Bang-Bang! We’re all dead.

Yesterday in Pine Plains, NY a man with a gun took a high school principal hostage, apparently in response to his son being suspended from the school. Fortunately, no one was hurt and the police now have this would-be shooter in custody. There were approximately 600 students, teachers and faculty in the school at that time. According to CNN.com the suspect has a local police record.

On Friday a man walked into his former place of business in Orlando, FL and started shooting a handgun. He killed one person and wounded 5 others. Apparently he was taking revenge for being fired from the company two years ago for “performance issues”. As police took him into custody he muttered “I’m just going through a tough time right now. I’m sorry.”

Everyone in America not living underneath a rock has heard about the shootings at Fort Hood last week.

And tonight at 9pm EST, John Allen Muhammad (AKA the “Beltway Sniper” from 2002) will be executed for killing 10 people. He claims to be innocent, even though his 17 year old accomplice at the time testified against him.

Of course I could also mention Columbine, and the 1000s of other horrible episodes of gun violence that happen in this country every year. But I won’t because it’ll just make me sick.

There are many ways to obtain firearms in the USA–legally, illegally, or in the grey areas that exist at gun shows with their lack of background checks and abundance of loopholes. Guns can’t be stopped because after all, the Constitution says we all have the right to own a gun. I know plenty of folks who own guns and the majority of them are hunters, but all of the gun owners I know are law-abiding and decent folks who would never kill someone unless it was in self-defense. They lock up their guns and take great care to be safe with them.

But what about all the nuts out there who “go postal” everyday on their former co-workers, wives and girlfriends, classmates, kids, and innocent bystanders? What will we do to prevent people from getting their hands on a gun and playing God (although I suspect that God would never use a gun to make a point)? Why do they have the right to own a gun? It’s not like the British are coming over the hill to attack us anymore, and our military and police forces are here to act as the militias that the Constitution said we might need to assemble. Those days are long gone.

How come we all have the “right” to own a gun, but you need a license to go fishing? How come criminals laugh at gun laws? How come the NRA is so powerful? How come Japan and the UK have outlawed guns and they have a much lower murder rate in their countries than we do? Is it because it takes more nerve to stab someone to death than it does to shoot them from a distance?

I don’t have the answers to any of these questions, but I know that I hate guns. I hate how easy guns make it for people to resolve their violent and twisted issues. And I hate the way guns make cowards very powerful.

So as long as guns are available we will continue to see more violence and killing by people without the intelligence or stability to resolve their personal problems in a humane and civilized way.

Because of the randomness of so many gun crimes, everyone in this country has a theoretical target on their back. So good luck to us all. It’s a jungle out there, and everyone of us is being hunted whether we–or the shooters–know it or not.

And that is guaranteed by law.

UPDATE: Only a mere 3 hours after this entry was first posted, and there has been another shooting. This time in an office park in Oregon. Two people are reported dead by MSNBC.com.

When will we wake up as a country and stop the madness?

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One Response to “Bang-Bang! We’re all dead.”

  1. Linda Azif Says:

    I certainly agree with you, always have on this issue.

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