Will Mass Killing Spark Gun Controls?

An increasingly familiar American Scene

Not Until politicians fear the people more than the NRA!

As a violence weary nation watched, the President began his homily quoting biblical scripture with such eloquence and quiet strength if reminded once again why these scriptures have so long endured.  It is poetry of such spiritual profundity that can heal the injured soul.  It was altogether fitting and proper that he should quote scripture because I can conjure no secular text that can offer up a healing balm that can match it.

It was an amazing grace that could even touch the soul of a wretch like me.  However after all the moving stories of selfless heroism,and moving remembrances, neither the President not the local officials made any mention of banning assault weapons from civilian use – an alarming testament to the outsized influence of the gun lobby.

The mass shooting of innocent movie goers in Colorado once again drives home the point that American Society’s fetish for guns is out of control and we are all diminished by this protracted reign of terror.   The latest slaughter of innocents highlights the fact that while gun violence does not happen all the time; it can happen anytime.  And although it does not happen everywhere…it can happen anywhere!  Alas it is of no matter that we could solve most of the problems with gun violence by passing much stricter gun laws, because the most powerful lobby in Washington is the National Rifle Association.

These gun lovers will not hear of any serious controls on gun ownership. With millions of members who are voters, and millions of dollars to oppose or back candidates of their choice, they have our politicians in both parties held hostage and it has rendered our government impotent on this vital issue of public safety and national security.

The gun nuts also have a strong ally in the newly emergent Tea Party, whose members have shown up at public forums brandishing guns and talking about “Second Amendment solutions” to political problems.  And the pro-gun lobby have allies in the paranoid nuts seated in the Congress, like Michelle Bachman, who announced that she wants her constituents “armed and dangerous.”  All these morally twisted  people are pledged to work against public officials who vote for gun controls.

Based on the mealy mouth prattle flowing from the pie holes of our elected officials – Mayor Bloomberg excepted – there will be no serious change in the laws governing gun ownership.  This paucity of intestinal fortitude – some would say an absence of Cahones in the male members – has been clear to everyone paying attention since Congresswoman Gabby Gifford was shot through the head at a public rally in Arizona. yet her House colleagues refused to take action to tighten federal gun control laws!

In the wake of Congresswoman Gifford’s shooting there were the usual platitudes, but no action was taken to tighten gun control laws.  The same pattern is developing around the present mass slaughter of innocents by a mad gunman in Aurora – a city ranked as the 9th safest city in the nation.  All the politicians are tongue tied on the question of gun controls; no matter what their political brand they too chicken shit to even point out the fact that there is no legitimate function for military assault rifles in the hands of a civilian.

What’s a Civilian doing with a Weapon Like This?

Designed with Mass Slaughter in Mind!

To argue that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to own such weapons is ludicrous!  The constitution was drafted in a different world, an 18th century world when the US was a brand new nation threatened by the established and much more powerful nations of Europe.  It was a time when a weak federal government could not protect us from armed foreign invaders, so citizen militias were an essential part of the nation’s defense.

Had the architects of the US Constitution ever dreamt that federal military might would evolve into the awesome force that it is, or that guns would development into the prolific killing machines that they have become, they would never have drawn the Second amendment so broadly that lawyers and constitutional scholars are still squabbling about its meaning over two centuries later!  And they certaind would not have given licence for an ordinary civilizatio to legally acquirw 6,000 rounds of amunition!

The Republicans are the party of the true gun nuts; many democrats would love to see much tighter gun controls, but they fear the wrath of the gun lobby that will surely target them and support a challenger for their seat.  Which is also why President Obama didn’t mention it tonight; I agree with that decision.  He must keep his eyes on the prize.

Because I can envision no greater disaster for the working class and all non-white minorities, as well as the possibility of our nation at peace with the world, than a Mitt Romney presidency. I agree with the African Philosopher and political leader Kwame Nkrumah: “Seek ye first the political kingdom and all else will be added thereunto.  Let Barack win a second term then we can demand that he take the lead in banning assault weapons; this may sound cold, but it is political reality. Politics is the art of the possible!

Hence for this moment in history we shall remain random victims of criminals and madmen with guns until the electorate has had enough and rises up to make their feelings well known at the ballot box.   In the mean time you have two options: Strap up, or rely on the police to protect you.

Although I favor strapping up, it would have been a worse disaster had members of the audience started shooting at the mad gunman in the darkened theater, as oneRepublican congressman has suggested.  It would have been a scene worthy of novelist Chester Himes, author of Blind Man with a Pistol, as the chaos would have grown infinitely worse with everybody firing wildly.   The tragic truth is: When the maniac opened fire the people in the theater had nowhere to run and nowhere to hide: Just like the rest of us!

James Holmes: Mass Murderer!

Just Your average Boy Next Door


Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

July 22, 2012

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