This is a shortened and mildly edited version of that originally posted onWednesday, October 4, 2017
Of all the significant digits attached to the most recent mass murder, the shooting in Las Vegas, my favorite is this one.
Zero. “Between 1979 and 1996, Australia had thirteen fatal mass shootings. Since 1996, when the country introduced a law that banned the sale of semiautomatic weapons and launched a buyback program for weapons that had already been sold, there have been no mass shootings. None.” That’s from John Cassidy’s article in the New Yorker, Las Vegas, Gun Violence, and the Failing American State.
If we as a country value life (as we say we do in the abortion debates) then we should disavow the headlined policy and follow Australia’s lead in banning, retrieving, and destroying the kinds of weapons used in the Las Vegas shooting. If we don’t do that, we are implicitly accepting the policy that is the title of this post. We should then stop shedding tears, stop moments of silence, stop candlelight vigils, get rid of the wreaths, and stop saying we grieve for the victims - because we don’t mean any of that. We are just lying through our teeth.
Here’s more from the shop of horrors known as the United States Congress.
This one is freaking unbelievable. I quote: ‘In an interview with Fox News, Mr. Scalise said that what he saw in Las Vegas “fortified” his stance in support of the Second Amendment.’ (Scriber: you know - the Congressman who was shot while playing baseball.)
And on the local scene, in this morning’s Daily Star, More laws won’t stop mass shootings says Kan Rineer, executive director of Gun Owners of Arizona. Instead, he argues, that a return to morality will help.
We must exercise self control to the moral code. What moral code? That we shall do no harm to another unless that individual wishes to do us harm.
So how do we get there?
At the top of my list would be leadership rather than demagoguery.
We have our fair share of demagogues as is evidenced by all the calls for more “gun control laws” by so many celebrities and politicians. One went as far as to demand Congress get [off] their “bleep” and do something about gun violence.
Congress cannot fix what ails us and no law they can pass will stop it. The problem is one of a lack of morality; it is not a problem of too few laws.
In closing, let’s treat the illness. Let’s stop talking about more laws and start talking about who we have become as a people. …
Indeed. Let’s have that conversation. I started my version of that yesterday in my essay titled J’accuse: Our national failure and disgrace.
But Rineer is just making more excuses for national inaction on assault weapons.
And that brings us full circle to the policy I quoted in my title: “The policy of the United States shall be the acceptance of loss of life so that assault weapons are available for legal sale.” I made that up. But can you doubt, given what I and others have written about the latest mass murder, that this is the de facto policy of the United States of America?
UPDATE: Now adding on Feb 18, 2018: The children can protest as much as they want - or can get away with. America will still shoot them. Now with another shooting being ignored by the President and Congress, can you doubt that America will continue to shoot its young?
Hey “young”: are you listening?