Posted: 06/19/15 02:06
by Dave Mindeman
I don't think there is anything I can add to any of the discussion about the shootings at that Charleston, SC church that is remotely new or illuminating. It is just such a sad and tragic event. Senseless. Full of hate.
And only in America does it happen like this.
President Obama echoed he sentiment that he has stated before:
Now is the time for mourning and for healing. But let's be clear. At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn't happen in other places with this kind of frequency. (Emphasis mine).
Yes, this is true. We do not have a monopoly on mental illness. We are not unique in having people with psychoses. We are not even alone in having a large number of people who hate and act on that hate.
But of all the advanced countries, only the United States stands out as to the number of these senseless mass shootings, year after year after year.
Back in January of 2013, I examined our trusted ally and fellow English speaking democracy, Australia, and how they reversed their legal stance on guns in that country - ending their own string of violent rampages.
I talked about it in a 4 part segment - The Shooter. The Event. The Reaction. The Comparisons.
It is an interesting study in what sensible gun legislation can do to change the nature of a society. Something we, in the US, refuse to do.
There is an enormous amount of lobbyist money coming from enormously profitable gun manufacturers to keep us from taking the kind of action that Australia did. Money that destroys the political will of the elected officials who could do something about it.
Gun lobbyists and the NRA are often desperate to keep us from focusing on our "gun problem" - and the spin they utilize in times like these is truly dizzying.
In this particular instance, the focus has been (and probably should be) on the individual's hateful motives. But the availability of guns make it so much easier for these lone individuals to magnify their destructive capabilities.
America needs a 12 step program on guns....but like any program, we first have to admit we have a problem.
We know what our democratic allies have done to change that culture; when we get around to admitting we have our own problem, there are good examples to follow.
We live in a time when terrorist acts are what we fear. And our country spends billions on making us safe from the remotest of chances of an actual occurence. And that is fine.
But one man with a gun can undermine all feelings of safety in one catastrophic moment, with one simple legal purchase, and a self motivated hate for someone different from himself.