We Are All Responsible For Gun Violence



CBS News has learned one of the guns used in the massacre — a 9MM

semi-automatic Glock 19 — was purchased brand new at a Roanoke, Va.

gunshop, Roanoke Firearms, 36 days ago.

The NRA should  be proud.

One of the first letters to the editor of our local paper I wrote as a teenager concerned the need for strict gun control.  It was even clear to me then that the  Founding Fathers did not intend for the Constitution to allow for tens of thousands of handgun deaths in the country.  The twisted and confused thinking that we all have a right to a gun is not only wrong, but deadly.  The lack of stringent regulations on the sale and ownership of guns in the United States has been a mystery to me for decades.  So though it was indeed sad news today that the nation suffered the loss of so many people on the Virginia Tech campus none of us can say this type of horror was unexpected.  The specific case, yes.  The overall trend towards more gun violence, no.  In the end the depravity that was exhibited in Virginia on Monday was not only the result of a tortured mind, but also the result of our addiction to guns,  and our lack of resolve to stop the NRA.  Though it may anger some to hear it, we are all a part of the problem with gun violence.

One figure tossed out on the news networks this afternoon was that there exists more guns in America than people.  That is a sickness that infects all geographic areas and economic classes.  When we start to review what happened in Virginia we need to be mindful that each of us played a role in the disaster.  Both Democrats and Republicans who take the NRA funds and do the bidding of this blood soaked lobbying organization in Congress are responsible.  Each voter that accepts the malarkey from the NRA that gun control means stripping rights from hunters, and then casts a ballot based on that lie is a part of the problem.  I too am responsible in that I and other Democrats do not force our candidates to take bolder gun control stands while running for election.  We do not hold our elected official’s feet to the fire and demand that they pass gun legislation with teeth while in office.

This afternoon when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi spoke from the floor she did not face the issue that needs attention.  While she spoke from the heart about the loss of life there was no mention of the NRA,  and no mention of gun control.  While I can give all the reasons why the issue was not ‘politically correct’ for Pelosi to address I can also add 33 more reasons (at the time of this writing) that common sense should start to rise above the self-interests of the gun lobby.  And the self-interest of politicians!  I am tired of the reasons why real gun control can’t take place and am looking for leaders who know that it must.  And I strongly suspect that with a truthful debate on the merits of gun control enlightened thinking would prevail.

When President Bush spoke about his sadness, and that of the nation, he too forgot that the forces which perpetuate the violence continues because of gutless politicians that will not speak the truth about the NRA. 

With the high level of violence that seeps into too many lives in our nation every day from movies, video games, and television this sad episode today will not make any lasting impression.  It will soon not be talked about until the next crazy loser with a bunch of guns and ammunition that should never have been available makes us think again for a moment or two about the need for gun control.

I could take up space here and explain the need for gun registration, the need to prohibit certain guns from being manufactured, and the way the NRA has prevented gun legislation from becoming law.  Sadly however far too many folks are becoming immune to the effects, images, and shock of gun violence and will watch the news tonight and lament that it took place………and that will be all.  Until the next time…and the next.

We all are a part of the problem.

10 thoughts on “We Are All Responsible For Gun Violence

  1. notalib

    Once again the NRA and responsible gun owners are under attack. Once again the over reaction from the left will be to punish law abiding citizens. Once again they feel by taking away the rights of the people that the criminal will somehow not succeed. It was not the NRA it was not the law abiding citiznes it was a madman with a gun that is responsible for what happened.

  2. Al

    He didn’t make your point, he completely eviscerated and defeated it.

    In this case, if you want to talk about the “gun culture” of America, you are also going to have to blame Korean culture because that’s what the shooter grew up with for the first 18 years of his life.

    I’m not saying you should, just that that’s the logical end of your argument.

  3. maryt

    What the hell do people need handguns for?? A rifle to shoot Bambis, maybe if you’re into hunting. But handguns, AK47s, etc. what for? And if by some chance you do need a handgun why isn’t it really hard to get one? I live in NYC and I can’t get a handgun even for target practice… let alone protection. We who live here put alarms in our houses and hire people to monitor the alarm. We can’t get guns!! At least I know then that some very sick person who wants to shoot up the campus on which I teach won’t be able to get a gun either. The kid in Virginia bought the gun from a legitimate gun shop owner. You can’t buy guns in my town and I’m proud of it!
    I walked my campus today and looked at each kid. I was so glad they were alive and well.
    Deke, I’m not yelling at you, I think you know that, but those other two, notalib and Al (your prejudice is showing, Al), sheesh!

  4. Ben Masel

    We had an election, in 1998. 76% of the voters amended the State Constitution to add

    “SECTION 25 Right to keep and bear arms.
    The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.”

    The Amendment carried in every one of our 72 Counties, with only Dane (Madison) at 56% and Milwaukee at 63% coming in under 2/3 support. In the north woods, support reached 92%.

    Today, it might only get 60%, but by next month, it’d be back over 70%.

  5. notalib

    maryt if you honestly believe this I feel very sorry for you, “At least I know then that some very sick person who wants to shoot up the campus on which I teach won’t be able to get a gun either.”

    Do you think that if a person wants a gun they will not find it it, either by legal or more likely illegal means. Why is it that the anti gun people don’t understand that gun laws take the guns out of the hands of law abiding people, they mean nothing to law breakers.

    But if it makes the LP feel good, which is all they care about, keep up the witch hunt.

  6. The problem, notalib, is that you are repeating the NRA line over and over. The end result is that every year nearly 20,000 folks die from handgun deaths in the United States, and the loss of life is growing as the weapsons are designed to be more deadly and easier to obtain as evidenced by this lastest espisode. So there is a problem…we are having too many gun deaths and you only offer the NRA line. With every comment from you my post is made more clear. We have a problem with guns that will not be resolved by the NRA thinking…..if that were the case there would be no problem since the NRA already has its way. Understand?

    So for you to rehash the NRA talking points is just without sense.

  7. maryt

    Notalib, why do law-abiding people need handguns? In Britain even the cops don’t need handguns. And for the most part the crfiminals don’t carry handguns. Don’t you think our cowboy mentality has just about worn itself out? We don’t live in the wild, wild west anymore, do we? Or do you think so?

  8. Why are honest citizens afraid to venture onto our cities streets at night but well armed convicted felons do as they please? Why is it that our troops actually are safer in Iraq than on the streets of Chicago, NYC, L.A. and so on?

    The uniformed police in England don’t carry firearms. They have lots of backup available that does have an array of weapons in hand!

    Do you honestly believe that criminals will not have firearms if we were to outlaw them? Please look up the definition of criminal.

    As to the “NRA line”. Only a few years ago, NBC published on their website statistics that are all too real. The states with more liberal gun laws had less violent crime. The more liberal the concealed weapon carry laws the safer the area.

    MaryT, we do not live in the wild west any more, mores the pity. Politeness, neighborliness and personal safety are things of the past in much of our country; most notably in your area. In the “wild west” the criminals were afraid to show themselves and the good citizen could walk the streets in peace.

    “Don’t make him mad, Martha and he won’t hurt us” is the attitude constantly taught us in todays world. Let the police handle it. While they are very good at catching evil doers after the fact, the police are rarely able to prevent violent crime. If you survive it, they will take a report and probably catch the criminal. Small comfort this will be from your hospital bed.

    What if one of the first people that Cho accosted had been legally in possession of and proficient with a firearm? could 20 or thirty lives have been saved by that one honest citizen? One has to wonder. If so, would the liberal news media have reported such an incident?

    Take that a step further. What if Cho was aware of the fact that concealed handguns arfe legally carried on campus by members of the general public…and he didn’t know who might be armed? Would he have taken his act somewhere else? Would he have done something entirely different? Or nothing at all?

    I was a cop for over 12 years on three different departments. Happily, I never had to fire my weapon at anyone. I could probably have done my job and not carry a weapon, just like those officers in England. But there are times when our police need to be able to protect themselves and others. Take that also a step further. There are times when we, as honest citizens, need to protect each other until the police can take over.

    Also, what is possibly a good law for those of you who live in the city is often ridiculous for we here in the West.

    The “logic” I have entered here is no more convoluted or incorrect than the “logic” of outlawing firearms entirely. Maybe we could focus on getting some morality and personal responsiblity back into the fabric of our society?

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