to Parkland to Las Vegas to El Paso, weaponry has brought death and terror to America – and there is no place to hide. You can be in kindergarten, at a concert, at a movie or at a supermarket and it can be last event in your life because of the Plague of the Gun.
There are 330 million Americans and over 400 million rifles, guns and pistols in this country. Granted there are legitimate purposes for gun ownership – hunting, sport and self-defense. But there can be no rational purpose for assault weapons to be in the hands of civilians – but that is the American way.
Somehow this country has become inured to Death by Gun – somehow it is now just the price we pay for Americans. Somehow proposals for background checks and limits on weaponry are seen as attacks on the 2nd Amendment rights – even though the 2nd Amendment says nothing about gun ownership.
But somehow the carnage has been normalized. Polls show that over 90% of Americans favor some form of additional gun control – the deadly triad of the National Rifle Association, major gun manufacturers and too many politicians – Republicans and Democrats – who will trade the lives of American men, women and children for campaign dollars – this triad has managed to block any and every effort to bring common sense to this American death spiral.
After ever tragedy, and sadly there will be others, there is the expressed hope that the outrageous murder of first graders or high school students or worshippers at a synagogue or a Baptist church will finally be enough death.
There are bills pending in the Senate, already passed by the House, which would at least begin to get this country on the path of something like common sense gun control. But the Republicans in the Senate of have already declared these measures dead on arrival not realizing the horrific irony of their position.
Sadly, there will be more tragedies, especially has the COVID-19 measures are relaxed and more people will be mobile – including the heavily armed and deranged members of our national population.
There will be more deaths and more tragedies. And more hopes and prayers.
But it clear that in America – there is never enough death.