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Friday, July 8, 2016

Can't Put the Problem of Gun Violence Back in the Box

   America should not be surprised at the events of this past week - the killings of 2 innocent black civilians by police officers in Minnesota and Baton Rouge, and now the slaying of 5 police officers in Dallas, Texas.  Our society has elevated the right of gun ownership to the point that no one can interfere with anyone else's seemingly sacred right to own any kind of firearm they want and carry most of them in public.  Is it surprising that those who carry guns as a means of protecting the public are jumpy?  Almost everyone has their finger on a hair trigger these days and fully anticipates that everyone else does too.
    With the NRA as the high church of gun ownership, we have believed their mantra that the answer to the problem of gun violence is simply "more guns!"  We've been fooled into thinking that the only way we can protect ourselves and those we love is by matching firepower with firepower.  Whoever has the biggest gun and pulls the trigger first wins!
     So now we have 3 year olds blowing their brains out with loaded pistols found under granny's pillow while granny is downstairs cooking supper.  We have fathers accidently shooting & killing teenage sons at inside gun ranges during their "bonding" time.  We have deranged zealots wiping out dozens of victims at a time at movie theaters, bars, and office Christmas parties.  It doesn't even really surprise us anymore, does it?
     We have more gun deaths in our country right now that at any time in human history, but still we believe the NRA's lie that the answer is still easier access to more powerful weapons for anyone and everyone.
     So we will continue to reap the fruits of our society's misguided and reckless dependence on guns for protection.  Pandora's box has been opened, and the death and misery that has escaped can not be recaptured and stuffed back in.  Gun violence is with us to stay, and will only increase as more and more people feel the need to own a gun. There are now more guns in the United States than there are men, women, and children.  All we can do is grow numb to the daily news of accidental deaths, murders, and outright massacres, and pray that it doesn't happen to you or someone you love.