America: Gun Violence Is Killing You!
America The Beautiful
The United Sates of America is not what it once was. Gradually---ever so slowly---the fabric of the nation appears to be torn, wearing away, dying. In the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s televisions around the country were tuned to cowboy movies like ‘The Lone Ranger’, ‘Hopalong Cassidy’, and ‘Roy Rogers’. Folks watched these mythical characters and were truly entertained. That was circa 1950’s and 60’s. A little later ‘Gunsmoke’ starring James Arness as Marshall Dillion was produced, and it proved to be a hit. Some of the minor characters of that series came and went, but Miss Kitty, Doc, and Marshall Dillion remained in the cast. The writers had them living and working in Dodge City during the entire series, and although the movies were entertaining and fun to watch, in reality Dodge City was not really a place anyone would actually want to live. Marshall Dillion always had his hands full as a crime-fighter; he dealt with all manner of misfits, stumblebums, thieves, and killers. But America was nothing like the dangerous Dodge City depicted on television. Until now.
The murder statistics are overwhelming. The use of guns to settle a score is no longer a rare occurrence---it happens everyday, all the time in homes, schools, businesses, even in places of worship. It has become normalized to the point where no one has the courage to try and stop the carnage. It is a form of domestic terroism that is proving to be far worse than anything close to the World Trade Center tragedy. America has become ‘Dodge City’----and there is no Marshal Dillion to bring it to an end.
Although there is always the endless news coverage whenever there’s a mass killing, very little is said beyond the ‘thoughts and prayers’ model all the powerful politicians use on a regular basis. And no one except the local police chiefs ever say much else when a few kids gun one another down in streets everyday across the nation. Of course, the grieving family is on the local television newscasts praying that whoever is responsible be caught and turned in, but there is hardly ever anything done to solve the problem of guns in America, and people wonder why not.
Would You Vote For A Politician Who Supports Background Checks?
The Mythology Of Guns
America’s fascination with guns is actually historic. Of course, the Founding Fathers enshrined ownership of guns for every Americans as a right, indeed a necessity at the time, by writing the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Prior to that the only protection normal citizens had was a volunteer militia in the face of outside threats. Notably, the country was ‘occupied’ by British soldiers who were doing the Kings of England’s bidding. The Revolutionary War began over the taxation-without-representation issue around 1775. The war lasted until 1783, but by then the use and need of guns was part of American lore and culture. Today, most people forget that the early versions of firearms were primitive, one-shot-at-a-time contraptions that took forever to aim, shoot, and reload. They had no resemblance to today’s rapid fire, killing machines that can, and do, mow down dozens of innocent targets within moments. Deadly assault weapons are already everywhere on the streets of America!
So the admiration of guns became a source of entertainment, as well as the notion of protection vis-à-vis the Second Amendment. The westward push for land, the elimination of Native Americans, and the fight against Spaniards and others, all contributed to the advancement and development of weapons. The War of 1812, and later the World Wars, contributed to weapon development and accessibility.
Meanwhile, entertainers like Wild Bill Hickok, and Annie Oakley toured the country showing off their shooting skills. The gradual romanticism of guns eventually developed into a culture whereby everyone had a need to own at least one. Initially, hunters, target shooters, and hobbyists fell in love with guns, but later many Americans found ways and means to have the same fire power. To some, guns have become as important to carry as car keys, wallets, and purses.
In fact, many states have proposed and legalized such open carry laws. Many states even allow gun owners to openly carry weapons on college campuses, in bars, some states even allow guns in places of worship. The paranoia that exists due to mass shootings in these various venues have produced self-fulfilling prophesies that have state legislators fooled into believing that more guns means less carnage.
Signs of Normalization
Unfortunately, gun violence has become such a ‘ho-hum’ affair that whenever mass shootings are reported, it is as if the authorities and politicians are using the same teleprompter or checklist when they offer comments on the latest carnage:
- Send thoughts and prayers
- Argue over semantics of the term ‘Assault Rifle’
- Argue over semantics of the term ‘Terrorist’ (If Muslim, say so, if white Christian, lone wolf)
- Congress does nothing, NRA increases gifts to politicians, just in case
- Declare that now is not the time to ‘politicize’ the issue
Since gun ownership is protected under the Second Amendment, many owners are reluctant to relinquish any rights, even those that could be beneficial to the country and save lives. The argument from that sector of gun owners says that if the government legislates against legal ownership, then only criminals would possess them. Also, they see the initiative as a big government, big brother take-over.
Progressive thinkers, however, believe that securing laws that force states to have some type of standard in place, such as background checks, is appropriate and necessary. Indeed, many believe it is a reasonable proposition to assure that ‘gun nuts’ ,or the mentally deficient, don’t have the ability to possess a gun.
Both arguments have droned on for years as the National Rifle Association (NRA) continually rakes in millions of dollars from anonymous members who support its mission. Some believe that lawmakers are just as complicit in the murders that occur regularly around the country.
DoSomething.org is an organization comprised mostly of young people dedicated to community service projects, however anyone can join in and volunteer to help.
This Is How You Do It
1. Sign Up
Join a campaign and create an account with your name and phone number (or email). Then -- bam! -- you’re officially a DoSomething member.
2. Do Something!
Complete the campaign and make an impact by following the instructions on the page. You’ll never need money, a car, or help from a parent or teacher.
3. Submit a Photo
Upload a photo of yourself doing the campaign to inspire others to follow your lead. Plus, it’ll enter you to win scholarships, prizes, or swag -- win-win!
4. Build the Movement
Share the campaign to get friends involved. Thanks to you, we’re unleashing the power of young people to change the world, and creating the most socially active generation ever. Let’s Do This!
Join the movement!
Another online website is The Trace. Org which is a non-profit organization dedicated to investigative writing and reporting on gun violence in America. They report actual gun incidents throughout the country on a daily basis. Free email subscriptions are up-dated regularly
The gun slaughter in the United States is devastating, and it is no longer entertaining to watch. America must find the courage to heal itself from this evil; the NRA and the politicians/members who support it must be stopped at all cost
America isn’t dying from the outside. If gun violence isn’t eliminated, it will die from within!
‘Gun Violence in America’, You Tube Video
‘American Revolutionary War of Independence’, Wikipedia, February 2018
‘Mass Shooting Checklist’, Facebook, Politicked, February 2018
‘Community Service’, Sign up Instructions, DoSomething.org, 2018
‘Open Carry Map of The United States’, The Trace.org, By Team Trace, February 2018
© 2018 Dan Dildy