It always hits a little harder when tragedy strikes a familiar place, and so it is as we learn of the latest massacre, this time in Isla Vista where our son lived for several years before graduating from UC Santa Barbara. Three stabbed to death, three shot and killed, six wounded and unfortunately a seventh dead- the killer.
Unfortunate because had he lived we might have learned much more beyond his suicide video; much more of what in God’s name could drive a young man to exact such punishment on so many, most of whom were unknown to him.
The NRA will of course be blamed and they will of course place the blame squarely on the barren field of mental health in America, and they are correct. Had this boy received better treatment, had authorities been empowered to vigorously intervene; well yes, this might not have happened. Instead, sheriff’s deputies were sent to interview him to determine if he posed a threat to society. Since when were deputies trained in psychology and the nuances of mental health? These actions do not suggest a broken system; they suggest there is no functional system to repair.
All of which avoids introspection, any sniff of analysis and no scintilla of NRA guilt. Because of watered-down background checks and the lack of a meaningful data base to track weapon sales- all fostered by and paid for by the NRA, the boy had no difficulty in purchasing three high powered handguns, and off he went on his rampage.
It makes little difference how the guns were obtained, for if not legally purchased, guns are never far away. A closet, a deal on a corner, a mail order unknown or a gun show- it hardly matters. What does matter is that anyone in this country can somehow manage to get his (mostly “his”) hands on a weapon. Rifle, shotgun, pistol, military caliber weapons- it matters not, and the NRA is almost solely responsible for this accessibility. “Almost” because without the assistance of a corrupt Congress they would have never achieved their perverted goal of arming America.
Fear and slick TV commercials are the driving forces in today’s culture. Despite years of statistical evidence that a gun in the home is far more dangerous to the family than any intruder, the NRA continues to preach the lie that we are all threatened. Despite the utter stupidity of imagining a citizenry armed with handguns and AK-47’s defending against the US military, the NRA wraps itself in the flag and calls for even greater access to weapons. The rationale for this philosophy beggars the imagination and can only be understood by understanding the NRA.
I have written before, and state it again: The NRA is a lobbying group put together and funded by arms manufacturers. The folks who make guns wanted access to our elected representatives and poured money into the trough to which so many of our honorable members of congress find nourishment. As time went by, the evidence of fear as a factor in successful campaigns became more evident and the NRA jumped in.
Suddenly fear, God, flag and country became synonymous with the NRA and today we see the result of their efforts. Three more beautiful innocents dead and several injured by bullets fired from an NRA approved weapon.
It’s difficult to imagine what might someday break our culture of guns. Yes, the state of mental health facilities in the US is shameful. So too is the acceptance of the NRA into our daily lives. Answers are not far away.
- Get the gun(s) out of your home. Don’t sell it – hand it over to the police to dispose of and forget how much it cost you. Check the stats and you’ll discover the odds are you’ve saved at least one life which is far more valuable than any weapon.
- Let your reps at every level of elected office know that if they support the NRA in any way, they’ll lose your vote.
- Demand the improvement and quality of personnel in the mental health field and be prepared to pay a little more in taxes. Ask yourself if the NRA should not be required to help pay the bill- after all, they are singularly responsible for the continuing carnage of gun violence in America which now demands greater social services. If the NRA gave a damn for America it would by now have started funding mental health care. But it hasn’t of course and probably never will. Hope burns eternal which I pray the grand kids will someday appreciate.
- Understand the cynicism of the NRA and the way in which the American public has been manipulated by these puppets of the gun industry. I’ll continue to write; let’s all quietly tell the NRA to go to hell.