Let me guess. The monster who walked into a Wisconsin Sihk temple this week, killing seven churchgoers and shooting a cop, used a gun he legally obtained.
Geez, how did I know?
My heart goes out to the families of the dead and maimed, the hundreds or even thousands of those wounded by the six-degrees of separation to the dead and injured, to the cops and rescuers answering the call of Oak Creek’s turn to host the shooting massacre, and to the reporters now launched from city council reports to war zone correspondence. Peace to everyone there.
There will be no lasting peace here in the United States, however. This week, millions of Americans are shrugging off yet another massacre, sympathizing with shooting victims, sighing a little relief that it wasn’t them or their community plastered on front pages and dismal morning news shows all over the world. Sadly, cruel, crazy and violent people with a baseball bat or a mace make late-night TV comedy shows. Cruel, crazy and violent people with semi-automatic hand guns, however, make the morning news these days like baseball reports.
Another crazy man who legally picked up guns as easily as he could have purchased cold medication will go to jail forever when he made Tucson take its turn to host a massacre about a year ago. Mass murderer Jared Loughner “was enrolled at the Tucson college until September 2010, alarming his parents and friends with his increasingly erratic behavior,” Loughner’s court-appointed psychiatrist told the court. “He became obsessed with the Constitution, wrote jumbled words on the chalkboard and a final exam, and yelled incoherently in class.”
And still Loughner easily and legally got hold of guns and weapons.
And you’re going to tell me that we don’t need a change in gun laws to prevent other crazy people from obtaining guns?
And the message from political leaders like President Obama, Gov. John Hickenlooper, Congressman Mike Coffman and GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney? New laws would not have prevented this or any of the other thousands of murders committed with guns each year in the United States. We just need to enforce current laws, they say.
Current law didn’t do squat for Aurora or Tucson, and it looks like it did not do anything for Oak Creek. It’s against the law to buy guns if you’re crazy. It’s against the law to murder people, but just about anybody — even people who are publicly and clearly severely mentally ill, can and too often do get themselves plenty of guns and ammo designed to easily and efficiently wipe out a handful of people or even a crowd at a church — if that’s what you want to do.
These guns, anti-gun-law proponents and cowardly politicians will tell you, are no more inherently dangerous than is a tanning booth or a deep-fat fryer. In well-meaning, responsible hands, you get well-roasted people and tater tots. But in malevolent, evil hands, they, too, can easily become weapons of terror and destruction. Outlaw deep-fat fryers and only outlaws will have fried chicken. It all proves that we need gun control like we need a hole in the head, gun-proponents say.
Of course it’s too soon to talk about gun control in light of the Oak Creek shooting, our political leaders will say. That would be insensitive. And most U.S. politicians no more want to be insensitive than they want to promote gun control, which, as you can plainly see, we just don’t need.
Well, would you look at the time. Here I sit, rambling on about a shooting massacre in Oak Creek when I’ve got so much to work on in regards to our own shooting massacre here in Aurora.
Maybe we’re all just too damned busy these days to think much about gun control. Busy being sensitive to shooting massacre victims. Busy keeping track of all the shooting massacres and their victims. Busy buying guns and weapons. Busy making plans for how to respond when the shooting massacres happen in out own neighborhoods. Busy relishing the freedom and security American gun policy and the NRA has brought us.
Reach Editor Dave Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-750-7555.