I wanted to write a light piece today, but the words did not come. I could not think of anything funny. Nothing funny happened to me. I did not witness anything funny.
Nothing seemed funny. Or slightly amusing.
All I could think about was the horrific Vegas massacre. There is nothing funny about being killed. About people injured. About people scared. About people forever losing a sense of security and safety. Safety and Happiness – what our leaders are supposed to provide citizens. Says so in the Declaration of Independence.
Our leaders are failing us.
I could enumerate an alphabetical list of mass shootings, beginning with an Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County PA and a theater in Aurora Colorado, a university in Blacksburg and a church in Charleston…and on and on and on.
People born in the U.S. and immigrants and the mentally ill and teenagers and people fired from a job and the poor and the rich and the middle class…all kinds of people shoot other people for a variety of reasons.
The common denominator?
I think about the politicians who tell us to pray for survivors and the wounded and families of victims, but who refuse to discuss the real reason these events happen.
In Vegas one man got his hands on guns. Lots of them. Semi-automatic, automatic, devices allowing guns to shoot more bullets in a shorter period of time.
Do you think the politicians refusing to discuss gun control sleep soundly at night? Do you think they in any way connect the money they receive from the NRA with their passionate defense of guns? Do they truly believe easy access to guns has nothing to do with the epidemic of shootings in this country?
Statistics don’t mean anything to the powers that be. Ignore the number of shootings, ignore the numbers killed and injured, ignore the number of guns stockpiled in peoples' homes. I do not know anyone that owns a gun or two or three and belongs to a militia. That part of the Second Amendment - A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State - is another detail gun advocates choose to ignore.
Millions of dollars spent on propaganda wins believers. It is OK for politicians to work hard establishing ways to prevent people from voting – a right guaranteed to all citizens in the 15th Amendment to the Constitution.
But ratifying gun control to make it a wee bit harder for anyone to arbitrarily kill innocents? Well, no. Gun rights apparently trump other rights. Like the right to life. And the right to the pursuit of happiness. Dead people can’t pursue anything. How about free speech? Dead people don’t speak. Vote? Dead people don’t vote.
Why are so many powerful people shortsighted and greedy, selfish and inconsiderate of others?
Does anyone benefit from mass shootings? Gun manufacturers and gun dealers. Following a bloodbath folks dash into gun shops to purchase guns, worried their right to buy guns will be limited in the future. So manufacturers make more guns and donate more money to politicians via the NRA, ensuring gun control does not become reality.
It’s the economy, stupid.
I have spoken. Or rather, written. My next post will be upbeat (hopefully). I am sure something funny or cute or humorous and amusing will happen to me. Or I will witness a funny incident.
Life is a drama of tragedy and comedy.
You should learn to enjoy the comic episodes a little more.
- Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle