Fandango’s Provocative Question #114

It’s the question we ask ourselves and each other when a shooter kills people who never did him harm. We ask how someone who is so mentally unstable and violent is out on the street and hey, how come he has a gun? A big, very expensive gun. The guns used by these shooters are not cheap handguns. They weren’t bought for a few bucks on the street corner of a bad neighborhood.

These are guns purchased at great expense, often instead of other things the family needs — like a decent home and diet. The people who buy these guns often have little else of any value. They have big, military-style weapons worth a lot of money, so they need guns to protect their guns.

We have had gun control laws in the relatively recent past.They expired and were not renewed. No one is suggesting we get rid of all guns or eliminate private gun ownership, only that we make sensible laws to control guns the same way we have laws to control cars. You know. A test, a license, insurance, registration? I haven’t notice these laws stopping anyone from buying a car. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t stop anyone from buying a gun either, assuming they meet firearm ownership criteria.

So. The question is:

I’d like to think at some point we’ll develop a hint commonsense vis-a-vis guns, but after waiting a lifetime to see some progress on this issue, I’m not optimistic. There are a large number of people who get hysterical when anyone mentions gun control. Weirdly, many of the people who go nuts over guns don’t actually own any. This is one bizarre country.

How ironic is it that Tombstone had stricter gun control the U.S. has now? In fact, the American West’s most infamous gun battle erupted when the marshal (Virgil Earp, Wyatt’s older brother) tried to enforce a local ordinance which barred carrying firearms in public. A judge had fined one of the victims $25 earlier that day for packing a pistol.

“You could wear your gun into town, but you had to check it at the sheriff’s office or the Grand Hotel, and you couldn’t pick it up again until you were leaving town,” said Bob Boze Bell, executive editor of True West Magazine, which celebrates the Old West. “It was an effort to control the violence.”

Rather than making progress with guns, we’ve marched steadily backward for at least the past twenty years. We had a brief flare-up of sensitivity to guns immediately following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, but it has been all downhill since. Considering the crazy people in Congress and the rapaciousness of the companies which manufacture and sell guns — and those company’s willingness to do just about anything to keep selling guns — it’s hard to expect anything to come out of any American congress.

Every time one of these “gun violence events” occurs, it’s the same sad story. Everyone sends prayers and wishes, and blames it on politicians and the NRA. The NRA is just a tool of the companies who manufacture firearms. It’s not merely politics. It’s guns, money and greed, the most lethal combination imaginable.


As long as our our politicians are for sale and the NRA is ready to buy, we won’t do anything about guns and violence. When politicians take up unconscionable positions, it’s always because they are sucking up to those who contribute large amounts to their campaigns. It’s never about right or wrong, or the constitution or what’s best for us. It never will be until we get the big money out of politics. If we ever manage to do that, we might begin to see a hint of conscience in politics.

In the endless race to be elected and re-elected, money has a very loud voice and the rest of us speak in whispers or not at all.

What is your life worth? What is your child’s life worth? If you think your town or city to too peaceful or obscure for gun violence to break out? Don’t be so sure. The crazy people with guns live everywhere. Maybe they live next door to you.

Categories: #FPQ, Fandango's One Word Challenge, gun control, guns, Provocative Questions

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35 replies

  1. A friend of mine from school grew up to become a cop and was a police chief for 10 years.
    He wrote on FB that gun control doesn’t work and that he’s seen it up front and personal. In a slightly snarking tone that I’m sure he hoped would fire up those libtards, he said our best bet was to buy a gun, get trained and carry it.
    It’s hard to argue when someone with first hand experience makes those statements.
    To me this means we need national laws and laws with teeth.
    But the way our system is set up and has been twisted and perverted, Congress will never address this issue.
    This leads me to conclude that our Constitution is so flawed that it no longer works.
    It has failed us.
    I know that a Constitutional Convention would at best achieve nothing and at worse lead to civil war.
    It’s not very encouraging.


    • Not encouraging at all. Not ALL of the constitution has failed, but significant sections have failed completely and others, in part. It needs to be updated and in many areas, eliminated and replaced with material that has something to do with the real world in which we are living — and leaves us with some latitude to deal with the future. I don’t see it happening, either.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with much of the dialogue above, and your very well-written post. In fact, I have added a link to this post to my own response to the question. Pretty much everything has already been said in your post and the above comments, so a lengthy comment from me isn’t necessary. However, you can check out my response at

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s that old police standby; FOLLOW THE MONEY. How else do our lawmakers manage to get rich? They do get very rich. Most of them emerge from years in the senate and house with millions socked away in offshore account. Where did they get the money? Their salaries are barely adequate to keep them housed in DC much less in their home state too. You think maybe some of that corporate funding is ending up in their slimy little pockets?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Seriously m, Marilyn, you don’t think thoughts and prays and wishes and hope will solve gun violence and mass shootings in America?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hell, look at all the good it’s done so far. I’m sure it will continue to do just as much in the future. Yup. That’s all it takes. Thoughts and prayers. It does seem rather hopeless, doesn’t it?

      Liked by 3 people

  4. There are some very powerful interests at work when two thirds of the population are in favour of stricter gun control and it still doesn’t happen. I’ve said it before but there is no need whatsoever for private citizens to own assault type weapons. I find it bizarre that in many states a person can carry a gun for personal protection to be honest. I wouldn’t dream of carrying a loaded weapon or having one in my house. There are too many things that could go wrong with that. If a burglar came I’d be more likely to hide under the bedcovers while I called the cops. I guess it is just a different mindset. The laws in Australia are very different as you know.
    I was interested to hear that Tombstone had stricter gun laws than you have in America today. Who would have thought?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree. I think MOST people agree. The gun lobby is a powerful group and they donate huge amounts of money to politicians — mostly Republicans. But NOT entirely. Most people believe that there should be reasonable limits on gun ownership, but it’s all about the money. A LOT of money.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I think the U.S. should study the Australian response to a mass shooting and the laws that were put into place afterward. We need comprehensive laws like yours. Marilyn is right, people equate any laws to control guns with taking away everyone’s guns, which no one in their right mind would do if they want to have or continue a career in politics in the U.S.. But having a voluntary gun buy-back would be a good thing. Of course not everyone would participate, but it would make a statement – especially assault weapons, which only the military should have.

      Liked by 2 people

      • And it would, at least, be a show of honest and good faith, something we haven’t shown yet despite the vast number of the dead. We made it a LAW that you have to wear a seatbelt — but no law that you have to register your guns? You have to register your DOGS for heaven’s sake — but NOT your AR-15? Does that make any sense at all?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Well put. Happily in this area I’m the nut next door. And I have no guns. 😉 Seriously, you’re absolutely right that it could happen anywhere though. I remember vividly the first instance of mass murder via a nut job with a gun that happened in Salt Lake City (the first widely publicized I should say). It was at the then very popular Trolley Square, an upscale market place with lots of trendy shops that mainly catered to the tourist trade. It was February 13th and the place was jammed with people (this was decades before Covid). Some unfortunate young man with a huge grudge against the world in general went in and killed a LOT of people before committing suicide (or perhaps the police killed him. He died in any case). It shook me to my core because up to that point Salt Lake, while not as safe as it was when I was a child, was still regarded as fairly sleepy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • So many places where this has happened were quiet little towns where nothing ever happened. You just never know. As long as we have no control over guns — not even as much as we have over dogs! — anything can happen. And you always hear the same comments: “We never imagined anything like that could happen HERE!”

      No one every imagines it happening in their hometown, but it’s always someone’s hometown.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. 2/3 of Americans support stricter gun control (a fact I read yesterday) so why is the 1/3 supported by legislators? I agree–money and self-interested politicians.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The problem starts with a ridiculous interpretation of the second amendment and continues with an even more absurd Supreme Court decision and ends with a lot of misinformed people who don’t understand the difference between controlling firearms vs. eliminating them. And then, of course, there are the manufacturers who don’t care about anything except making money. I think we can lump them in with the pharmaceutical companies — equally ruthless and just as unconcerned with how their way of doing business affects real people.

      I don’t know when greed became our national goal, but that’s the way it is and I’m not seeing anything changing in my lifetime. Or maybe ever.

      Liked by 4 people

      • One of the top Excedrin Plus stories for me during my working years.
        After covering the basics — there was always the “wrap”. I ran out of intelligent ways to say “greed”. I was frequently scolded for my temerity by suits afraid of corporate blowback.

        The anchors and mic holders in the field today have the same dilemma. How do you sum up the same damn story with just a different location. News people in the field have to deal with the raw emotion of the victims’ families ands friends. Then, you have the pols and community “leaders” who often bend the latest tragedy to spin for their own benefit.

        If those with political clout really had the cojones to pursue the gun manufacturers, we’d start to get somewhere. So many gun manufacturing CEOs, lobbyists, lawyers and media shills — fuel the hypocrisy and the NEXT act of sheer madness.

        Let’s not hear another “…he was just having a bad day”. REALLY?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve had a LOT of bad days. So have you. We haven’t killed anyone yet. I’m pretty sure mowing people down with an AR-15 is not a reasonable solution to any kind of bad day. But you know, everyone is afraid of the money. News is afraid they’ll lose advertisers, pols are afraid they’ll lose contributors. At some point, SOMEONE has to have the balls to stand up and say ENOUGH ALREADY.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Greed and the nature of politics have been in place for quite a while. I was dismayed to discover that FDR, the good man I thought he was, obstructed farm workers from unionizing because he needed the support of the industrialized farmers. The ignorant need to be educated and not fight it as though it were the devil. The purveyors of misinformation should also be made mute–Fox news at the forefront. Ah, well. Pipe dreams. No, I can wish, but like you I don’t see change coming as long as people bury their heads in the sand. The problem is large and actually a century or two in the making.

        Liked by 2 people

        • FDR was a good guy, but he was also a rich guy and he suffered from being too rich to really understand the poor he was trying to help. Mind you, he DID help. He and Eleanor built so much of what we depend on these days to survive — and the two of them were far from agreeing on a lot of this stuff. I’ve read a lot of books about them. I think Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “No Ordinary Times” was the best of them. It’s a brilliant piece of writing and I may need to read it again.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Oh, I most certainly don’t disagree that he did help. I thought the most of him up until I read about how he left the migrant workers to fend for themselves while allowing other groups to unionize. Our country is in a far better place because of him. His feet might have been clay but the rest of him was sturdy. I have not read any books devoted to them, just learned through history and peripheral reading. It might be good for me to read something more directly related. I guess I did watch a few miniseries about them back in the day, but don’t remember much. I’ll look up the book you recommend.


          • Marilyn, good idea. And, let’s watch “Eleanor & Franklin” again.


  7. Very well stated, Marilyn!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You’ve said it so well. I agree

    Liked by 2 people


  1. FPQ #114: Gun Safety vs. U.S. Congress – Wanderlust and Wonderment
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