The American Shooting Gallery, With Americans as the Targets

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M&R Photography

This society has now arrived at a point when no American can feel safe in any public setting anywhere in this country. That’s a very sad commentary on what America has now become; a societal shooting gallery in which any American can be a target of some deranged person wielding a 9MM Glock pistol or an AR15 military-style rapid-fire assault rifle with high capacity magazines.

There is nowhere that any American can go where they can’t, without any warning, be gunned down in a second; we can become “sitting ducks” while at work, on the way to work, in a restaurant, in church, at a movie, in school, at the mall; anywhere in America.

In this extremely violent society, if you are in the wrong place at the right time, then – bam – you’re gone. You can be carrying a concealed weapon and it won’t make a bit of difference when some nut suddenly appears and unleashes a hail of bullets at you and those around you.

The latest Orlando mass shooting is yet one more in a long succession of murders of innocent Americans committed by fellow Americans. As usual, the sensation-seeking national media feeds off these terrible tragedies to ratchet up their ratings. The hosts of the TV shows go on and on in describing what happened but we never hear them leading a serious discussion about the root causes and specific solutions to this terrible problem.

How things do change. During World War II Americans had a great fear that if the Nazis or the Japanese were not stopped “over there” that this country could be invaded by either or both. During the Cold War, we had missile batteries positioned across America, ready to shoot down attacking Russian bombers.

Now we have a situation where fear is being generated by sources within this country itself. That is simply incomprehensible in this supposed land of the free. We live in a time in which Americans have become a distinct threat to one another.

You would think that, after all the many mass shootings that have taken place in recent times, that our government would have created a special federal commission, such as the 911 commission, whose members were given just one objective; to develop effective measures by which to bring this situation under control.

That hasn’t happened largely because of the powerful alliance that exists between a majority of the members of Congress and the National Rifle Association. The two have a common goal which is to obstruct any and all attempts to enact legislation designed to monitor and control the acquisition and use of extremely dangerous firearms in this country.

What in the world is wrong with this pathetic Congress and, especially, the craven Republican facilitators of the NRA’s agenda?  These controlled politicians follow the dictates of the NRA and adamantly refuse to ban high-powered assault weapons that should be restricted to use by only the military. You have to be mentally unbalanced to witness these atrocities, often involving helpless little children, and then refuse to outlaw these lethal weapons.

The vast majority of Americans want this bloodbath stopped but the Republicans in this Congress continue to say NO! So it was refreshing to see some Democratic senators finally stand up and say, “Enough is enough” and conduct a 15-hour Senate filibuster demanding that their Republican colleagues follow the will of the people and enact legislation to close existing gun registration loopholes at gun shows and for internet sales.

Their intent was also to make certain that anyone who is on the government’s suspected terrorist or no-fly lists is banned from purchasing any form of firearm. That should be a no-brainer. But, again, the Republicans shot down this attempt and have made it clear for all to see that they are protecting the 2nd Amendment rights of suspected domestic terrorists.

They are nothing more than the political slime found at the bottom of the barrel; the lowest form of American. And we are paying each one of them an annual salary of $174,000, together with many personal benefits. These are pathetic Americans that don’t know right from wrong.

What can we do to stop the proliferation of guns in this country? Well, it’s been said that there is nothing we can do because the “horse has already escaped from the barn”, i.e., there are already, based on the best estimates, some 357 million guns in this country; so it’s kind of late to reverse the process.

That’s the kind of negative thinking that says if “You can’t beat them then join them.” These fierce protectors of the 2nd Amendment advise Americans to carry concealed weapons and that will stop the carnage; in Texas they are promoting open carry legislation with no restrictions on where firearms can be carried. So why don’t we all just start to “carry heat” and, in effect, initiate the era of the Wild West on steroids.

Let’s pull no punches; America is simply gun crazy. The “Land of the free and the home of the brave” is now in a state of crisis, with paranoia spreading throughout this society.

What might Theodore Roosevelt, one of the greatest American presidents, do relative to this epidemic of mass shootings? This giant of history would shake the foundations of this government as he condemned these cowardly domestic terrorist attacks; he would demand that this Congress work night and day to come up with solutions.

He would, no doubt, hold closed-door sessions with key members of Congress and give them a deadline by which to develop and enact the strongest possible legislation to close every known loophole; to ban assault weapons, and to create a comprehensive system of background checks. He would be relentless. And for those who dared to take part in, or obstruct these efforts, they would wish that they had never chosen to run for political office.

If, in past decades, some visionary had predicted what America would be like some 30 years later, with mass shootings becoming commonplace, we would have said that he or she should be committed to the nearest asylum.

How can the leaders of America continue to claim that this country is exceptional and indispensable in the world when they don’t have the will and conviction to deal with this epidemic of mass shootings? Exceptional? Well, what’s going on is more descriptive of some “Third world country.”

As Americans continue to kill each other in great numbers, who should be assigned the greatest blame, this government, the gun industry, the NRA, or this society and its people? There is no question that each has contributed in various ways to allow this horrific problem to escalate to this degree and, therefore, must accept a good portion of the blame and the guilt.

But the greatest blame lies with this government, from the president to the Congress, who should be working non-stop to come up with the solutions necessary to bring this problem under control. They are good at sounding the alarms about the rising tide of world terrorism that poses a threat to America but they don’t seem to comprehend that the greatest threat that this country faces comes not from foreign terrorists but from within this society itself.

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