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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

The Common Denominator Is Guns

Category: Guns
Posted: 06/14/17 17:39

by Dave Mindeman

A disgruntled political madman shoots up a Republican sports practice, injuring 4 people. Jeronimo Yanez kills Philando Castile because he "saw" a gun and feared for his life?. Tamir Rice, a 12 year old boy, is killed by police because they thought a toy gun in the hands of a 12 year old could be real. In the Bay Area today, a disgruntled worker opens fire at this workplace and kills 4 people. At Sandy Hook school, 20 children and 6 adults were murdered randomly by a mentally ill individual. Three people killed and 9 wounded at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic by a deranged zealot. Nine people killed in Charleston, SC by a white supremacist. In 2011, 6 people died and 12 were injured, including Rep. Gabby Giffords, shot by a mentally ill paranoid-schizophrenic.

That is a lot of people involved. And if you noticed properly, none of that list involved our war on terrorism. None of it came from the Radical Extremists our President likes to point to.

No, there is only one common denominator in those tragedies.

Guns.

Guns, most of them automatic weapons, in the hands of people who should not have them, caused this carnage. Yes, the people were definitely to blame. But we need to stop them. And we also need to stop the improper access of guns to people who kill.

Sure, people kill people. And if it wasn't guns it would be a knife, a rock, or a hammer. We cannot stop killers intent to kill. But why make it easier? Why should the sudden rage of a person be given an automatic weapon to wreak havoc on random, innocent people? Why should domestic abusers get access to a weapon that can kill quickly and efficiently? Why are background checks still not universal?

To be honest, I am not even sure if it is really physical guns that is the real problem. It is more the gun culture. The NRA keeps pushing for broader access to guns. Law abiding citizens should have access, but with the ever decreasing restrictions, the term law abiding itself becomes a loose definition. I mean people on the no fly list are guaranteed the right to purchase a gun. How crazy is that?

The common thread is guns...and the ever increasing access to guns and the incredible proliferation of guns. No other country on earth has such a love affair with weaponry. The gun culture is not satisfied with ease of access; the gun culture wants a gun on every street corner, in every church, every government building, ever bar and restaurant. Yes, we do have some restrictions in those places at the moment - but those restrictions are also only one Republican bill from termination.

Sure, we can talk about motivations. And the attack in DC has no justification. None. Politics in the US is not decided with bullets. It is what makes our democracy unique and why it works so well.

But this is another opportunity to examine the arsenals of guns in the private sector. Arsenals that cost us huge sums of money in law enforcement and security.

Let's talk about that as well.
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