This tweet “I hope people remain calm and level headed in the face of the Newton massacre. No politics, please. Pray for the dead. Pray for the families” I found following the #Newtown shootings set me off more than most.
I won’t or harass the tweeter by giving their name. And it is this tweet that shut me down yesterday. 140 characters is insufficient to respond to all the wrong represented in that tweet.
You see that tweeter was really saying do not have any emotional reaction that might instigate political action that is ant-gun. Just make the empty gesture of prayer to make you feel like you have done something and forget about it.
The Newton shooting is only that much more visceral than other mass shootings because most of the dead are around the age of five. There is no “rush to judgment” here. We do not need to know the shooter’s name, age, race, religion, or mental health history And even the source of the weapons is almost irrelevant. We later find the guns were purchased “legally” by the shooter’s mother; 3 of five guns she owned. The mother, shot to death by her own son with her own gun.
With guns, like climate change, the toothpaste is already out of the tube and seems uncontrollable so why bother. But that merely plays into an all or nothing argument. Ultimately the answers should come in the form of significant taxation of ammunition and guns; the funds going to support law enforcement and the healthcare of victims.
“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The 2nd Amendment is self-evident, but the meme of constitutional interpretation gets evoked here for economic reasons only; guns are big business. It is the corrupting influence of massive amount s of money in politics that makes the Newtown shooting symbolic of the consequences of corporate persons running roughshod over flesh and blood humans.
I am not opposed to regulated gun ownership. In some areas of America one’s ability to hunt or manage animals are necessary. Sport shooting, which is essentially target practice, is part of responsible gun ownership. It is time for a regulatory tune up. Guns demonstrate the idealistic weakness of Libertarians who essentially argue people will innately make great decisions. The practical approach is to look at what people actually do, and intervene to modify individual behavior for the greater good.
So channel your anger productively in the face of the Newtown massacre. Only politics which creates and shapes laws is the means to produce a national response to the gross availability and guns and ammo. And when you are done talking to God, talk to your representatives, friends and neighbors to decrease the frequency and ease of mass shootings.