There was yet another mass shooting recently. The 264th mass shooting of the year to be exact. This time it was at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Some lunatic with mommy issues gunned down 19 people, killing ten and injuring nine.
How is a supposedly civilized nation like the U.S. allowing this to happen? It is disgusting just how mainstream mass shootings have become for us. I’m afraid that we are just becoming desensitized to it. Look at GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush. When asked about about mass shootings, he said “stuff happens.”
One of the things that Jeb Bush said was that we try to react quickly when something happens. Why is that a bad thing? Are we not supposed to do something when something bad happens? Doing NOTHING leads to NOTHING.
Look at terrorism. There was a great meme that totally nailed our reaction to terrorism versus our lack of reaction to gun violence (John Oliver is the man!):
Between the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and failed terrorist attacks that have occurred (like the shoe bomb attempt mentioned above) the nation went into Code Orange. Security got tight and we had to start doing things like taking off our shoes during security checks. Yet, the same Americans that are being protected by these security measures are left helpless to gun violence.
The craziest part is that when these mass shootings do happen, and politicians talk about stronger gun control laws to protect citizens, the pro-gun party lose their minds! “How dare they politicize this?”
“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!” That last argument kills me.
I have three words for you: Port Arthur massacre. Not familiar with it? In 1996 this lunatic, whose name is not worth mentioning, went on a shooting rampage in Port Arthur Australia killing 35 people and injuring over 20 more people. After that tragedy the Australian government quickly moved to ban guns. They have never had another situation like that again. So tell me again how guns don’t kill people? Apparently politicizing and acting on change to prevent tragedy is quite productive.
Here is a fun fact for the pro-gun camp: We can stop politicizing mass shootings in the U.S. when we actually put an end to them!
Jim Jeffries, Australian comedian, totally nails that concept:
I am aware that our Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment so that we could legally protect ourselves with firearms. That means no one will be able to fully amend that to take away guns now. However, I highly doubt they were able to imagine what the evolution of guns would be like or how they would be used. They most certainly did not write that Amendment so that people could legally gun down other people in public places. The Second Amendment does not prevent us from having much stricter gun laws.
It’s time for us to stand up and do something. We need to completely overhaul and regulate the gun laws in this country and the actual guns floating around. We need more in depth and tougher background checks for everyone. I read in several places that we now have more guns than people in the country (also proof that more guns doesn’t equal safety). We need a massive sweep across the nation of all unregistered guns. How we are going to do that? I am not too sure. There are a lot of moving pieces to this that would require career lawmakers (not some blogger) to look at and figure out.
What we also need to do is stop giving attention to the shooters.The more notoriety they get, the more that influences other deranged people to act out and become famous. When the next shooting happens (because it will), we need to focus on victims and their families since they are who are really important. Let these would-be shooters know that they won’t get famous for committing such horrible acts.
Speaking of deranged, I do believe that mental health reform is also greatly needed here. We need to have a system in place where people who need help get help instead of letting them fester in their own madness. At least if we regulate guns and someone has a neurotic episode, they will be less likely to get their hands on a gun.
Look, I totally support your right to have a registered gun for protection since it is your Second Amendment right. As a single man living alone, I get the need for protection. Do I think you need to have an assault rifle or any high caliber gun? Not really. But if you do and you are into guns just be safe about it. Keep them locked up so kids or mentally disturbed people can’t get access to it. And for fuck’s sake, if you have to have a gun, teach your children about gun safety!
Check out President Obama’s amazing speech on the mass shootings in the U.S. and the stats on how many people have been killed by guns versus terrorism. It’s staggering to say the least!
In the end, this shit needs to stop! We are losing way too many innocent lives over this. If we all make our main goal to keep America safe from mass shootings, we can come up with the change we need.
If we don’t make changes to end these tragedies, we will definitely be the land of the free…free to die at school, the movies or at church.