OPINION: Mass Shootings

OPINION:

Mass Shootings: A Feature of American Culture

Gun violence in the United States is out of control. We need common sense laws.

OPINION:

Mass Shootings: A Feature of American Culture

By Trevor K. McNeil and D. S. Mitchell

 

Nothing New

The recent rash of mass shootings has shaken the nation. Rightfully so, such a wanton loss of life is unacceptable, particularly in the civilian sphere. Sadly though, it is difficult to be surprised. Spree killings have been as much a feature of American culture as baseball and apple pie, reaching all the way back to the days of Howard Barton Unruh.  Howard  was an American mass killer, sometimes classified as a spree killer. Unruh  shot and killed 13 people (including three children) during a 12-minute walk through his neighborhood in the fall of 1949, in Camden, N.J. He was 28 years old.

A Couple Years Later

Charlie Starkweather is another twentieth century mass murderer that blazed across the pages of American newspapers with his 14 year old girlfriend.  Charles Raymond “Charlie” Starkweather went on a multi-state killing spree killing eleven people in Nebraska and Wyoming between December 1957 and January 1958. He was 19 years old. He killed ten of his victims between January 21 and January 29, 1958, the date of his arrest. The point being, America has a gun problem and it is nothing new.

Powerful NRA Lobby

The primary opposition to gun control laws in the United States are the gun manufacturers. The NRA has served as an arm of gun manufacturers for years, successfully masquerading as a citizen 2nd Amendment right’s group. The NRA and its bought and paid for wing of the Republican party have formed a powerful voice in Congress, effectively shutting down nearly all efforts to legislate gun control. One of their more ridiculous cries has been the case of “what-aboutism”

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NRA Assault

NRA Assault 

D. S. Mitchell

NRA Strategy

In an article for The Hill, Tim Devaney highlighted a change of strategy by the NRA. For the last 8 years the NRA has been kept on the defensive by the Obama Administration. With the installation of the Trump Administration it is full-bore ahead, shaping policy and writing bills favoring the NRA and its activist activities.

I Like The Second Amendment

I believe the 2nd Amendment is sacred.  It’s the best defense the citizenry has against a President that wants to overstay his welcome. We have seen it in the banana republics, where the generalissimo hangs on after an election. About 36,000 people died from gun violence last year. I do not feel it makes sense for the Congress to roll back regulations on guns. The NRA has engaged in heavy lobbying efforts (that means money, vacations, gifts etc). The mentally disabled should not have access to guns. The Republican House  reversed a Obama Administration regulation inside Social Security to restrict gun ownership.  There are similar regulations in VA rules, and it is expected that the House will also rescind those.

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