Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Just another mass shooting day in America

You just knew I would write about this latest set of massacres didn't you? How can I not? But I really don't know if I can say anything that hasn't already been said about the dozens and dozens of mass shootings that have occurred in this country. Americans must get tired of hearing about these shootings. They don't know what to do about them. And then questions get asked such as those of Connecticut Governor Rell in this article in the New York Times about the 11 victims in a workplace shooting in Connecticut. " “In the wake of this tragedy,” Ms. Rell said, “we are all left asking the same questions: How could someone do this? Why did they do this?”"

The how part of those questions is pretty much a no-brainer. The shooter was obviously upset so a gun is just a part of a solution to a problem for too many people. And with guns so easily available and the culture in our country that is infatuated with guns, it has become inevitable that these tragedies will take place. What should we expect?

The why part is harder to answer but it seems to be almost the same answer in every mass shooting. The shooter had problems. The shooter hated his boss. The shooter hated the government. The shooter was bullied. The shooter was discriminated against. The shooter wanted to get even with a spouse or partner. We've heard these same words far too often. We also read and hear that the shooter was such a nice person; no one would suspect that he or she was capable of such a heinous act of violence. He loved his family and his kids; he was a hard worker, etc. etc. etc. 

But the shootings continue without answers to the questions and sometimes without the right questions asked. In yet another mass shooting today at a birthday party in Indianpolis, two innocent people were gunned down with an AK47 and others injured. Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign made this statement today in a Press Release: " “We make it too easy for dangerous people to arm themselves - people like the angry, severely troubled man who murdered co-workers in Hartford.  And we allow public access to military-style semiautomatic assault weapons, like the shooter in Indianapolis.  We need to come to terms with this horror in our country." " A birthday party. Innocent people celebrating.

Really? Can we come to terms with the horror of mass shootings? So far, I am sorry to say, we have not and shame on us. United Church of Christ Minister, Chuck Currie wrote this blog today about the mass shootings. I am a proud member of a UCC Church in Minnesota and know how supportive of my efforts those in my congregation are. It may yet be the Mayors ( Mayors Against Illegal Guns) and the Faith community who pressure the public and elected leaders to do the right thing at long last. The Rev. Chuck Currie writes from a Christian point of view about gun violence using these words from his blog:  " On the other hand, Christians also know, from both experience and scripture, that all humans are sinful, capable of acting with hostile aggression toward their neighbors. This "realistic" view of human nature also argues for restricting access to guns which, in the wrong hands or without adequate supervision, can make violence ever more deadly. Christians can certainly contend that it is necessary for public authorities to take up arms in order to protect citizens from violence; but to allow assault weapons in the hands of the general public can scarcely be justified on Christian grounds. The stark reality is that such weapons end up taking more lives than they defend, and the reckless sale or use of these weapons refutes the gospel’s prohibition against violence." 

Other faith communities profess to non-violence and would likely agree with Rev. Currie that all humans are capable of violence and that access to guns escalates that violence. Let us heed the words of those who can understand that there is too much violence in America. 

1 comment:

  1. Good points well expressed. Odd, isn't it, that the religious Right usually lines up on the side of the NRA and its extremist views?