In America these days, every day seems like Groundhog Day. Literally there is not a week that goes by when there is not another mass shooting somewhere in these United States. Sometimes the weapon of choice is an automatic rifle. Sometimes the weapon of choice is an upgraded automatic pistol. Sometimes the shooter is white. Sometimes the shooter is Black. Sometimes the shooter is Asian.
Every time there are dead Americans left to be mourned.
Since January 1, 2023 there have be 71 mass shootings in this country – mass shootings being defined as four or more people are shot or killed, not including the shooter. At this rate there will be over five hundred mass shootings in this country by New Year’s Eve. And the 12.31.23 body count is too awful to contemplate.
Yet, keep in mind that this is the new normal in this country. Somehow Americans have been anesthetized or desensitized so that, no matter how horrific the carnage, thoughts and prayers and balloons and flowers appear over the corpses – and the thoughts and prayers float off into the ether along with balloons and the flowers wilt and die and lie with the dead in their final resting places.
It is important for it to be understood that this daily carnage is not normal. And it has never been normal. In 1982 there was one mass shooting death. In 2000 there were 47 mass shooting deaths. Last year, in 2022, there were 647 mass shootings. Americans are killing each other at an unbelievable rate.
There are already more than enough reasons why. The proliferation of guns in this country is of epic proportions – there are approximately 330 million Americans, there are over 400 million guns. There are more guns per capita in this country than any other nation except Yemen – which just happens to be in the midst of a civil war.
There are other countries with high levels of gun ownership, Israel and Switzerland come to mind. But those countries have powerful restrictions on the possession of guns except in extremely limited circumstances and, in both of those nations your guns must be locked up.
It would appear that this country is careening towards a gun fueled apocalypse – all of it the result of the pure, naked and uncontrolled greed of gun manufacturers who are enabled by the National Rifle Association, legislators who will surely sell their souls for a Remington or Colt dollar, and the 2nd Amendment liars.
The last set of enablers are totally loathsome because the 2nd Amendment does not reference the rights of individuals to be armed, but rather militias (which were important during the American resistance to the British during the Revolutionary War) could not be disarmed by the new government that was in formation. But the 2nd Amendment liars and charlatans are impervious to the truth or to the fact that by their lies they are contributing to the unnecessary deaths of thousands of American men, women and children every year.
It would seem that this not-so-new normal is meant to be the American way of life. First graders have to be taught to duck and cover. Every parent who sends their child to school has to hope and pray that they come home alive.
Workers in virtually any pursuit have to learn to “Run, Hide or Fight”. And we all have to wonder if the next trip to the mall or to the supermarket or to church might be our last act on Earth.
Hopefully this gun insanity will come to an end.
Because right now hope for a happy ending is all that we have.