Despite news stories that would suggest the opposite, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy are fond of pointing out that the city has endured less shootings than in recent years. If that is truly the case, then the shootings in past years was under reported by local media. You can believe that they are all over it now. Local news in most big cities follow the mantra, “If it bleeds, it leads,” and shootings have become the lead stories all too often in the Windy City and around America. Chicago has become the topic of national newscasts and unfortunate late night talk show jokes.
Mayor Emanuel and his predecessor, long time mayor Rich Daley, have worked hard to get guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals. They worked to restrict gun sales, limit concealed carry and ban guns at certain locations. In light of gun violence, it seems logical that city leaders would lead the charge to get guns out of the hands of the type of people who would shoot up a city park. Unfortunately their efforts have met the fight to let criminals have their guns. “Who would be against the efforts of our elected officials to make the city streets safer?” you may ask. Is it just the gangs? Are the gangs using their drug profits to oppose the city in court? Is it the Mafia and their high-priced attorneys? Is it some Tea Party extremist? No, it is none of those although the last might be close. It is the National Rifle Association that is working hard to let criminals have guns and keep violence on main street America. They have money. They have lawyers and they like taking Chicago to court.
Yes, one of the roadblocks to taking guns away from criminals is the NRA. They will now point to recent shootings as proof that we can not have gun control. They will again try to force feed us the argument that gun control will mean that only criminals will have guns and we will all be at their mercy, as if we are not now. The NRA will use their usual scare tactics to defend their extreme position that actually allows criminals to get more and more guns. They will then attempt to sell us on the idea that all of those guns in the hands of criminals means we can not have gun control laws. Somehow they seem to think that arming the bad guys is proof that the good guys should not have to face any sort of restrictions on buying guns. If you think this philosophy is a bit twisted, you are right (or perhaps I meant left).
The “slippery slope” argument is at the top of the NRA’s philosophy about gun control laws. They seem to think that if there are any restrictions to buying guns, soon there will be more and more restrictions to follow and eventually all the good guys will have to give up their guns to the federal, state and local governments. It does not matter that this argument make no sense and the Second Amendment will protect them. They continue to fight the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago through misleading pronouncements and court challenges. Consider the common sense ideas of the state and city along with the extremist, Wild West position of the NRA.
Attempts at restricting private sale or transfer of guns to criminals have been challenged. Reporting lost or stolen guns has been challenged. Restricting concealed carry in certain public places has been challenged. The NRA has won a battle against the State of Illinois in Moore v. Madigan. That would be Lisa Madigan, Attorney General for the State of Illinois. They claimed that the State efforts to enforce its laws left people “defenseless” outside their own homes. They also backed McDonald v. Chicago in a fight against Chicago hand guns laws. Their direct fight in NRA v. Chicago was later consolidated with the McDonald case. While the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the Chicago law, the fight went to the Supreme Court where the much of the Chicago ordinance was struck down, leaving the city to attempt a less restrictive ban in 2010.
The State of Illinois was forced in July to adopt a concealed weapons laws, which angered city officials. The law forced changes on the City of Chicago. City officials, however, refuse to roll over to the wishes of the NRA. They are now attempting to ban guns in bars and restaurants that sell alcohol. They feel guns and booze don’t mix. They expect the NRA to back the Dodge City mentality and challenge them in court. Apparently, there should be no checking of hand guns at the door, but Marshal Dillon is not around to toss the bad guys in jail like an episode of Gunsmoke so this may not go well. Perhaps all disputes will be settled by a duel in the street rather than shooting up Chicago saloons.
If Al Capone were still alive he would be proud of the efforts of the NRA to let Capone and Frank Nitti keep guns on the streets of Chicago. As for Eliot Ness, the NRA would keep him and the Untouchables busy in court with challenges over any attempts to enforce the law, even common sense laws.
Despite all the palaver that the availability of guns does not affect crime levels, this is so obviously ridiculous and self-serving by gun enthusiasts that it really isn’t worth arguing. I think everyone who hunts, competes in shooting sports and has some kind of genuine reason to own a weapon should be allowed to do so. I also think that all guns should be better regulated, insured, and kept track of. Here is an opinion from Richard Paschall, SUNDAY NIGHT BLOG. Well worth reading.
- Obama Blames the NRA for Gun Violence (thetruthaboutguns.com)
- NRA – Gun’s Don’t Kill People, Movies & Video Games Do. Say what now? (epicagames.com)
- NRA’s LaPierre blames poor security for Navy Yard shooting (cbsnews.com)
- NRA mantra of “Enforce Existing Gun Laws” comes back to bite them in the ass. (sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com)
It was hard figuring the best candidate for this one because I do this kind of shooting all the time. Some of my favorites are taken from above my head or way down near the ground. I picked this one because for some reason, it has always talked to me. But what, exactly, is it saying? This is Boston by Symphony Hall, the only place you’ll find these interesting crosswalks.
My husband wants to know why a kindergarten teacher in a quiet Connecticut suburb owned two 9-mm hand guns and a semi-automatic rifle. He wants to know why are there no checks for mental stability for gun owners or background checks in most states to make sure that the purchaser is not an outright criminal.
I want to know how come a relatively small number of gun nuts are able to hold our entire nation hostage. I’m pretty sure the majority of Americans don’t believe that anyone who wants one should be allowed to own an arsenal. Most people have more sense that.
I don’t think people who hunt are the problem, either. I don’t hunt, but I don’t feel I can consume meat while simultaneously objecting to someone else shooting a deer. I am not sufficiently hypocritical for that. In any case, hunters usually respect weapons, were often raised in homes where hunting is a tradition and guns are not considered toys … and they don’t use semi-automatic rifles or assault weapons for deer hunting. Or any other kind of hunting.
So who are these people who have so much more power than their numbers or any commonsense, logic, or reason suggests? Why do they seem to own us? My gut tells me to follow the money because beneath and supporting every evil, somewhere there’s money involved. Usually a lot of money.
Why do we allow private people to buy these weapons? Why are they not held liable for the damage their weapons do, regardless of who is pulling the trigger?
Why? Anyone have an answer? Because my husband and I are pretty smart people, well-educated and reasonably sophisticated. He was a reporter for a lifetime and has seen more of these massacres than anyone should ever have to see. I read, research, and spend a lot of time looking for answers.
But neither one of us has answers this time. We just have questions. There are a lot of questions going around. Maybe it’s time to start formulating a few answers.
- The unanswerable question (lisagobrien.com)
- Questions I Ask Myself About Connecticut School Shooting by Juan Cole (zcommunications.org)
- The Unanswerable Questions (nancyaruegg.com)
Yesterday, while putting together awards, a too-long deferred project, I happened to click onto WBZ radio, Boston‘s CBS affiliate. The events in Newtown were just being broadcast. They didn’t know exactly how many children and adults had died. The massacre had just ended — to the degree that such tragedies really ever end. I’m sure that for all the families who lost loved ones, it will never end. There’s no “over” for the slaughter of innocents.
This is the kind of horror story that leaves you with questions that can’t be answered. Even if you know everything there is to know, you still couldn’t make sense of it because it doesn’t make sense and can’t make sense. There is nothing sane, sensible, reasonable or explicable about it. What could possibly make someone — anyone — think murdering children is an acceptable or sane response to anything? No matter what dark secrets or strange thoughts are tangled in the head of the kid who took all those lives … nothing makes it more understandable because our minds reject any answer. There is no reason good enough. Nothing makes it comprehensible nor should it.
I can and will say that had the shooter not had guns, this would NOT have happened.
I do not care how treasured our “rights to bear arms” is to Americans. This is exactly what is wrong with having guns, so many guns, in so many hands. However true it is that guns don’t shoot themselves, the fact is that if they were less accessible to everyone and there were more controls on them to make sure that those who own them understand the responsibility that comes with owning deadly weapons — like the need to keep them out of irresponsible hands — many deaths would not occur. If the same young man had to take whatever weird revenge he sought with a bat or even a knife, he would have been stopped long before the body count had grown so godawful huge.
Guns don’t kill people all by themselves, but in the hands of people, guns do a lot more damage than the same person could do without guns. These were legal, registered guns.
Why a kindergarten teacher had an arsenal at home where she also had one (more?) mentally ill children is another one of those questions that can’t be answered. Personally I think if all guns disappeared tomorrow and we were reduced to throwing rocks at each other, it would be a better world. Since that’s not about to happen, at the very least, regulating guns so that those who own them are required to keep track of them (how many guns just “disappear” only to reappear as the weapon at a crime scene?), some degree of mental stability has to be established before being allowed to own them, anyone who owns guns has appropriate means to secure them and knows how to properly maintain them … these are minimal sensible requirements. Soldiers aren’t just handed weapons to use indiscriminately. They are taught how to use them, maintain them, and woe to any soldier who just happens to “lose” his weapon.
Yet in the private sector, most states have no requirements other than your ability to fill out a form and wait a few days. Most illegal guns didn’t start out that way, either. They were legal when they were bought … but they roamed to other pastures. If there are simply fewer guns and those who have them are required to account for their whereabouts on a regular basis, secure them when not in use … in short, to be at least as responsible with their guns as they are with their cars for which you are required to take a test, have a licence and registration, and maintain insurance … there would be fewer horrors like that which took place in a quiet Connecticut suburb.
How can we allow mass murder by deranged gunmen and then turn around and say we don’t need gun control? I actually saw posts on Facebook blaming it on not having enough guns. So, now we should arm children so they can shoot each other in schoolyard disputes? That’s your answer? I saw other posts pointing out that we’ve banned school prayer. And you figure that a prayer in the morning would have prevented this tragedy? Really? Has prayer prevented war? Genocide? Plague? Not that I’ve noticed.
God gave us brains to use. God gave us a conscience to guide us.
In all ten of God’s commandments … nor in anything that Jesus said … is there anything indicating that good people should own weapons. Quite the opposite, actually. Our constitution says that our citizenry is allowed to maintain militia and guns to protect the population, not that ever Tom, Dick, and Jane can have a personal arsenal to use as he or she feels inclined, with no restrictions, no oversight, not even an insurance policy.
It’s outrageous and it’s wrong. If we don’t start to use brains instead of that knee jerk reaction that “Oh my God, the government won’t let me buy an assault weapon! That’s outrageous!” there will inevitably be more of these mornings where families are burying their dead and wondering how it happened. If you want to know how stupid people really are, check out this disgusting website. If you suspected we let insane idiots own arsenals, this website will confirm your worst fears.
It happened because a mentally ill kid was able to get his hands on guns and instead of acting out in a non-lethal way, he instead murdered his family and all those other people too. That’s what happened. Why did it happen? Because we didn’t stop him, that’s why.
Earlier today, my husband the movie maven wrote me and a few of his old TV pals. He had a question, perhaps one that has long needed answering. Given the cost and scarcity of panes of glass in Ye Olde West, how come instead of breaking all the glass before shooting, why didn’t they open the windows? Following is the actual dialogue of leading movie experts.
Here’s the dialogue:
Garry (Chief Movie Maven and Former TV Journalist): Surprise!! I’m watching an old “High Chaparral” episode: ( A) Why do they always break the windows before the shootouts? Couldn’t they open the window first? Glass was expensive! ( B) How come the guys stationed on rooftops always get shot first in those shoot outs? – Big John Cannon
Marilyn (Blogger Supreme and Former Writer of Books Nobody Ever Read): I never thought about the windows. Not only are they expensive, but they’d be pretty hard to get. I mean, did they make that stuff on the ranch? Or did they have to haul it from back east?
Texas Tom (Retired Famous TV Anchor): This reporter is nowhere near the movie expert that you are. However, my sense is they always break the windows for (first of all) the visceral sound effect of the breaking and shattering glass, which also is a much stronger macho gesture than simply opening a window. Besides, opening the window just might require one or two more seconds than smashing the glass, which can be interpreted as an act of absolute crazed panic and desperation, and also shows the blood curdling anger and hostility of the glass breaker’s killer instinct. As for always shooting the guys on the roof first, my sense again runs to the most bang for the moment answer. Having a stunt man tumble a story or two from a roof, balcony, overhang or whatever has a much more visceral (there’s that word again) impact on the viewer’s brain and gut than simply shooting a guy standing in front of you, or on the same level with you. It’s a much more dramatic way of saying “this is the real deal here”. – T. Texas Tom: Champion Cap Gun Fighter of the Entire West
Garry: Damn, you are so much more cerebral than me. You sound more like a Pilgrim than a Texican. Mebbe it’s because we’re on a fixed income that I wince when they just break the windows rather than opening them to spray lead. That’s another thing. You would think they would be more economical with their bullets. Let the bad guys use up their ammo and shoot when you have a clear target. I guess the Duke would be pissed if he heard this austerity rant.
Marilyn: You’d think the chairs would collapse if you sat in them. Balsa must be sturdier than I thought.
Garry: Yeah, I used to laugh my ass off at the six shooters that never ran out of bullets. Also, Roy, Gene and our other heroes being chased by hordes of bad guys could shoot over their shoulder with precision and nail three bad guys with one bullet.
Texas Tom: Remember (of course you do) in the old Westerns with Hoot, Gene and Roy and Tex and those old guys would chase the bad guys and shoot for a whole reel without ever reloading? We used to laugh about that never-ending stream of bullets … they never ever fired their last one.
Marilyn: No one ever went into town to buy bullets, either. They must have had an armoury somewhere. Even the Lone Ranger never told Tonto to go into town and buy some ammo. They only ran out of bullets if the script writer decided it was the time to heighten the tension.