Now is exactly the time to discuss and push for major gun-control reform in this country.
It needs to start before the blood and our collective memory is washed away after the most recent mass shooting Sunday night in Las Vegas at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival that left 59 people dead and more than 520 people injured.
Most people can agree the shooter, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, was a sick man, but it was a sick, irrational gun-crazed culture in this country that gave him access to the resources to do it.
The National Rifle Association is absolutely to blame, Republicans in Congress and throughout state legislatures are absolutely to blame, the alt-right with its revered lunatics, such as Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones, Bill O’Reilly and its demigod Donald Trump are absolutely to blame.
Don’t pay attention to the media tropes on this one. Paddack, who killed himself, was not a “lone wolf.” Far from it. He was part of an evil pack of people in this country who don’t care about human life or humanity in general, a deranged, irrational group of people who lie and distort so more of their fellow innocent citizens will die violent deaths, with a bullet in the head maybe, a bullet in the chest perhaps, a bullet in the neck possibly, and the blood flows in America.
The NRA will be trotting out their lies soon, but how in the world could one man own and bring 23 weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition into a hotel without some sort of detection along the way to his evil conclusion? Yet what the NRA and most Republicans stand for is exactly the lack of regulated detection and background checks that resulted in 59 deaths and inconceivable carnage Sunday.
No, Paddack is not an outlier. His sickness is our country’s sickness, a country that has given us a malignant narcissist, liar and racist as president, who won’t do anything to prevent more gun violence, even if he could.
Mass shooting are the new normal in this country. Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech. We’re used to them. The responses have become tropes. The killer is mentally ill. The slain get profiled and eulogized. There is a weak Democratic effort to start a gun-control reform movement that never develops. The NRA and Republicans argue more guns are needed to counter all the semiautomatic weapons already owned by gun nuts in this country.
Make no mistake the NRA and the GOP will win again, more weapons will make it on the streets, and the killings will go on. Will it be your child, your partner, your parent next time around?
Only a sick culture and sick leaders allow its fellow, innocent citizens to die in violence when they don’t have to die. There is something rotten and evil, as much as Paddock, within the extremist Second Amendment rights movement in this nation. This terrorist movement doesn’t strengthen our country. It diminishes us as a nation. It’s not freedom when an innocent person dies because of asinine, illogical arguments, and this applies to all the innocent people killed in one-person shootings on the streets as well.
The irony is the GOP, if it could, would strip away access to mental health care to as many people as they could to benefit its rich benefactors yet it provides easy access to the weapons and ammunition mentally ill or “sick” people use to kill the innocent. Sick leaders create sick policies that create sick killers.
We’ve descended into a new darkness in this country. Things are falling apart. The next mass shooting in the U.S. will surprise no one, especially our sick, violent leaders and their fervid followers, who not only allow access to but worship the weapons that continue to kill us on a daily basis.