Will On Camera Assassinations Be a Tipping Point? Or Is More Gun Bloodshed Necessary?
Reporter and cameraman gunned down during live newscast? Beloved professor killed by another professor in his campus office? Another day of gun bloodshed in the US.
After mass shootings the media “play by play” is always the same. First the nation is horrified, then the suspect’s “mental illness” is examined, then memorial services are held and then, after self-muting for three days, gun advocates surface to say “no laws” could have prevented the carnage because the “real problem” is mental illness.
Wrong on all counts. First, the Charleston, Chattanooga and Roanoke suspects were legal gun owners despite clear mental problems. The gun lobby loves to say criminals don’t follow gun laws but the Virginia Tech, Aurora, Tucson, Fort Hood, Navy Yard, NIU and Santa Barbara shooters–and most other mass gun murderers– followed the letter of the law.
Secondly, other countries have as many mentally ill people as we do—but they have gun laws. After the Dunblane school massacre in the United Kingdom in 1996 and the Port Arthur massacre in Australia the same year, laws were passed that prevented future shootings. They learned their lesson. By way of contrast, after the US’s Red Lake massacre in 2005, laws were passed in the US to make it illegal to sue the gun industry.
In response to the gun lovers who like to argue “should knives, hammers and cars be outlawed too,” no one has ever wounded 82 people in seconds with a knife as the Aurora killer did with a gun. On the same day as the Sandy Hook murders, a man in China stabbed the same number of school children and none died. It’s the guns, stupid.
Many do not realize or can’t believe that the NRA works for the “gun rights” of convicted felons, domestic abusers and people under orders of protection because they have gun rights too. Most people under orders of protection are men, of course and eight women were shot by their husbands in the last week of August—six died.
Right after the Aurora movie theater shootings we, at NGVAC, were alerted by an ex-wife to a convicted domestic abuser who was collecting guns and military weapons, which he was legally banned from doing, and donning body armor. We were told by two police departments the possible mass-shooter-in-the-making had the “right” to his arsenal and society would just have to wait until he killed before they could do anything. What?
August’s on camera murders, July’s movie and military murders or June’s church murders may not have been a tipping point–but the whole nation knows one is coming. One of these days, one too many gun victim families will ask why their loved one was killed and why their lawmakers are serving the NRA not them.
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Tags: Aurora, Charleston, Chattanooga, domestic murder, domestic violence, Dunblane, Elliot Rodger, Giffords, gun rights, gun violence, mental illness, murder, NRA, order of protection, Port Arthur, Roanoke, Santa Barbara, Tucson, Virginia Tech, white supremacy