Exclusive: When looking at the faces of the six-year-olds butchered in their Connecticut classroom, you should also see the faces of the politicians who pandered to the NRA and its obsessive opposition to commonsense gun control, the likes of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, writes Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof offers a typical column reacting to the massacre of 20 school children in Newtown, Connecticut. He calls on politicians to show courage in standing up to the National Rifle Association, but he doesn’t seem to have the courage himself to identify the key political culprits in a three-decade-long pandering to the NRA’s clout.
There’s a reason for that. The vast majority of the politicians who have served as handmaidens to the NRA’s war on commonsense gun control are Republicans, including such icons as Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. And it is routine for mainstream pundits, like Kristof, to avoid “sounding partisan.”
So, it makes lots of career sense to wring one’s hands over the horrifying image of a deranged gunman slaughtering first-graders in their classroom and then spread the blame across the political spectrum while not pointing fingers at the politicians who have most enabled this sickening madness to continue.
After all, Reagan and Bush-41 are held in high esteem across Official Washington. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews has hailed Reagan as “one of the all-time greats,” and Bush-41 supposedly represents the good old days of Republican moderation.
But the reality is that the United States had begun grappling with its epidemic of gun violence in the 1970s by passing commonsense gun laws, and it was Reagan and Bush-41 who saw the political advantage in playing the tough-guy role and treating gun-control advocates as sissies.
Both Reagan and Bush-41 pandered to the NRA, recognizing and honoring its political muscle. Reagan, for instance, fawned over the NRA in a speech to a 1983 luncheon in Phoenix, Arizona. In doing so, Reagan displayed his patented technique of making crazy policies seem normal.
In the 1983 speech, Reagan praised the NRA’s defeat of California’s Proposition 15, which would have required the registration of handguns, limited the number of guns registered by each individual, and restricted mail-order and out-of-state purchases.
“You shocked California last November when you mobilized to send help and to down Proposition 15 and defeat it,” Reagan said. “You pointed out that police would be so busy arresting handgun owners that they would be unable to protect the people against criminals. It’s a nasty truth, but those who seek to inflict harm are not fazed by gun-control laws.”
Reagan also compared the NRA’s rejection of gun laws to the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln, telling the NRA audience: “You live by Lincoln’s words, ‘Important principles may and must be inflexible.’ The NRA believes that America’s laws were made to be obeyed and that our constitutional liberties are just as important today as 200 years ago.
“And by the way, the Constitution does not say that government shall decree the right to keep and bear arms. The Constitution says ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’” [For a critique of that misguided history, see Consortiumnews.com’s “The 2nd Amendment and Killing Kids.”]
Reagan continued: “But I believe we share the same goal, a strong America, carrying the banner of freedom and secure from threats to our domestic tranquility, economic well-being, and national security. No group does more to promote gun safety and respect for the laws of this land than the NRA, and I thank you.”
Reagan then mocked those who warned about the dangers of uncontrolled gun possession, saying: “We’ve both heard the charge that supporting gun-owners rights encourages a violent, shoot-em-up society. But just a minute. Don’t they understand that most violent crimes are not committed by decent, law-abiding citizens? They’re committed by career criminals.
“Guns don’t make criminals. Hard-core criminals use guns. And locking them up, the hard-core criminals up, and throwing away the key is the best gun-control law we could ever have.”
Looking back on the past three decades, it should be obvious that Reagan was profoundly and tragically wrong. Many of the most notorious mass slaughters of recent years were inflicted by “law-abiding citizens,” that is people with little or no criminal records but with unchecked mental disorders.
Their easy access to high-powered and semi-automatic weapons allowed them to murder large numbers of people before they could be stopped. To suggest that the NRA has somehow helped “secure our domestic tranquility” is a sick joke.
But Reagan surely benefited from the staunch support of the NRA and gun owners when he swept to a landslide reelection in 1984. Those results were duly noted by Reagan’s Vice President George H.W. Bush who made opposition to gun control an important part of his 1988 campaign.
Bush’s opponent, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, was a strong supporter of gun-control laws and Bush saw that as an opening. Bush accused Dukakis of wanting to disarm all private citizens. “That is not the American way,” declared Bush at one campaign rally. “I feel just the opposite.”
With Bush’s landslide victory in 1988 and with the well-meaning Dukakis dismissed as a hopeless “loser” the path was cleared for the NRA to rollback even modest gun-control laws, such as restrictions on assault rifles.
In 2008 on a 5-4 vote, right-wing justices on the U.S. Supreme Court placed there by Reagan, Bush-41 and George W. Bush overturned longstanding legal precedents that deemed “the right to bear arms” a collective right and transformed it instead into an individual right. That meant even local gun-control ordinances could be struck down.
In other words, Republicans and particularly Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush hold primary responsibility for the kinds of horrors that have claimed innocent lives in places like Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, Columbine, Virginia Tech and so many other locations whose names will long be associated with butchery.
While Kristof and fellow mainstream pundits may be right in noting that it’s time for all politicians to stand up to the NRA, they are wrong in spreading the blame equally. They should have the courage to tell the truth, that Reagan, Bush-41 and other Republicans have led the way into this national madness.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
Consider the Connection to:
Environmental Conservation CTC2 [CHILDREN]
Conservation is the wise-use, management & development of the Earths natural resources, especially CHILDREN.
The National Rifle Association is NOT a conservation organization!
Google: League of Conservation Voters on NRA
An apolitical American friend once told me that she was discovering as she looked into recent history that most good political trends of our time had their origin in the 1960s and 70s and most bad ones had their origins in the 80s, meaning with Reagan. The bad, Reagan-implemented US sociopolitical trends include blatant anti-environmentalism, unabashed money-worship, shoveling of money from health-education-welfare to military-prisons-police, mass homelessness, fundamentalist Christians given positions of political power, a revived Cold War and aggressive militaristic rhetoric leading to a massive military emphasis throughout society, revived racism after major progress during the 60s and 70s, mass imprisonment of blacks, reversal of vehicle fuel efficiency mandates, etc, etc. I can now add open embrace of the gun lobby to that shameful list. Really, folks, it hasn’t always been this way, only for about the last thirty years.
I propose we start a registry that is similar to that of the DMV. People have renewable licences that must be updated yearly,and first time buyers are required to participateinagun safety and adhereance class. Much of the proceeds would go to bolster privatelyrun mental health institutes where derranged folks can find help. I feel that although many of us can handle firearms in a responsible manner,but we have to weed out the bad seeds. Headaches in a new system?, Of course,but we can’t regress to the wild west . We can overcome this,but the answers aren’t easy. I know we live in a wid where many want a quick fix,and jailing people doesn’t work or soon half the population would be incarcerated. We all need a new sense of comrodery to see our great country through this health crisis. My plan keeps our guns,registers any new legally purchased guns and has a way to track gun crime,nobody loses their guns, and we can maybe get back a sense of safety and security
You propose what sounds like the sensible point of departure for the tracking of guns and for holding owners and users reponsible for those guns. The cost of creating such an infrastructure would pay off even in the short run. If it had been in place in time, it is likely that 20 small children, 6 faculty, a dead mother and a dead shooter would be alive today.
Consider the Connection to Environmental Conservation CTC2 [CHILDREN]
Conservation is the wise-use, management & development of the Earths natural resources, including CHILDREN.
The National Rifle Association is NOT a conservation organization!
Google: League of Conservation Voters on NRA
Wow… a lot of nonsense here which is always the case with this topic. What’s the big deal? So some little kids got whacked, we do that every day all over the world.
Guns do one thing, what they are designed to do, kill. Just like the missles, bombs, grenades, mortars and other assorted military hardware up to and including nukes. Sure we kill lots of people, so many we pretend not to count them. It’s what we do. It’s who we are.
As long as most of the citizens in the Homeland feel they directly, indirectly or that they might benefit from the incessant violence they aren’t going to make a peep about it. MSM won’t touch it and it will never make it into a political debate. Long live the Empire.
Not to worry though, there’s always time for another latte and we can plunk our fat asses (we earned them)down in front of the giganta screens and tune in to the really important question of the day… How About Those Kardashians.
Amen bro… I’m with you.
But why can’t we have nukes? Can we really be an “armed citizenry” without them? Just little ones for concealed carry.
After all nukes don’t kill people, radiation does.
I’ll give up my nukes when they pry them from my hot dead radioactive fingers.
Nukes haven’t killed ANYONE in the US in a few years! Cars have. Ban cars!!!!! Nukes for all! Otherwise what’s to stop someone with a serious jonesing for nukes from nuking us all. We need mutually assured deterrence so that we are not unexpectedly nuked by that innocent looking neighbor of ours who probably has an entire arsenal behind his sofa!
I have a suggestion – if you buy a gun, any gun, until that firearm is melted down you are 100% responsible for how that firearm is used. Don’t care if you sell it, lose it, store it, forget it. Don’t care if it’s stolen from a police eveidence room. Don’t care. You bought it, you created/create the market and if you are truly a “responsible” gun owner – than be responsible. It is your gun – if it’s used in a robbery you are complicit. If it is used to kill another you are complicit. If it’s stolen from your house, or taken by your kids and used to commit any crime then you are complicit. Simple.
I’m a Brazilian and I live in a country that has one of the world’s most restrictive firearms legislation. Today it’s difficult to buy even an air carbine here. Unfortunately, this does not prevent that 45,000-plus people are murdered here every year, most by means of firearms. It doesnâ€™t prevent drug traffickers and other criminals from being able to put their hands on high power weapons like assault rifles, submachine guns, automatic pistols and others, either.
Obviously the roots of the causes of the high frequency of such tragedies in the US are not to be found only in the weapons, and Iâ€™m not a member of the disarmament clique (in fact, I worked to help to defeat a general disarmament legislation here in 2005). But, please someone tell me why in the hell civilians in any part of the world should have such an easy access to high power weapons. Of course, deranged people and criminals will always find ways to kill other people, even with simpler firearms like 6-shot revolvers and pistols, hunting rifles and others, but in any case, their macabre inclinations would not be made easier as it is by the higher devastation capacity enabled by these â€œpersonal weapons of mass destructionâ€. I am firmly convinced that their use by civilians should be banned or severely restricted everywhere.
I am married to a Brazilian and I have most of my family in Brazil. The military-grade weapons in the hands of gangs in the favelas<q (and in the hands of thieves even in small towns) are the result of smuggling. As has been the case with Mexico, many of the weapons had their origin in the USA.
But the recent history of Brazil should be a lesson to the US. As cities began to boom in the 1960s (when I was in VitÃ³ria in the mid 1960s, it was a small city of about 100,000–quiet and mostly safe), people with no skills flooded from the farms where they had worked as though they were slaves, hoping for some promise of rising from despair, they were rejected and forced to live as beggars on the streets. The build cardboard and plywood houses out of whatever they could find. Women became prostitutes and abandoned their children on the streets.
In short, Brazil is a lesson to the world in the fate of a society that fails to build a strong safety net for its neediest citizens. The affluent would like to wish them away, but they do not go away. They learn to survive–and their survival entails violence.
A strong social safety net that cares for abandoned children, expectant mothers, and unschooled people seeking the dignity of work is a small investment in a safe, productive, more prosperous future.
Agreed. I have no problem with people having a gun to protect themselves but I don’t know why someone not in law enforcement or hunting, needs an assault weapon.
All I can say is (a) thank God I live in a society with relatively strong gun control laws((UK) (b) if “now is not the time to talk about gun control in the US_ then WHEN is it right to do- not until the twelfth of NEVER according to numskulls like Larry Pratt of Gun Owners Of America” and the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre- who are little more than paid shills for gun manufacturers!
Cong Dong: The real problem are the restrictive anti-gun laws that turn these school into shooting galleries! Look at the mall shooting in Oregon last week, it was someone with a concealed carry licence who helped end that nightmare! The answer isn’t more restrictive gun laws.. it’s LESS!!
Bobzzz: Are you kidding me?? On my homepage alone there’s no less than 10 articles about banning guns! And there’s a huge difference between full auto & semi-automatics; full autos cost thousands of dollars and are highly regulated in this country, most gun owners don’t have & can’t afford full autos and the one’s that can I can assure you aren’t out committing mass shootings! And banning high capacity magazines is just pointless, he could’ve killed just as many with 3 or 4 ten round mags because nobody at the school had the means to stop him..ultimately he ended up killing himself. And anyone Robert Perry included who would stoop so low as to use images of murdered children who haven’t even been buried yet as political footballs to ram through an agenda is disgusting and sleazy to no end and should be ashamed of themselves!
Anti Republicrat, your rants make no sense. Semi-automatic rifles, IMO, are more dangerous than fully automatic. And, in combat, use of full automatic is wasteful and inefficient. Three round bursts, which semis can deliver, are deadly. On full automatic, the magazine would be empty within a couple seconds.
I’m a combat Marine who served in Vietnam, 1968 — 1969. and have owned guns most of my life. While fully automatic rifles are fun to shoot, there is no reason nor credible interpretation of the 2nd Amendment protecting individual ownership of these assault weapons. Argue with intelligence, not emotion. Embrace magazines which contain words of wisdom, not deadly pieces of metal.
Thanks for the lesson on the difference between auto and semis. But that hardly blunts the main point. Law abiding gun owners are not the point. Law abiding gun owners don’t need semi-automatics and high capacity magazines to hunt. Multiple shootings have happened with pistols and the number of the fallen and wounded was quite a bit lower. As far as the pictures are concerned, the NRA is scared to death lawmakers will be spurred to action, so they immediately launch the shame shame campaign to head off any sensible action. You may think every vile thing of me you wish, but I am hardly ashamed to approve their use.
The real problem is scum like you that can’t wait to use murdered children to push your talking points.
Richard Florida, Senior Editor at The Atlantic, in his article, “The Geography of Gun Deaths” (https://consortiumnews.com/2012/12/15/the-2nd-amendment-and-killing-kids/) illustrates the strong correlation between the gun deaths and the weakness of restrictions in any given state on gun use and ownership. Newtown notwithstanding, Connecticut boasts one of the lowest incidents of gun deaths in the US. Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, Mississippi, Alabama–among the states with the least control on the sales and uses of firearms–are shamed by the high numbers of people in their borders killed by guns. You may drop the sham that the “anti-gun crowd cannot grasp” the fiction that gun laws do not save lives. First, you are incorrect in classifying people calling for responsible use of firearms the “anti-gun crowd”; second, this “crowd” knows the facts you choose to ignore or reject.
Your contempt for anyone who insists on verifiable facts and statements grounded in those facts speaks poorly, both for you and for whatever cause you believe so earnestly to be defending. That cause, stripped of fiction and propaganda, is to increase the sale of deadly firearms in the US. It is all about profit, profit so dearly cherished that the deaths caused by the generation of that profit are of little concern.
I hope you take offense at the last statement. If you do, then you are not part of the callous gun lobby. You deplore the deaths, but you seek to draw an artificial line between the instruments of death and the individuals who kill.
You can oppose the sale or possession of military-grade assault weapons and still stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those of us who defend the licensed, regulated use, exchange, and sale of firearms.
So to take this to its logical conclusion, the best society would be one in which guns are available at every place where it’s legal to sell them and everyone with a right to have a gun, has a gun. Yes…….sounds like utopia to me.
The assumption of you gun nuts is that if someone didn’t have a gun that they would be just as murderous with a knife. People who commit mass murders are desperate, sick individuals. To face down someone, to look them in the eye, to have the physical strength then to stab or slash their throat takes nerve that a mentally ill person would not have. Additionally, let’s say someone stabs someone. If they do that and they’re in a crowded place, they will be stopped long before they can kill many, and probably one more, person. There is no lengthy history of mass knife murders. That’s the reason. There is a lengthy history of gun massacres. Guns facilitate murders in a way nothing else does.
Headline I’d love to see: “Shooter’s Mother Was Denied Reproductive Alternatives”.
great, FG! Actually, I did read long ago that a survey twenty years after Roe vs Wade made abortion available legally, that in the areas studied,youth crime decreased appreciably!!!
Well, Mark, something may be lost in translation, but do you think the sale of the kind of weaponry used in mass killings is OK if we just arm a teacher with a gun? It’s time to get that stuff off the street, and it can be done because it was in the past. Then there is less reason to have a gun in the classroom. Anyone should be leery of a law-biding teacher with gun in hand without training. I hear the solution. Train and certify all teachers. If one can’t qualify, s/he will have to find another job, even a superb teacher. Nobody wants to take your guns. I have one, but I am not paranoid enough to think the gov’t is going to confiscate it. The problem is the capacity to fire off multiple, multiple rounds. Automatics, semi-automatics (whatever), 30 round clips. And as far as Republican bashing, it is a fact that the NRA leans on and depends on Republicans in Congress and some Democrats. It is time for common sense to prevail. And AntiRebulicrat, my guess is that any parent of those slain kids would say that the picture was worth if it spurred action to get this kind of firepower off the streets. Those little faces are all over the news; Robert is not the only one using a picture.
What a decent, rational, polite and thoughtful manner of discussing an important issue — I’ll leave it at this: you definitely are part of the problem.
I believe there needs to be an investigation, to see if this person was using prescription drugs for his disorder……… ALSO who was his doctor that diagnosed his disorder.
Without the doctors/pharma companies prescribing BS drugs there would more than likely be a lot less of these incidents !!!
There certainly seems to be a lot of prima facie evidence to support that explanation in other mass shootings. I agree that there should be an investigation, but by ” a citizens’ commission”, because it will be harder to suppress such a panel’s findings than those of a governmental entity. After all, Big Pharma has a lot of clout with our Democrat and Republican politicians at all levels of government, and also with bureaucrats at all levels.
Good thinking. I hope (I’m an optimist) that >this time< we will see the creation of a panel with access to data unobstructed by special interest and with the expertise and discipline to publish results that cannot be truthfully contested.
I guess this is the right-wing talking point you guys have landed on. I’ve seen this bete noire in several places. Right, let’s ignore the elephant in the room. The fact that mass gun shootings are so common in the US while happening so infrequently in any other country in the world as to be anomalous.
You want to know what the difference would really be with strong gun laws?
Just compare per capita homicide rate between the US and any other country with stronger gun laws.
It is also interesting to note that there has not been any instance in which a gun toting citizen has stopped even one of the recent murders.
And on a second note . . . how pathetic is it that there are human beings walking among us for whom the death of dozens of children is nothing but a chance to smear Republican presidents from 20 years ago? Are there really people in this country so zealous about promoting their political party that their common human decency goes out the window so easily?
People who will so literally use Rahm Emanuel’s “let no good crisis go to waste” even in a situation like this? Is there no shame left in this country?
That’s utterly disgusting.
To answer your first question – as pathetic as those who have taken every opportunity to smear the current re-elected Democrat President of the U.S. (whom I did not vote for, this time around.)
Check the mirror, or didn’t you think anyone would notice how you politicized your statement. Please.
You obviously haven’t read the many articles that are critical of Obama’s restriction of civil liberties, of his unwillingness to fight for medicare for all, of his escalation of drone strikes, of his willingness to ramp up military actions in other countries, and about his willingness to allow consolidation of media ownership on this site. So please read some of Mr. Parry’s voluminous writing about Dems as well as Repubs before you take cheap political potshots at him
Is anyone asking why these shootings happen at schools?
No, never. Everyone focuses in on the firearm, and then there’s a huge off-topic debate by people who don’t actually know anything about firearms, about restricting the magazine size, etc. If you don’t know the difference between “automatic” and semi-automatic, if you don’t understand magazine capacity and the fact that there are already a lot of laws restricting the types of firearms a law abiding citizen can own in the US, maybe you should just not comment.
But why do these shootings happen WHERE they happen?
Have you ever asked why these shootings never happen at a gun store, a pawn shop, or a gun club? Why not in a casino, or a football game?
Millions of law-abiding firearms owners discharge tens of millions of rounds of ammunition per year . . . with no mass shootings in the places where they practice.
But these “mass shootings” almost always happen in a public school. I wonder if it’s because lunatics are looking for a “gun free zone” in which they can wreak havoc without having to fear being shot themselves?
You’ll never take away the guns. Even if you did there are still bombs, poison, all sorts of options for a deranged lunatic.
But what if you just took down the signs that say “no firearms here” . . . what if you just took away the sign that says “hundreds of helpless undefended victims here”?
What if one of those school teachers was a law-abiding citizen with a license from the state of CT to carry a concealed firearm . . . but she wasn’t allowed to because of the “gun free zone” policy? Would it have made a difference?
How come ALL the rightwingnuts mentiion gun free zones? The “idea” of arming teachers is an NRA lobbyists wet dream, nothing more.
The article does make a good point re Reagan and his statements. But doesn’t nearly go far enough. Regan’s basic message was essentially in a democratically organized Republic where citizens theoretically control the government it is the demos that is the problem. An argument of autocrats ever since ancient greece in the West. It is worth remembering that even Caligula had a Senate. One he held in such high regard, by the way, that when it appeared he might be thwarted in some minor way he threatened to nominate his favorite horse to the august body. The Senate caved immediately.
Once we had a Constitutiion now we have PNAC. One we had unions (albeit briefly), now we have Corporate Socialism and wage slavery. Of course we never really had peace so, even though we never officially declare war anymore, there’s no change in that regard.
If you really want to find someone to blame, try looking in the mirror.
Ah yes, more guns, lots of people with minimal training in combat or high-pressure situations, what could POSSIBLY go wrong?
I love how you say “they’ll never take away the guns…but if they did they’d turn to poison.” No they wouldn’t. The reason the deranged used guns is because they’re very effective at killing many people simply and without having to make an effort or to look someone in the eye and face down the humanity of another person. Why would you want MORE guns? Just answer me that.
There is always the handwringing when “our” kids are killed. I noticed at once the victim in the photo was a little blonde blue-eyed girl. The 59 children killed in Gaza by IDF mighty weapons provided by the USA last month were also beautiful, loved and valued by their families. The Iraqis, Afghans, Somalis, Yemenis, Pakistanis,Libyans, Syrians etc killed by “our” weapons or drones included lots of children as well as many parents who left orphaned children who needed their care. Several posters have noted this hypocrisy.
What a sweet mouth you have, with your snide little “Herr” besides! And what about the fact that, with a population numbering 1.4 million, Gaza is one of the more densely populated areas in the world, with only several hundred people less per square km than Boston or Chicago? That has no impact to your way of thinking? How is it that no matter how many people the IDF kills, the Israelis are always portrayed as the victims – even when no Israeli is killed or wounded?
Oh, let me beat you to the punch “Frau cá»™ng Ä‘á»“ng – you are a piece of shit.” Better that than a foul-mouthed non-entity. Even your name isn’t original…
Sorry rosemerry, only white kids count. The rest are… well, the’re not.
Maybe Conn was PNAC coming home to visit? But you have to love the irony of a “black” pres weeping over “white” kids while droning “brown” kids every day.
we have our own one man Rainbow Coalition.
Thank you Frank Saunders. No one is saying you can’t have a pistol, hunting rifle, or a shotgun for self protection. But no law that allows one to purchase huge magazine clips for their Glocks or automatic weapons makes sense. These should only be available to law enforcement. Ah, but here it comes: guns don’t kill, people do. Yes, but huge magazine clips and automatic weapons are more lethal and increase the devastation. Well, why don’t we take away motor vehicles? They kill more than guns. Because motor vehicles are not manufactured with the intent to kill; most people use them to work or go back and forth to work. Huge magazine clips and automatic weapons ARE for killing. People do not buy these ONLY to target practice. What about Obama’s bombs and drones? Well, what about Bush II’s Iraq War? These questions asked, I don’t like either the Bush or Obama policy, but what do they have to do with the clip/automatic problem? Nothing. Beyond Connecticut, automatic weapons and huge magazines sold to drug cartels, obtained legally in American gun shows, have killed thousands of innocent Mexicans and American citizens. The NRA is about profits and spreading paranoia to garner more profits. And yes, I have had a shotgun for the last 12 years of my country living. I do not need a military war chest to kill a rattlesnake or a hungry coyote to protect my grandchildren.
Martomusa comes up big with his moronic stance.
No one is saying we should take everyone’s guns in America away. But that’s what the lunatic fringe on the RIGHT loves to think. Because then they can justify all of their actions in their happy, little fantasy world. A world where children being slaughtered on a Friday afternoon is nothing nearly as terrifying as the thought of…gasp…gay marriage. Oh, the horrors.
I have no problem with handguns, rifles or shotguns. Every American should have the right to these. And no wants to take these away. But the average American doesn’t need automatic weapons. It’s sad that the Republicans and the NRA won’t acknowledge that. But since they don’t, a lot blood is on their hands. And it will be the same case when the next massacre happens.
Maybe the NRA’s Facebook and Twitter pages will be up by then. Maybe they’ll have issued some sort of statement. I won’t be holding my breath. They’ll continue to enable the psychos by burying their heads in the sand. Because that’s what cowards do.
There are many factors going into each shooter, and we should attempt to learn from data. Home schooling kept this kid out of the company of his peers and away from help. His mom was a survivalist by inclination, according to her sister-in-law. America going in the wrong direction, gotta have the guns, etc. Rush and his Fox friends pump up the unbalanced mom and her progeny to experience an election as armageddon in the isolation of their big house in their sheltered neighborhood.
The Colubine boys passed the anger management class and plotted in their big isolated homes full of firearms.
Can we look at other factors to make gun control part rather than the whole of the discussion?
Thank you for your wisdom, Ms. King. Gun control is no panacea; we need to see ourselves not as the romanticized city on the hill we wish to see, but as the society full of “communities of oysters”, where people seldom speak to each other; a segregated society, abetted by “developers” constantly separating its people by income and social class; a society in which tens of millions of Americans bridle at the idea that the collective “We the People” should feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for the infirm.
Who can be proud of the America we have become? The hope lies in the fact that we have it in us to be the kind of America most of us wish we were. But we must let others–especially our elected representatives who see their true constituents in Wall Street, in multi-national banks and investment firms, in billionaire bullies like the Koch brothers–see that we are serious about reforming our country not in the image perceived by the greedy plutocracy but in the image of a loving, forgiving God who first loved us.
Thank you Capixaba. Indeed we have the ability to be the society we have dreamed of but we must refute tirelessly the dividers and those who would distract and attempt to take our eyes off that prize, like those in this forum who make feckless arguments for more mass death but then would not dare defend the outcomes which they themselves have promoted. We must realize that a country where kids are safe, where people are healthy, and where people are not discarded, is possible. But we must also be willing to FIGHT for that society because there are malignant, powerful forces who will try and keep us from it but who will NEVER EVER EVER EVER admit that is what they are trying to do.
why did the shooter as an adult live so close to school, shoot his mom and target the little 6yr.olds where his mom volunterred, she had alimony of $280,000.00 annualy from ex husband who remarried in 2011, last year, why he the shooter as adult is 20yrs old, loving with mommie and Mommie buys guns and brags about each purchase, he kills her first and uses her guns to kill the innocent in next minute. Why does Mommie move dumbshit from new Hampshire to heavenly place, Obama isn’t being asked where he was when 4 people killed in bengazzi, answer that one genius.
“I have no problem with handguns, rifles or shotguns. Every American should have the right to these.”
Educated people do not need guns. I am for the right to offer a decent education to every American.
“The average American doesn’t need automatic weapons?” Just what do you think the Second Amendment is for……hunting? We have a treasonous government that is domestically arming itself to the teeth. Have you never wondered why? The Second Amendment makes NO qualifications as to what types of arms that we have the right to keep and bear. I wonder why you feel the need to make that qualification?
How about we recognize that both the left and the right have sold us out? Neither gives a rat’s behind about the supreme laws of this country. A strict adherence to those laws would bring unbridled prosperity, freedom for ALL (including homosexuals who are, interestingly enough, people also!!).
You are denigrating the NRA but they exist because our government at all levels has violated our basic human rights in every facet of our existence. If our government–all levels–actually did their jobs none of these organizations would be necessary.
You need to do some research on the drugs these shooters are on. It’s been an underlying theme so far.
I challenge your statement that our government is “treasonous”. You make this fantastic accusation as though there some factual basis for it. Since you believe what you claim, please present your evidence. Idle gossip and “false witness” serve society destructively.
As Bill Moyers has repeatedly said, the NRA exists for one reason only: to take massive payments from gun manufacturers and dealers in exchange for generating conditions in which they can peddle their deadly wares for greater and greater profit. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/09/1118216/-NRA-Fearmongers-Guns-and-Greed)
Wayne LaPierre is paid almost a million a year to deal in fear and death (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/09/1118216/-NRA-Fearmongers-Guns-and-Greed.
The weaker the gun laws in a state, the greater the number of deaths in that state by bullets (see the map at http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/01/the-geography-of-gun-deaths/69354/).
But as long as a minority of shrieking Americans carry the water for the gun lobbies and their callous clients–enterprises to whom the yearly deaths and the unbearable anguish of so many of their fellow Americans is merely the collateral damage from their increased profits–, there will be people everywhere, including Connecticut, with easy access to firearms so efficiently lethal that the user can commit mass murder within minutes.
It says a “well-regulated militia” shall not be infringed. Our current gun culture is not well-regulated and that’s a massive problem. To suggest that the left and the right have both sold us out is a bit of a straw man. There is no left in the country any more. It’s been completely co-opted and suppressed. The right might have sold people out, but allowing unfettered access to all weapons is currently occuring and it is NOT bringing about the paradise you expect.
Excuse me sir, but you left out Barry Obama and his evil drone wars killing innocents everyday, you left out Joe Lieberman, Zionist war monger, etc, and so forth. this belongs to no party. There is one party, the war party. And when W Bush, and Big Dick Cheney are free men living a life of luxury, then Barry going to CT is nothing more than a cruel joke. Strip away the Zionist memes of Islamist evil, and the event in CT is text book terrorism. Violence is terrorism. And as Mr Chomsky continues to remind us, the US is a lawless, rogue state, and, if the US wants to end terrorism, then perhaps it should stop engaging in terrorism.
What happens in the macro, will happen in the micro. Violence is our heritage. So very sad. Imagine.
Where was the compassion then?
Back in 1996, the Secretary of the United States, Madeleine Albright had this to say about killing children:
Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it? Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.–60 Minutes (5/12/96)
Then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s quote, calmly asserting that U.S. policy objectives were worth the sacrifice of half a million Arab children, has been much quoted in the Arabic press. It’s also been cited in the United States in alternative commentary on the September 11 attacks (e.g., Alexander Cockburn, New York Press, 9/26/01).
You should know what is out there beyond that pail, the way you go stomping around out there. I think this time you got your foot stuck in that pail, and yes, it is full of shit left there by the children of Gaza for you.
Hateful rants like yours target so many people and groups of people that they lack not only any evidence to back them up, but they lack focus as well. Speaking disrespectully of the President, misstating Noam Chomsky’s arguments, atttacking Joe Lieberman with no grounding in fact whatsoever–
Calm down, please. Get your thoughts together, untainted by your anger. Join us in civil discussion.
Number of Murders, United States, 2009: 15,241
Number of Murders by Firearms, US, 2009: 9,146
Number of Murders, Britain, 2008*: 648
(Since Britainâ€™s population is 1/5 that of US, this is equivalent to 3,240 US murders)
Number of Murders by[pdf] firearms, Britain, 2008* 39
(equivalent to 195 US murders)
*The Home office reported murder statistics in the UK for the 12 months to March 2009, but these are 12-month figures.
Let’s assume for a moment that ALL abiding citizens, who own firearms, give them up, what the result would be?
Simply a rise in murders, rapes, armed robberies, burglaries, assaults, just to name a few.
And those insane people will find another way to kill whom they want to kill.
When I trained in the Italian Air Force Back in the 60’s, we were taught how to kill the enemy with a simple pencil!
But, of course, the american LEFT wilfully ignores that because their agenda
is to disarm the people in order to control them.
Finally, if over 10,000 gun murders a year make certain people crying out to ban firearms, then approx. 90,000 deaths a year due to doctors’ negligence should make people crying out to ban the doctors and, by the same reasoning,
40,000 plus deaths by motorvehicle accident a year! And so on.
Bu those advocating the destruction of the 2nd Amendment know very well and they know too that a population, educated now at moronic level, can be manipulated at will.
To conclude: Man’s intelligence is only matched by his stupidity!
Um, why would we want to ban doctors? They help people. The only purpose of a gun is to kill. Cars are for moving around and there is heavy regulation of their use and construction in order to ensure they are safe. By and large, they are. You really need to be get a better argument.
I wonder why a single mother (mother of the attacker) had 2 pistols and one rifle at home? Perhaps people need to STOP BUYING Guns
Quatsch! Wonder how much Fawning Corporate Media promotes this, with their breathless hysteria, while ignoring all of Barry Soetoro/Obama’s wars, except to praise murder, war crimes, & human rights violations? Did Barry cry for the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, & Yemen? Adding to this, I think, is the state of the economy after 4 years of Barry, where right to work for less laws are supported. Desperate times beget desperate people. And of course, there is no comprehensive med care which might treat their insanity, now evidenced by the reports now trickling out about how strange this latest guy is.
Last year, the motor car killed 37,000 people, 101 per day. Any “journalists” crying for controls on them?
Cars kill people? Indeed, they do. But cars are not designed and manufactured as a killing machine. Ditto baseball bats. Get a real argument.
Roughly the same number of people as killed by bullets. In fact, the number of people killed in automobile accidents is decreasing, while the number of people killed by bullets (especially young males) is increasing.
Speaking solely for myself, automobiles should be a luxury in society, not a necessity. But, for transportation, they are a necessity in the US. By way of contrast, guns are seldom a necessity for the average citizen. To equate the possession of firearms as being a necessary evil (as I consider a necessary evil the need for a POV) is a false premise.
Right to fire anyone, anytime laws are a separate issue. Their sole purpose is to concentrate power in the discretion of the employer while stripping the employee of rights he would not have today were it not for unions.
It seems that firearms are not the focus of your rage. But they are the subject of this discussion. If you wish to engage in honest, informed discourse, please switch to a civil tone and use verifiable facts (balanced when the issue is controversial) to substantiate your statements.
Strawman argument …
So did you oppose the War in Iraq or march in rallies against it? If you didn’t, you’re a cynical political opportunist for rightly criticizing Obama’s promotion of unwarranted wars in the places you mentioned.
and since when did you become concerned about the mentally ill in America? If you’re only concerned when it’s politically advantageous for you to knock your political opponent over it, please g.t.f.o with your political opportunism.
I would like to see a full analysis of how much money to support the culture of guns comes from armament manufacturers and how much comes from paranoid individuals. Normally one would expect to see the funding for an activity that promotes sales in an industry to come from the industry. But–in a cursory look–I was surprised to see so little of NRA’s money coming from that industry, and wondered about those deep-pocketed individuals who give $1,000 or $5,000 at a pop to the organization. Is the industry money in some way concealed, or is it flowing through other pathways?
We can blame the politicians, but–really– they are opportunists who use our fears and prejudices to promote their careers. Just as the power in a democracy (to the degree that we are such) ultimately comes from The People, the blame accrues to them as well. And, yes, the politicians deserve our contempt for making their living from a system that kills so many Americans.
I understand that a majority of NRA members oppose the extreme portion of the agenda being pushed by LaPierre & Co. What keeps LaPierre in power?
There’s a lot more to gun issues than gun control or lack thereof. This nation believes that violence solves problems. Legislation can certainly reduce the lethality of violent episodes, but until we come to understand that violence solves nothing and until we come to understand that it pays to treat mental illness and give people dignity through gainful employment, mass gun murders will be part of America.