Friday, December 04, 2015

Reeling Again in the Land of Guns

People at a Christmas party, others who happened to be nearby, their families and friends, the lives cut down and the lives that go on with huge wounds in them, and the waves of awful consequences that ripple outward from the shooting slaughter in San Bernadino...

The inexplicable motives of the shooters, still being unraveled.  Nearly every intimation I've had about this situation seems to be proving out, but it's still too fluid to say anything worthwhile about it.

Two thoughts persist: how this is likely to play into the prejudices against Muslims--especially when it appears that this couple was accepted without prejudice in their immediate community.  And thoughts of a six month old child left behind, how could anyone do that, what is that child's life going to be like.

And the others left behind.  And left aghast.

And though the response of Democrats emphasizing gun control while the situation was still evolving seemed premature and tin-eared to me, there's no question that this is related to the easy availability of lethal firepower.

At least four of the guns were purchased legally, and one report I saw said from the same dealer--an outfit called Annie's Get Your Gun, a family-friendly gun dealer.  Only in America.  Literally.

It's family friendly guns that wound up in the hands of toddlers--more than 50 of whom this year have shot somebody with it, a grandparent, sibling or more often themselves.

A journalist cobbled together the numbers, just as various organizations have tried to follow the number of mass shootings (pretty much one per day) in the U.S., because the Republican Congress has forbidden any federal health agency from collecting statistics and studying the problem, and the NRA has intimidated everybody else.

Fear and illusion (basically that real gun violence is like gun violence on TV) have already led to a huge Black Friday surge in gun purchases, probably in response to the Paris attack, and so guns become even easier for domestic terrorists to obtain.  As well as toddlers, and drunks.

The logic of gun control was clear to me from watching westerns (as it was clear to the characters in those westerns), in an era when the only guns present in American homes were hunting rifles and b-b guns, if that.  More guns equal more death, as the rest of the western world knows.  But we don't know anything the rabid right thought police won't let us know.  Talk about terrorists.

Update: The US Senate voted against denying guns to people on the terrorist watch list.  Really.  Columnist Gail Collins suggests the GOP is more afraid of the NRA than al queda.

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