Three killed in a random Yakima shooting early Tuesday. Seven in Half Moon Bay, California, on Monday. Eleven in Monterey Park, California, last Saturday. I am old enough to remember a time when gun violence on this scale was very rare. Now an incident like the sniper shooting from the clock tower at the University of Texas that killed 14 people in 1966 and utterly shocked the entire country has become commonplace. In 1966, the NRA was still a responsible organization, mostly oriented toward educating gun owners about the proper and safe use of firearms and when handgun ownership was not terribly common. Exotic and dangerous even.
The combination of the NRA transforming into nothing more than a marketing megaphone for gun manufacturers and a heinous U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2008 that determined gun ownership was an individual right and not a collective right such as with the military or “militia” has created a vastly reduced capacity for the government to control the scope of gun ownership and brought on, to use an appropriate adjective, an explosion in gun violence in America. Murders are up 75% over the last 10 years.
Nothing less than our continuation as a civilized country hangs in the balance. Mass shootings du jour are simply not the mark of a civilized nation that has a future. They are the mark of a nation headed for anarchy and decay. Most of the rest of the world gets that. Britain has had one mass shooting in the last thirteen years. It occurred in 2010 and took twelve lives. They have had two car rampages and one bombing in that period that took a total of 35 lives. The U.S. had fifteen mass shootings in December.
Second Amendment advocates say that gun control measures will not stop gun violence. By that logic, why have laws against murder? Laws against murder have absolutely proven they can not stop people from murdering other people. Laws against rape certainly do not stop rapes from occurring. Laws against stealing have not daunted all thieves.
To argue that laws should not be enacted because they will not stop people from committing particular crimes is an argument in favor of anarchy. Punky logic, indeed.
As usual in America, if you want an answer to the question, follow the money. There is only one winner in this epidemic of gun violence cancer. It is the gun manufacturers, including their marketing handmaiden, the NRA. They have made billions off the sale of weapons that bring nothing but misery and fear and death to our streets and our families.