‘Stuff happens’ in America
Over the past decade, 316,545 Americans have been killed by people with guns. During the same period, 313 Americans were killed by terrorists.
We have fought two wars and spent trillions of dollars fighting terrorism, yet Congress has done little or nothing to prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands.
As I write this, a measure to deal with gun violence with the bipartisan support of 140 representatives languishes in the desk of the Speaker of the House, who refuses to bring it to a vote. That’s a prime example of the power of the National Rifle Association.
The bill, written by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., would expand background checks and close the gun show and Internet loopholes. These loopholes allow anyone, even those just released from a mental institution or federal prison and gang members from the inner-cities, to buy enough firearms and ammunition, of any kind, to build a arsenal.
In response to our latest mass killing at a community college in Roseburg, Ore., a candidate for the presidency of this country, Jeb Bush, pretty well summed up the response of all the Republican candidates when he said Congress needn’t act to prevent this kind of madness, because “stuff happens.” He might as well have said, “ho-hum what’s the problem.”
There have been 994 mass shootings in the last 1,004 days in this country. The FBI measures mass shootings as any incident where more than one person is killed. A group known as the Trackers classifies mass shootings as an event where four or more people are shot. They report 294 known mass shootings have occurred in the first 274 days of this year.
More than one mass shooting occurs in the U.S. every day. There have been 45 school shootings in America in 2015. Still gang members, some attending some of these very schools, can buy any gun they want including AK47s and rapid fire hand guns with chambers holding multiple rounds of ammunition at gun shows or over the Internet.
“Stuff happens,” right Jeb?
President Obama is angry and who can blame him? As he said, “Our condolences and prayers are not enough.” We need Congress to act. The NRA says we shouldn’t politicize these shootings, but that’s exactly what they are doing.
“Doing nothing is politicizing these shootings,” as President Obama said On March 10, 2009, in Geneva City, Ala., there were 11 killed and six injured. On March 29, 2009, in a Carthage N.C. nursing home, eight were shot dead and three injured. On April 3, 2009, a mass shooting in Binghamton, N.Y. left 14 dead.
A shooter left 13 dead and 30 wounded at Fort Hood, Texas, on Nov. 29, 2009. On Aug.3, 2010, nine were shot dead in Manchester, Conn. On January 8, 2011, in Tucson, Ariz., a mass shooter killed six and wounded 14, including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Another mass shooting on Oct. 12, 2011, left eight dead and one injured in Seal Beach, Calif.
On Feb. 12, 2012, in Norcross, Ga., five were shot dead. On a college campus in Oakland Calif., seven were killed on April 2, 2012. On May 31, 2012, we had six killed in Seattle, Wash. In a theater in Aurora, Colo. On July 10, 2012, a crazy man opened fire, killing 12 and wounding 59! At a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wis., on Aug, 5, 2012, seven were killed. On Sept. 27, 2012, in Minneapolis seven died, victims of a mass killer. During the same year, just before Christmas, on Dec. 14, who will ever forget the 27 children and teachers killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Many expected Congress would act after those killings. They didn‘t.
On Sept.16,2013, 10 were shot at the Navy Shipyard in Washington D.C. At the University of California, Santa Barbara on May 23, 2014, seven were shot dead and 16 wounded. Recently, nine worshipers were killed at a church in Charleston, S.C. Now, nine more are dead and 10 wounded in Oregon.
We must pass laws to stop this “stuff.” You will find the mass murders I’ve mentioned were committed by noncriminals. So, don’t give me this absurd argument of “We don’t need gun laws because criminals won’t obey them anyway.” In that case, why have laws against any crime whatsoever? It’s time to tell Jeb Bush and any other candidate for public office of any kind, any where in this country, regardless of Party, that we will not vote for them until they are right on the gun issue.
Glen McAdoo, a Fallon resident can be contacted at glynn@phonewave,net.