Just So You Know All of What It Means

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You know about mass shootings, of course, but a review is useful, so have a look at the partial list below.

DATE                    LOCATION                 PEOPLE KILLED             PEOPLE INJURED

Oct 1, 2015        Roseburg, OR                         10                                    10

Jun 18, 2015      Charlston, SC                           9                                      0

May 23, 2015     UC Santa Barbara                    7                                      7

Apr 2, 2015         Ft. Hood, TX                            3                                     16

Sep 16, 2013      Washington Naval Yard          13                                      3

Jun 7, 2013         Santa Monica College             5                                       0

Dec 14, 2012       Sandy Hook Elem. School     27                                      1

Oct  21, 2012       Brookfield, WI                          3                                      4

Sep 28, 2012        Minneapolis, MN                     6                                      2

Aug 5, 2012          Oak Creek, WI                         6                                      3

Jul 20, 2012          Aurora, CO                             12                                    58

Jan 8, 2011           Tucson, AZ                               6                                    11

There have been many more mass shootings, of course, including Virginia Tech, Texas Tech, Columbine, as well as the every day, garden variety homicide-by-firearm – about 30 per day. The list is endless and we can proudly proclaim that we lead the world in mass shootings, with 90 of them between 1966 and 2012. That doesn’t count murders like the on-air assassination of Allison Parker and Adam Ward in Virginia this year – just the high body count shootings.

There have been over 406,000 deaths by gun violence in America since 2001. Compare that to 3,380 American deaths by terrorism in the same period and you may want to reconsider how you react to fear mongering over terrorists and focus instead on a far more likely threat to your well being.

Requiring universal background checks would not end gun massacres this year or next year or the year after that. It would, though, start the process of keeping firearms out of the hands of mentally unstable people and those convicted of violent crimes, of whom it can reasonably be said that they are violent by nature and should not have easy access to tools of murder. Clearly, requiring universal background checks is part of the solution and it is an easy one to implement, too. But consider the perverse truth about the resistance to sensible gun safety laws:

  1. The National Rifle Association (NRA) exists primarily to promote the sale of firearms in order to protect the revenue and profit of the corporations that make up the firearms industry. Because universal background checks would put 66% more gun sales under scrutiny, it would likely put a damper on gun sales. Firearms manufacturers don’t want that to happen, so they send their lobbying arm – the NRA – to oppose background checks. And this is where it gets nasty, because that means that gun manufacturers value their profits more than they value the lives of the nine students who were just killed at Umpqua Community College.
  2. Politicians want to keep their jobs. Doing that requires lots of campaign cash and the NRA is a big campaign donor. The contributions the NRA makes to politicians makes those politicians beholden to the NRA. Indeed, if they don’t do the bidding of the NRA, the NRA will see that they get primaried by someone who will do the NRA’s bidding. And this is where it gets nasty again, because what that means is that many politicians care more about their careers that they do about the 19 little kids and 7 teachers who were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
  3. There are ardent Second Amendment supporters who believe in what they see as the principles of that amendment. They loudly proclaim that we have to have guns in order to protect us from tyrannical government. This is where it gets nasty yet again, because what that means is that those ardent Second Amendment types are implicitly saying that regular massacres like those listed above and all the rest of our gun violence, including what can happen to you the next time you go to a movie theater, is simply the price we must pay for liberty. They think you volunteered to wear a bulls eye.

Offered just so you know all of what it means.

In other news: As of this writing both North and South Carolina are experiencing torrential downpours, with some areas receiving well over a foot of rain. It is catastrophic in its effect and meteorologists have described this as a once in 500 years event. Drenched and drowning in all that rain and flooding, residents of the Carolinas can at least celebrate the good news there is no such thing as global warming.

Finally, it’s always a real mind-blower when anyone from far right Wackoville forsakes its propaganda, abandons the hyperbole that contains no more than 0.5% fact and instead tells the truth. I’m wondering if doing just that might disqualify Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from becoming the next Speaker of the House. Recall that you were warned that, “You can’t handle the truth,” (from A Few Good Men).

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

ACTION STEP: Please offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe.  Thanks!  JA

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
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2 Responses to Just So You Know All of What It Means
  1. Dannette Reply

    I have no clue as to where the author gets all the statics mentioned. I would like to know that. Also of big concern to me is the new total reliance on mental health care workers to be of what benefit exactly. Someone thinks that thrre are medical answers to this problem. This is simply not true. Most Americans are armed or have access to firepower. Most of us do not use it. The people causing all of the chaos fear and deaths vary greatly. A lot of them have been chemically alteted by mental health care for years. Pigeon holeing candidates will not do anything to help. Criminals mentaly insane or not will still shoot and kill regardless of any rule or law. All catergories of people can be anything unexpected just as the psychiatrist who shot and killed in a mass shooting on Fort Hood base. Mental healthcare is not a study or discipline to be relied upon as no doubt they would clear their co workers of any suspcet to allow them to buy guns. Im cetAin they would have given Hussan the green light. Also all afluential gun seekers but not the kid who livesin impoverished circumstances. This is a badly flawed band aid. Rediculous in fact to entrust everyone to medical opinion as if it were relevant to everything. Pretty soon there would be no country left worth having at all. The consitution freedom and liberty and justice FOR ALL wuld mean nothing instead of everything. A rubber stamp from you racateering Brotherhood of Medecine. The recipee for the end of civilization. Quite honestly I give less value to the word of the pill pushers than anyone. To me its just going to interfere with juris prudence to the degree that it would be impossable to have any valid testimony at all …All we would get is some lying doctor using the court to make him richer. People need to wise up they are in the business of making up conditions that they give medecines that cause the symptoms they want patients to have. The new evil empire.

  2. Jim Altschuler Reply

    The statistics are both sickening and saddening.

    1. The NRA should somewhat be declared illegal and banned from existence as it’s very existence is offensive to anyone who reveres life.

    2. I believe that the need for completely replacing the politicians has previously been established.

    3. The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was originally penned in a time when life itself was, at best, tenuous, food was often scarce and hard to come by, and the “woods” were rife with a wide variety of Indians and animals that could kill you. It wasn’t like the way it is today at all. One of the terrific things about our Constitution is that the founding fathers built in the ability to change things if it was discovered that an error or oversight had been made — reference the Volstead Act if there are any questions.

    Wayne Dyer, who passed away a month ago, once said, “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” I choose to judge those who support the “right” of citizens to possess weapons — even good people, in the heat of a moment, may do the unthinkable! I am content to define myself in this manner.