Students Should Not Need Endure Both High School And College Mass Shootings

Every mass shooting in our nation serves as a gut punch to our moral compass.  The 67th such shooting on the 44th day of this year allowed readers of newspapers and television viewers to take in yet another sobering and very troubling statistic.  Some of the college students who were sheltering in place on the Michigan State University campus, after having read a text message from school authorities to “flee, hide, or fight” had already been through a mass shooting at Oxford High School in 2021. Three of their fellow campus students were joining the dozens of others already slaughtered this year in mass shootings.

The deluge of such shootings has left many in the nation shocked to the point new killings are viewed almost in a fog-like trance as if the soul of the nation deflects and tries to compartmentalize the carnage to stay calm.  But the reality of the continuous shootings needs to be addressed and in as direct a fashion as the students did this morning on their Michigan campus.

Though I am not a parent, I can imagine the absolute terror to learn at night the campus had a mass shooting, knowing a child from the family dinner table was a student, and not being able to reach them on a cell phone. Ever again.  For some families today that is the reality.  It is a harsh and brutal reality that too many of our elected officials will not confront as they allow the National Rifle Association to undermine reasoned and logical gun control measures across the land.  The sad fact is that the most curtailing all-inclusive gun laws could be passed and enacted and, still there would be far more guns than people in our nation.

We are to again have a national conversation about a litany of issues ranging from mental illness to online hate groups or those who have self-loathing issues. Some will pretend this nation has a market with such problems.  We do not.  The entire world confronts those same human frailties.  But they do not go about shooting scores of people and racking up mass shootings as this nation does. That is because they do not have wild access to guns or live in nations that glorify deadly weapons. Has anyone seen a member of the British Parliament saddled with guns while posing for a Christian nationalism photo? We have several in our Congress that have undertaken such dangerous behavior.

We know that the way to stem gun violence, and that is the best that can be hoped for in our current political climate as one party will not stand up to the gun lobby in state capitals or in Congress, is to press ever harder and more firmly, louder and repeatedly for sanity in our legislative bodies. When hearing about the “flee, hide, or fight” text message sent to those young men and women on the Michigan campus I was struck with the image of myself at that age. We all might ponder the same and rightly conclude it is not moral for our legislative bodies not to act at once so to address what every mom and dad is talking about at the dinner table. It is not acceptable that anyone by the age of 20 should have suffered through two mass shootings anywhere in our nation.

Three Questions For Amoral NRA and Soulless Gun Manufacturers To Address

Has the NRA offered to pay for any of the funerals in Highland Park or assist in millions of dollars in hospital costs for the injured?

How do the NRA and soulless gun manufacturers expect gun victims without adequate health insurance to pay for the enormous costs associated with mass shootings?

Do the NRA and soulless gun manufacturers push for a blood drive where mass shootings take place and scores are wounded and rushed to local hospitals? Or are they too busy counting blood money from their gun sales?

Why Are Guns More Important Than This Kid Being Able To Walk?

Why do we fight for gun control in the nation?

No one needs their personal gun(s) more than this child needs to walk. Period.

This 8-year-old boy shot in the 4th of July parade in Highland Park is now paralyzed from the waist down.

Cooper Roberts, one of the Roberts family’s twin 8-year-old boys, had remained in critical condition for several days with a severed spinal cord.

On Friday, Cooper was removed from the ventilator and was conscious for the first time, but it was confirmed that the boy is paralyzed from the waist down, close friend and family spokesman Anthony Loizzi said in a statement.

“Cooper is asking to see his 8-year-old twin Luke and his dog George,” the statement said.

The reason there is so much legitimate anger, revulsion, and utter repudiation for the selfish and soulless gun advocates and those within the blood-soaked NRA is that their actions and amoral behavior create the conditions where Cooper is to live his life in a wheelchair.

If you have in any way supported the NRA or voted for their political puppets who have undermined gun legislation in our nation then you must carry the weight that is now the future of a kid who can not walk.

Cooper was described as a boy who likes to play sports and is a fan of the Milwaukee Brewers.

But at least some angry men around the nation have their guns today. And can buy more this weekend! Maybe even get their father to ‘sponsor’ them so they can get a high-powered weapon.

Gunmakers, NRA, Unconscionable Clowns Within GOP Need To Be Held Accountable For 19 Dead School Children

We drove back into our driveway at about 8 P.M Tuesday evening. James took some food we picked up at a local restaurant into our home and I made my way to the front of the house. Our American flag was flying at full staff and so I took it all the way down, as is proper at such times, and then brought it back up to half-staff.

Once again, our nation is forced to reckon with yet one more dastardly mass shooting. Nineteen children were blown to pieces (as of this posting), along with a school teacher because our nation has knelt down to the gun lobby, NRA, and the most unconscionable clowns who reside below the curbside within the Republican Party.

We had been out for a long afternoon drive and outing celebrating our 22nd anniversary as a couple. Sirius radio from the 50s and 60s played throughout the day, and we dodged most of the sprinkles. Life was good.

In Middleton, I had switched to AM 780, WBBM Newsradio from Chicago, thinking some early primary election returns would be reported. Instead, President Biden was speaking. Before he had finished no more than a few words, and with only the gravity of his tone to alert me, made me reach my hand out and grab James’ forearm.

Something dire had occurred.

The second-deadliest shooting at an elementary, middle, or high school on record in the United States had occurred in Uvalde, Texas.

The school children, ranging from second through fourth-graders, were in that frame of mind that we all know so well. Only a couple more days of classes, than a summer break with vacations, friends, and county fairs. The last day of school was to be Thursday.

Then a gunman wearing body armor came into the classrooms and used his assault weapon with a high-capacity magazine to shred the bodies of boys and girls sitting at their desks. The carnage and images that some children witnessed will require therapy and counseling.

Adolfo Hernandez described to the media what his nephew, who was in the building at the time of the madness, witnessed.

“He actually witnessed his little friend get shot in the face. The friend, he said, “got shot in the nose and he just went down, and my nephew was devastated.”

From the White House, President Biden reacted as the bulk of the nation is doing.

“It’s just sick,” he said regarding the insanity of allowing weapons designed for the battlefield to be able to be purchased and used by anyone who can buy one.

“Where in God’s name is our backbone, the courage to do more and then stand up to the lobbies? It’s time to turn this pain into action.”

But Biden, as much as I appreciate him, did not come anywhere near to how a very large segment of the nation feels tonight.

Our national revulsion tonight is aimed at the greedy and soulless manufacturers and merchants of deadly guns, the callous and subhuman lobbyists of the National Rifle Association, and the dregs of the Republican Party who have no other skills than to ape the nonsense they hear from their puppet masters on FOX News and conservative politicians.

Investigators say the 18-year-old gunman was able to get his hands on a handgun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, high-capacity magazines, and body armor.

It was also reported this evening on NPR that the NRA will hold its annual meeting in Houston starting on Friday. Not for the first time on this blog do I offer a way for the amoral members of that association to understand what they are doing to the nation.

We have long known the NRA is thy most dangerous lobbying group in America.  The bullshit response of ‘guns don’t kill, people kill’ gags the nation like rotten eggs left in a Texas car in mid-July.   Only the most severely uneducated rube or overly blind partisan would ever make such a stupid claim.

I think the top lobbyists and promoters of the NRA should be taken to this Texas school and once the bodies of the victims are removed have their noses rubbed in the mess that remains on the floor of the school.  Let them smell the results of the deranged policies they advocate.

Make those same NRA leaders attend every single funeral for the students.

Force the NRA to explain to the locals of Uvalde why gun interests are more important than the children of that community.

There is a great need in this nation to no longer allow the tail to wag the dog when it comes to gun control measures. There was a blood-letting today that will make the headlines, but the NRA is counting on most Americans to forget this horrible story by the time they finish their fifth beer on the couch Friday night. The NRA counts on not being mentioned again until another mass shooting.

And on, and on, it goes.

The NRA will continue to torpedo gun control legislation, and threaten politicians. The NRA will use the most base and clueless within the Republican Party to repeat and regurgitate the vile trite crap and use the echo chamber of conservative media to beat home the insane and factless talking points. We have seen this playbook all before.

Spring will turn to summer. Summer to fall. 2022 will blend into 2023. Folks, we have seen this bullshit before, mass shooting, after mass shooting.

More guns will continue to be sold, and countless rounds of ammunition will be bought.

Untold amounts of weapons will be fired.

And we all know that some of those will be fired into innocent kids, like what happened today.

We need to find our balls on this issue and stand up and demand from our legislators that they also find their own set!

The NRA needs to know they are no longer in charge. Our nation is too important to allow the games the NRA plays to continue.

If you think I am wrong, talk to a parent of a dead child in Uvalde.

Important Legal Victory Against Gun Manufacturers, Sandy Hook Families Win Against Remington

The tragedy of gun violence looms large in the nation. Real justice for the ones killed and injured in the continuing violence will not occur until there are meaningful gun reform measures enacted into law. That outcome, however, given the number of elected officials who cower to the National Rifle Association, is not going got take place any time soon.

So, the next best avenue is to force change through lawsuits. Today, in one of those cases a bittersweet outcome resulted. A major legal victory was secured, but the families are still missing a kid at the dinner table.

The families of some of the adults and children killed in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School reached a $73 million settlement with Remington, the manufacturer of the AR-15 rifle used in the massacre

The reason this legal fight garnered attention at this blogger’s desk is that the families of these victims of gun violence smashed through a federal law protecting gun companies from litigation. That was no small feat!

It took over seven years but the lawyers never relented in arguing that Remington, the gunmaker for the mass killer at the school where 20 first-graders and six adults lost their lives, violated state consumer law by promoting the AR-15 in a way that appealed to so-called “couch commandoes” and troubled young men. It is the first time a gunmaker accepts liability for U.S. mass shooting.

Today was a solid victory–only one for sure–but a victory regarding what continues to need to happen in courtrooms. Gun manufacturers should not have any special protection so to ward off lawsuits. The correlation between guns and gun violence in this country is irrefutable. Unwinding the illogical thread that the NRA was spun regarding gun manufacturers not being able to be held accountable must end.

Let us be honest about what the maker of the AR-15 has unleashed in the nation.

It’s true you don’t need an AR-15 to shoot people.  The inner-city streets of most cities make that point very clear.  But the AR-15 is, for whatever reason, the murderer weapon of choice for many mass shootings in the United States. Statistics prove that point.

The AR-15’s purpose is clear based on news reports about the sickening built-in efficiency in accomplishing the gunman’s mission of rapidly killing many people.  There is no reason under the sun as to why this weapon is allowed for sale to the general public. 

The AR-15 should be outright banned.  Clearly what is happening now allows for anyone to have an AR-15 as the limited background check does not in any way regulate its sale.  There are no required training classes and no compiling of names of those who own this weapon so law enforcement and the general public can be aware of the nutjobs who are stockpiling weapons and ammo to fire.

After the horror of Sandy Hook ‘I just knew in my soul’ there would be changes to laws and norms regarding our gun culture. After all, how could there not be when so many precious kids were killed in a mass shooting.

The lack of character from our elected officials in not passing gun control measures reflected the rot in our nation. We have a sick gun culture in our nation that would put their weapons above the lives of children. It happens every single day in the country.

Therefore, it is imperative that lawsuits against gun manufacturers keep coming. Making the gun manufacturers bleed green will make them think about how the nation bleeds red from their deadly weapons.

Let’s keep the lawsuits coming.

And so it goes.

Gun Sales Surge, Murder Rate Up 25%, Biden Takes Action

The news from this gun-soaked nation continues to be alarming.

Though overall crime was down last year, according to FBI data, the murder rate rose about 25 percent and violent crime about 3 percent. Based on the data that has been collected President Biden will impose one slice of a solution this week.

Sturm, Ruger a leading gun manufacturer, reported a 50% spike in quarterly sales and more than doubled its profit, continuing its frenetic sales surge during the coronavirus pandemic. These types of staggering sales are being reported by all the gun manufacturers.

Sadly, there is no government or national database of gun sales, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation keeps track of pre-sale background checks, an indicator that’s been soaring to record highs.

We are aware that more than 2 million of the March background checks were for new gun purchases, according to the National Shooting Sports Federation, the firearms industry trade group that compares FBI background check numbers with actual sales data to determine its sales figures. About 40% of buyers in early 2020 were first-time buyers, according to this foundation.

If there is any ray of sunshine to this madness it is the degree to which a provision of the background check is working.

The number of people stopped from buying guns through the U.S. background check system hit an all-time high of more than 300,000 last year amid a surge of firearm sales, according to new records obtained by the group Everytown for Gun Safety.

The FBI numbers provided to The Associated Press show the background checks blocked nearly twice as many gun sales in 2020 as in the year before. About 42% of those denials were because the would-be buyers had felony convictions on their records.

The Biden Administration has been stymied by the NRA-bought Congress, but will seek to effect change in another manner.

Biden will direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to seek to revoke licenses from gun sellers the first time they are caught willfully selling a weapon to a person who is not permitted to have one, neglecting to run a required background check or ignoring a federal request to provide trace information about a weapon used in a crime. The policy attacks a source of crime guns, which in some instances can be traced to sloppy or irresponsible dealers, experts say.

The type of gun business Biden is talking about could have applied to the one in West Milwaukee that created a plethora of news stories years ago. The business had operated under the names of Badger Guns & Ammo, Badger Outdoors, and Badger Guns. Federal investigators repeatedly found violations at the gun store.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in 2009 on the highly troubling impact of this one gun store on the larger community.

Badger Guns, and its predecessor, Badger Outdoors, have accounted for roughly one-third of all crime guns traced by Milwaukee police in the past four years, the data shows. No other store in the state comes close to that figure. The next closest, The Shooters Shop in West Allis, accounted for less than 3% of guns traced by Milwaukee police during the same period.

A total of 1,880 crime guns recovered in Milwaukee were linked to Badger between January 2006 and Sept. 1 – or more than one a day, according to a Journal Sentinel analysis.

During the 11-week operation, Milwaukee police:

• Discovered felons use Badger’s shooting range for target practice. In one case, store employees rented a gun to a felon to shoot. Another felon had a shooting “range pass card” in his pocket showing he had shot at Badger previously. Store employees check driver’s licenses but not criminal histories of shooters.

• Seized 12 guns from felons and others leaving the store. They arrested nine felons for possessing guns, seven for carrying a concealed weapon and four on drug charges. Eight people have been charged so far as a result of the sweep.

• Spotted felons frequently going in the store or waiting outside. Felons are banned from possessing guns, but probation agents do not routinely require felons to stay out of gun stores such as Badger. Police and prosecutors say that should change.

Police Chief Edward Flynn said he learned how many guns from Badger were ending up in violent crimes when he became chief nearly two years ago. After the officers were shot, Flynn ordered up a plan to target illegal gun buys at Badger.

I am very glad that Biden will use the power granted to him and work within that framework to impact the gun epidemic in this nation. The danger to the larger society from the guns and their violent owners need to be corralled.

Gun Violence Out Of Control, Gun Purchasing At Record Levels

I am not sure how many more ways there are to present the logical need for gun control legislation in our nation. I have done my part to persuade and inform on the topic. In fact, there is no other single issue that has been posted about more often on this blog than gun control. Emotion and common-sense have been used for decades throughout the nation to sway the citizenry, and yet the carnage from gun violence continues.

This is the 153rd day of the year and thus far there have been 18,282 US residents who have been killed by a gun. Breaking that down it includes 10,098 suicides. Also, let us not forget to add in the 15,568 other people who were wounded by guns.

We know that during this past three-day Memorial Day weekend, there were eight mass shootings in our nation. In that short span of time, we lost seven people and had another 48 wounded. In the past 153 days, we have had 243 mass shootings resulting in 275 deaths and 1,001 injuries.

There are many ways to view the alarming data, but what stood out to me this past week was the news that 20% of firearm purchases in 2020 were by first-time buyers. How should we view the reason for such an upswing in otherwise somewhat normal people now needing to be armed with a deadly weapon?

For many, it comes down to having an outlandish ignorance surrounding our national politics. No one is going to be limiting the right to own guns. My God, only look at the lock-grip the NRA has on Congress! To truly think that any meaningful gun control legislation will pass is simply not applying simple logic to politics.

But there is also racism that is at the root of irrational fear among a certain demographic which reacts when social movements demand change. That was certainly the case when Black Americans stood up and demanded that police procedures change so as not to end in so many shootings. Insecure whites felt they then needed a gun.

But they were not alone.

While the data shows that half of those new gun owners were women, it also was reported that a fifth were Hispanics, and a fifth was bought by Blacks.

The data gets grimmer, however when we look at the start of this year.

The National Sports Shooting Foundation says that nearly 5.5 million guns were sold in U.S. in the first three months of 2021. That was up 13% from the year-ago quarter. It’s also the most guns sold in any three-month period since 1999,

What this shows is that we have a gun fetishism in this country. It is real. It is nasty.

And it is out of control.

“What The Hell Is Wrong With Us?”

Another typical day in America. Another mass shooting.

This time the gun violence that grabs the headlines concerns a worker at the Silicon Valley Transportation Authority rail yard in San Jose, California. He was upset about something, that seems obvious, and it goes without saying that he had easy access to a gun. He took his outrage out on those he somehow felt were the root cause for his anger. He killed eight people, injured others, and then killed himself.

If you are keeping track of the mass shootings (one in which four or more people are killed or injured (not including the shooter) in our country you will know that this is the 232nd mass shooting this year, and let me add this is just the 146th day of the year. All the data can be located at Gun Violence Archive.

Today the most honest and pertinent statement about this violence came from California Governor Gavin Newsom who rightly responded with frustration and anger.

“What the hell is going on in the United States of America? What the hell is wrong with us?”

It is the type of question that many have asked repeatedly over the years as the mass shootings, and the daily death toll from gun violence mounts.

“When are we going to come to grips with this? When are going to put down our arms, literally and figuratively, our politics, the stale rhetoric, finger-pointing, all the hand-wringing, consternation that produces nothing except more fury and frustration, more scenes like this repeated over and over and over again.”

I have an answer.

When the ones bought and owned by the NRA are sent packing and the sensible people in this nation stand up and absolutely demand gun control legation be passed.