When the unthinkable becomes a damn-near weekly occurrence, something is seriously wrong with our society. Four days ago, ZRM put up a post which posed the questions:
Huh? How many times will a loosely-bolted-together near-human take an easily available weapon and large amounts of nearly-unregulated ammo to turn a random mostly-safe community space into a bloodbath of passers-by?
What the fuck does it take, Wayne LaPierre, you greedy intransigent gun-lobby whore? How many innocent people have to needlessly die?
Yesterday, he posted the follow-up.
Unfortunately, the weasels in the government and the media are unwilling to address the "elephant in the room", which is the easy availability of high-powered, high-capacity firearms in this country. The gun lobby is just too goddamn powerful for the lilly-livered lapdogs in the corridors of power to oppose... they merely wring their hands and whine, "It's too soon to talk about gun control. Think of the families!" These families just had their young children killed, talking about gun control won't make them feel any more grief. Eighteen dead children? What the hell does the ghoulish Wayne Lapierre care about eighteen dead children? Wayne Lapierre is raking in too much blood money to be concerned with eighteen dead children.
Of course, gun fetishists will insist that the right to bear arms is enshrined in the Constitution, but that is a crock of malarky... as I noted in my last post about a mass killing, the gun nuts typically omit the first clause of the Second Amendment. In its entirety, the Second Amendment reads:
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.
Here is my proposal... call it "Second Amendment strict constructionism to make Conservatives lose their shit: If you want a gun, you must be a member of a well regulated militia, and not a nutbag Turner Diaries LARPer bullshit militia. You would have to register your gun, and show up for periodic (monthly or quarterly) muster, receiving training, safety instruction, and an evaluation of your fitness to bear that weapon. No regulation, no arms. It's as simple as that. Having no regulation of arms is the unconstitutional position... "conservative" distortions notwithstanding.
Later this morning, I'm going to be surrounded by dozens of children the ages of the children who were killed in the Newton, Connecticut massacre. After our classes, everybody- children, parents, coaches, counsellors- will be assembling for a lovely party to celebrate the holidays, before the program goes on hiatus for two weeks. While I surely hope that the kids will be blissfully unaware of the horrors that unfolded sixty miles to the northeast, I will make a point of greeting each of them by name, and bidding each of them an individual farewell before we part. All the while, I'll know deep down that, even though my friends and I have been giving them the wherewithal to deal with bullies, the guy whose instruction will really be helpful if they encounter a really dangerous situation is Jerry, the track coach.
POSTSCRIPT: Riddled's Smut Clyde, in a comment at Snark Central, posted a depressing assessment of American society, one which I, sadly, cannot refute:
When there is a thriving market in weapons specifically designed for killing lots of people in a short time, when you have the industry and its lobbyists and its affiliated political movement encouraging the purchase of weapons and ammunition, then it seems odd to label the people who buy and use the weapons according to directions as “disturbed”. It’s a form of disturbance that is in tune with your society
I fear you nailed it, old chum... it's this sickness that makes me so heartsick.