Sadly, I have become completely cynical with regard to mass shootings. They will definitely not stop happening in America any time soon. The lobbyist$ have spoken and they have made it clear: No new gun regulation. Never mind what the people want. If you’re ever at a Starbucks and all the sudden the terrorists start shooting, only those patriots who are carrying a gun will be able to get in on the firefight. Most importantly, every responsible parent has to educate their child about what to do when the bad guys start shooting. When they’re old enough then they can get in on the shoot out. Bang-band, pew-pew, ratatat-tat-tat. Everybody needs a gun. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Whew, sorry, I just had to vent my frustration.
Senator John Cornyn, Republican, TX recently introduced the Mental Health and Safe Communities act. It’s aimed at keeping severely mentally ill people from buying guns. Makes sense right? If this bill passes there will be a sharp drop in mass shootings right? The NRA has a new strategy to target the mentally ill and shift the conversation away from the firearms that are at the root of mass shootings by linguistical definition of the term “mass shooting“. Notice we don’t have mass stabbings or mass bombings. Wayne LaPierre the CEO of the NRA has pointed out that “We have a mental health system in this country that has completely and totally collapsed. We have no national database of these lunatics.” Now clearly there are severely mentally ill people who should not have firearms, but anyone who is involuntarily committed is already barred from buying a gun. Blaming “lunatics” for the mass shooting culture we have is as stupid and reckless as the NRA recommendation that public schools should have armed security guards overseeing the kindergartners while they finger paint.
The FBI defines mass murder as murdering four or more persons during an event with no “cooling-off period” between the murders. On Oct 1 of this year – 274 days into 2015 we have had 294 mass murder shootings according to the FBI definition. In America, mass shootings happen more that once a day. Mass shootings are very normal. We produce and sell more weapons than any other country… ever. Mass shootings are a problem now, but in the future it is likely that weapons of mass destruction will make school shootings seem like the good old days.
Why is a background check and gun licensing going to “take away our guns”? Trying to stop firearm background checks is to support dangerous criminals in buying a gun with ease. If someone is not socially responsible enough to obtain a license to operate something that can endanger public safety (like a car or a gun), then they are not responsible enough to own and operate that thing (like a car or a gun). Wider background checks and gun licensing would be much more effective at ending mass shootings then demonizing the mentally ill will be. Given the history of the way mentally ill people have been treated, I won’t even go into the twisted morality of the new right wing strategy.
Alas! Nothing will be done and nothing will change. If there is such a thing as fate, then the next mass shooting is already on it’s way.