The NRA Thanks the Public for Its Short Memory
It has only been a year since horrified Black Friday shoppers at Nordstrom’s on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile watched Nadia Ezaldein fatally shot in the head as she worked at the cosmetics counter. Her estranged boyfriend “loved” Nadia, her sister told the press, but he had a “temper” problem.
It has been 14 months since a man with an assault rifle got on an elevated train platform at noon in Chicago’s Loop with 60 rounds of ammunition and began firing at commuter trains. It could easily have been Chicago’s own Long Island Rail Road Massacre (in which 6 were killed and 19 wounded in 1993) if anyone remembered the massacre, which most don’t.
Some people remember that 34-year-old Army Specialist Ivan Lopez killed 3 and injured 14 last year at Fort Hood. Fewer remember that only five years earlier U.S. Army major and psychiatrist Nidal Hasan did the same thing killing 13 people and injuring more than 30 at Fort Hood. Both were legal gun owners. The gun lobby says criminals “don’t obey” gun laws but most mass shooters are legal gun owners who pass their background checks, sometimes murdering days later.
Then there’s Aaron Alexis, 34, who fatally shot 12 and injured 3 at the Washington Navy Yard two years ago. Six years earlier, 4 were murdered at Philadelphia’s Naval Yard by another angry gun owner who also passed his background check. Let’s enforce existing laws!
Most people still remember the two media members killed on camera in Roanoke four months ago. But no one (except bereaved families) will remember that the following week 8 women were shot by enraged, armed husbands and only two survived. Orders of protection did not help the murdered women or help the Stay family, six members of whom were murdered by an enraged, armed relative just last year in suburban Houston. The NRA works for the “rights” of such suspects to keep their guns while under orders of protection. It also, amazingly, works to restore the “gun rights” of convicted felons and people who have been hospitalized for mental illness. Whose side is the gun lobby on?
After the blood is cleaned up and families identify their mutilated loved ones at the morgue, mass shootings fade into soggy, stuffed animal memorials and pleas to the same lawmakers who thought new gun laws after Sandy Hook too extreme. These are the same lawmakers who currently think it is fine that people on the terror watch list can buy all the guns they want!
At NGVAC we say Congress will never act and that, despite the public’s short memory, we are in the middle of a gun public health emergency. In 2009, President Obama declared a National State of Emergency over swine flu because so many people were dying and nowhere was safe. We demand that he do the same over the gun violence epidemic and for the same reasons. Please sign now.