|Mourners grieve at the funeral and memorial service for the six victims of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin mass shooting in Oak Creek, Wis. (AP) from http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/08/10/sikh-temple-memorial|
We are better than this. We shouldn't be having funerals like this on a regular basis. We can stop mass shooters from getting guns if we but try. We can make our gun laws more in sync with what the public supports if we but try. We can make reasonable gun laws that don't infringe on rights if we but try. We can talk about guns and gun policy at election time if we but try. We can have that necessary national conversation about the gun culture in America and gun policy in America if we but try. And many, even on the right, are suggesting that we should. This article written by Republican pollster Frank Luntz for the conservative Washington Post should be heeded by those who think the NRA and its' minions don't want sensible gun laws. Actually, NRA members want sensible gun laws. It's their leadership and a few gun rights extremists that don't appear to want anything to interfere with the agenda of fear and paranoia. From Luntz's comments in the article:On the other hand, the NRA’s fundraising has seen significant benefits from the 1996 law that did away with interstate sale of ammunition to consumers. That means that gun nuts, as well as mass-killers, can now buy as much ammunition online as they want to. And that’s just what Aurora, Colorado shooter Holmes did; he purchased 6,000 rounds. Then he used it to kill and maim 70 people. Naturally, the NRA praised the law as the “greatest legislative milestone.”But in addition to a law aiding mass-killers like Loughner, Holmes and Page, the NRA has taken in $9.3 million since 1992 in connection with the MidwayUSA website that sells ammunition—like James Holmes purchased—and which kicks back a portion of the proceeds to the NRA. Owner Larry Potterfield simply asks customers to “round up” their orders to the nearest dollar for the NRA. It is this kind of despicable collaboration between gun nuts that keeps the killings going.
Again, there are so many articles and blogs about our gun culture and the call for changing our laws that I can't even begin to do justice to them. The last two weeks has provided many opportunities to write about gun violence in America. I will provide links to just some of them here:Once again, we found that gun owners passionately believe in their Second Amendment rights but also think those rights can and must be balanced with public safety and national security. For example:85 percent of gun owners agree with the statement, “Support for Second Amendment rights goes hand in hand with keeping illegal guns out of the hands of criminals.” Among members of the NRA, even more agreed — a full 87 percent.82 percent of gun owners support requiring a criminal background check of anyone purchasing a gun.80 percent of gun owners support requiring gun retailers to perform background checks on all employees to ensure they are not felons.76 percent support prohibiting people on terror watch lists from purchasing guns.80 percent also agree that concealed-carry permits should be granted only to applicants who have completed gun safety training.78 percent think concealed-carry permits should be granted only to applicants who have not committed any violent misdemeanors, such as assault.In most cases, NRA member support for these reforms was slightly lower than that of the gun-owner population, but in all cases, it was well above a majority. NRA members aren’t extremist outliers; they are good Americans who happen to think like the rest of America.The truth is that gun owners, including significant majorities of NRA members, prize public safety and national security. They think gun rights should be balanced with measures to protect America’s citizens and communities. They think those who abuse gun laws should be punished to the maximum extent of the law.Some conservatives will read this and think it’s a sellout to advocates of gun control. Some liberals will read this and think it’s a sellout to the NRA. The fact is, virtually all Americans think that with rights come responsibilities, and gun ownership is no different. Few believe in absolutes, including members of the NRA.The debate about Second Amendment rights is complex, and it will continue long after the TV trucks leave Aurora. Yes, we are a divided nation. But when it comes to keeping illegal guns out of the hands of those who would use them for harm, Americans are much closer than they may realize.
Why the NRA is responsible for mass shootings- from Penigma
It's time to challenge the Second Amendment by Sanjay Sanghoee for Huffington Post
Countless Lives Sacrificed to NRA Conceits by Michele Swenson for Huffington Post
The Random Musings blog writes: Dear NRA. What's the magic number?
New CNN polling is showing support for specific measures in gun policy that would have the affect of reducing and preventing gun deaths and injuries. From the article about the polling:
Do I sense a drum beat? Do I sense consensus? Do I sense that the tide is changing? Do I sense an organization shirking it's responsibilities to American citizens and hiding behind the Second Amendment to get its' way while protecting the gun industry? Do I sense that when a country experiences too many mass shootings in too short a time, patience is waning for the NRA's extreme agenda?The poll indicates that two meet with almost unanimous approval: Ninety-six percent are in favor of background checks and 91% support laws to prevent convicted felons or people with mental health problems from owning guns.Three-quarters of people questioned favor gun registration with local governments, and roughly six in ten favor bans on the sale or possession of semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. But 54% oppose a limit on the number of guns an individual can own, and only one in ten think that all Americans should be prevented from owning guns."It's important to note that the numbers on those proposals have also remained essentially unchanged in the wake of the recent shootings," adds Holland.
In memory of the victims, let's get started. It's time for common sense and even NRA members know it. Who will convince their leadership that the time is now? Certainly not me. Who will convince our elected leaders that the time for common sense about guns and gun laws is now? I will try but it has to be the public, including gun owners, who will demand a plan from our elected leaders. Speak up. Don't be afraid of the conversation. Don't let our elected leaders run away from their responsibilities fo keep our communities safe from senseless gun deaths. If not now, when? After the next funeral of mass shooting victims? Or the one after that? Here are the names of the victims of the Sikh temple shooting. Please remember them today:
Bhai Seeta Singh
Bhai Parkash Singh
Bhai Ranjit Singh
Satwant Singh Kaleka
Parmjit Kaur Toor
UPDATE ( 8/10/12):
There's been another mass shooting in America. This time in Alabama. Just another day in America.
I simply must add this article that just came to my attention: Guns, Butter and Then Some:
We’ve experimented with little or no gun control. It doesn’t work. Let’s try something else: real gun control. That will work; after all, it was law enforcement officials and unarmed citizens — not vigilantes — who apprehended Mr. Loughner, Mr. Holmes and Mr. Page. Then perhaps we’ll be encouraged to move in better directions on other issues we need to tackle: Health care. Diet. Climate change. Our lives ride on all of these.Also this post from New Trajectory:- How Many Shootings Does It Take? From the post:
So, what will it take?? At what point will our leaders take action to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, such as by demanding background checks for all gun sales, including private sales? How many mass murders will it take to finally ban assault weapons? At what point will the background check system actually be strengthened? At what point will we mandate safe storage of guns in homes with children?Will it take running gun battles in every town, every week?Will every school and theater have to have an armed guard in every room?Will every family in America have to lose someone to gun violence first?Will every city and organization have to make evacuation plans for shootings, as the city of Houston did with a recently produced video?How much of a war zone are we willing to tolerate? How much blood will it take?Or will the gun lobby continue pressing for gun deregulation and more guns in more hands until we’re all dead or living in fortresses?I want to know, Mr. LaPierre. How many deaths does it take?