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KillgoreTrout On June - 17 - 2016

Gun violence in America is so out of control now, that homicide by firearm is an every day occurrence. It’s gotten so bad now, that the shootings where only two or three people are killed, are not even front page news on the national scale. We all know how the media loves reporting about bloodshed, hence the old saw among journalists…”If it bleeds, it leads.” This trite little saying came about when there was a lot less bleeding in this country. Now, it takes buckets of blood and spent cartridges laying all around, in order to get nation wide attention.

Oh, and the body count? The numbers are increasing rapidly. They’re increasing at such a rate that now, if the number of those killed isn’t in the double digit range, it’s almost considered a matter of course. Some course to be on, huh?

Now, gun violence in America is as constant as the weather. Name a day when we had no weather. There is, of course, no such thing, correct? Now, name a day when we had no one killed by a gun. Sadly, it can’t be done, because just like the days without weather, there are no days without gun violence.

Yesterday, democratic Senator from Connecticut Chris Murphy staged a 15 hour filibuster to force senate republicans to vote on gun control legislation. Normally the filibuster is used to prevent votes from taking place, but in a brilliant move by senator Murphy, he used the filibuster to shut down all other senate proceedings until the GOP allowed voting for even the most minor gun control legislation. In other words, his filibuster placed on record, the republican’s refusal to do anything to curb this horrible plague of gun violence that now rages across America.

So many people in government and the snapping little lap dogs for the NRA in the media who do their bidding, point to all sorts of reasons why these shootings are so prevalent. They point to everything but the guns themselves. They point to better access to mental healthcare. They point to societal influences like violence in movies and video games, they point to (and this one’s a biggie) Islamic extremism (even when it really isn’t) and now sexual identity. They see problems everywhere that are not readily solvable. They almost never point to the sickeningly easy access to machines designed for nothing but killing humans, en masse. Gee, they’re just inanimate objects, and can’t possibly be part of the problem. Right? WRONG!

The ammo-sexuals constantly point to the 2nd amendment as their firewall against sanity. I have to ask, where in the 2nd amendment does it include assault weapons, or even a common semi-auto pistol? Nowhere that I can see, and I’ve read that amendment many times.

No measures we take are going to stop sick people from killing innocent others. This is really my point. Yes, we should be trying to solve societal, cultural and mental health contributors to this sort of incident, but those answers are far, far away still. What we need now are concrete, plausible measures to reduce the body count. We can take steps to discredit this sickening type of behavior, in the media and among our politicians.

We have to vigorously put our collective foot down, and down hard, and start enacting laws to get these killing machines off the gun store shelves and out of reach of all civilians. We can do that and still keep that precious 2nd amendment thingy intact. We should outlaw all semi-auto weapons for civilian use and allow only revolvers, bolt action rifles and shotguns. People still will have the ability to hunt, defend their homes and have some fun shooting targets. Nothing that a law abiding US citizen can do requires a machine designed to kill other human beings at a rapid pace. We no longer need militias to protect us from foreign invaders.

What we desperately need is more elected representatives like Senator Murphy who have the moral courage and intelligence to do what desperately needs to be done.

There’s not a whole lot we can do about the weather. There is a lot we can do to limit the number of dead people who were killed simply for trying to have some fun, or trying to get an education, or just trying to complete a day’s work. Gun violence is not the weather. I only wish it wasn’t as constant.

Peace!

Written by KillgoreTrout

Once a wander, working vagabond, fellow traveler on this 3rd stone from the sun. Hurtling through space and time. Lover of books (especially the classics), all kinds of books from novels, poetry, essay collections, fiction and nonfiction and a big Kurt Vonnegut fan. I am a secular humanist and technically an atheist.....Taoist.

13 Responses so far.

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  1. Nirek says:

    KT, as a combat veteran, I know first hand what the M16 (basicly the same gun used by these mass murderers, AR15), the damage they can do . There is zero need for anyone to have this kind of weapon for civilian use. It is not good for hunting because you would ruin the meat with so many bullets tumbling through it. Target practice has no use with these weapons because they tend to spray bullets because you can’t hold it steady.

    I agree with you on this issue100%. Just had to give my perspective.

    • Oh, no doubt. I am quite familiar with the M-16, and the M-14. AR-15s are basically the same thing as an M-16, and you are quite right. They are combat rifles and have no place in civilian hands. They are specifically designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible.

      I’d like to see all semi-autos banned. People can get by just fine with revolvers, bolt or lever action rifles and shotguns. The precious 2nd amendment would not be violated.

  2. Kalima says:

    Hello, KT. Thank you for this article. I agree 100% with your opinion.

    There used to be a column in the NYT I posted on a regular basis on MB listing the names of those killed by gun violence each day, but this year it was discontinued. Lord knows why as it just recorded the horrific facts that the msm didn’t bother to report as news. If every life matters, then they should have.

    I will never get my head around the need for guns in civilian hands, it’s completely alien to me never having experienced living in a country where that was normal.

    Sticking with the 2nd amendment as it was written hundreds of years ago when guns were necessary to fight the enemy, is understandable, but the only enemies in present times are those being fought on a battlefield by the military, and to stop those who would harm the citizens of a country. Isn’t domestic gun violence harming the citizens of your country every day by robbing them of their lives?

    Hand guns alone give me the creeps, but assault rifles with ammo to cause as much internal damage as possible in the hands of civilians, is sheer madness.

    Senator Murphy did a wonderful thing, but will the republicans finally do the right thing, I somehow don’t think so. They have lost almost everything in this election season already, so I doubt they will suddenly grow a conscience now. The only way to change this situation is to change the face of both the Senate and the House with new and determined people who really want to work hard to introduce new and responsible gun laws that would make America safer for its people.

    —-

    At Least 250 Shootings in the U.S. in the Two Days After Orlando Shooting

    http://www.teenvogue.com/story/over-250-shootings-america-two-days-after-orlando-attack

    • My pleasure Kalima. I just had to release some genuine feelings about this terrible problem that exists, has existed for too long now, and will certainly continue.

      All decent, law abiding Americans who have even the slightest notion of what a social compact is, should be doing everything in their power to make our voices heard and that voice, in grand unison should be shouting to the rooftops…..NO MORE!

      It’s not like we’re going to suddenly cure mental illness, or change people’s core beliefs (twisted or not), but we most certainly can take real world measures to make it as difficult as possible for sick people to kill en masse. Every nation has it’s societal problems, but no nation on Earth, that I know of, has America’s particular gun violence problem.

      It was utterly shameful that republicans fought against common sense gun reforms even after 21, 6-7 year old children were gunned down like they we beer cans on a fence.

      unfortunately America is in the throes of a building spiritual sickness, where money and power mean everything to far too many of our elected representatives. You’re absolutely correct that we need to weed out these greedy, power lusting reprobates from our Congress.

      Holy Jeebus, if Trump isn’t enough of an embarrassment to America, these senseless killings surely are. There is no valid reason we can’t get tough on gun violence and still keep that “precious,” 2nd amendment in tact.

      How many dead and wounded will it finally take?

      • Kalima says:

        The nra, the slimy
        Wayne LaPierre, and all in Congress who take money from them need to be publicly shamed until their craziness is defeated. In a just and fair society, they would be charged as co-conspirators in the mass killing sickness in America. Like you, I could not fathom why the slaughter of 21 small, innocent children did not reach the hearts, produce a feeling of guilt and conscience of these monster enablers of so much carnage until I realized that they possess no heart, feelings of guilt or conscience.

        The msm are equally to blame for sensationalising mass shootings without reporting on the root cause of so many casualties in such a short space of time and without questioning the use of such weapons, their moral legitimacy, and their repercussions in a free society. As if the weapons used are in any way logical in the hands of civilians committing these heinous crimes.

        My biggest disappointment was the lack of unified protests in the streets, and like you, I wondered what it would take to finally say enough is enough.

        I worry about my friends. I worry about this sickness in America that makes people accept this violence as something that they can do nothing about, and I admire the determination of the groups in the articles below. The nra, the gun manufacturers, and the nra’s puppets in Congress must be held responsible for America to heal and fight against these powers that stand in the way of new gun laws and justice for those who lost their lives so violently and unnecessarily.

        —-

        The gay rights movement could take on the NRA — and actually win

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/06/17/the-orlando-shooting-could-actually-lead-to-meaningful-gun-reform-heres-why/

        —-

        A Million-Mom Army And A Billionaire Take On The NRA

        http://www.npr.org/2016/06/17/482343185/a-million-mom-army-and-a-billionaire-take-on-the-nra

  3. Aquarius 1027 says:

    Hi, KT -- Great article!! It is utterly despicable when GOP Senators care more about getting votes from their constituents than about the lives of those constituents. And they put getting re-elected first before the safety of all citizens.

    I will never forget the NRA letter prior to the defeat of federal gun legislation after Sandy Hook. The NRA sent a letter to each Senator, just a few days before the vote, informing them that their NRA rating would be “reviewed” if they voted for the bill to pass. -- It is time to turn the tables and “review” the NRA, to expose their inhumane disregard the for the loss of lives and injuries from gun violence. The NRA hides behind their fraudulent Second Amendment proclamations not to defend the Constitution but to increase NRA funding and the corporative profits for gun manufacturers.

    We do indeed desperately need more elected representatives like Senator Murphy to stand tall against those who refuse to legislate for the reduction of gun violence in this nation.

    • Thanks Aquarius! Every decent, law abiding American has to stand up and demand that our gun laws change, and change drastically.

      In America, we the people, which includes our elected representatives, are supposed to “provide for the common welfare.” How can we be providing for the common welfare of our citizens, if we allow any lunatic with an ID, go into a gun store or gun show and walk out with a machine that was designed solely for killing humans?

      As long as we do nothing, we fail in our duty as Americans, to “provide for the common welfare.” The NRA is in league with anybody that has a twisted desire to kill fellow Americans en masse, whenever the insane urge strikes them.

      We all have a responsibility to do as much as we possibly can to at least limit the number of casualties per shooting. The government, on every level, also has a duty to do everything they can to stop this insanity as best they can.

  4. kesmarn says:

    Excellent and very timely article, Homie. Thanks so very much!

    I think it was Sylvester Stallone who recently commented on the fact that there’s no civilian use for an assault rifle. He ended up his comment with a question: “Who do you think is going to be breaking into your home? A f**king army?”

    Truth be told, I think a certain subset of the people buying these weapons are right wingers who feel that they may have to go up against the government itself one of these days and will need that lethal fire power.

    I know next to nothing about weaponry, but I have a sneaking suspicion that even a collection of AR-15s would be no match for tanks, grenade launchers and other military equipment. If the government needs to be reformed, maybe it’s better to go about it the old-fashioned way: vote.

    Better yet, run for office.

    • Thanks Homie. You’re absolutely correct about working within the system to get these killing machines off the market. The Bundys of this country may have learned something in the recent past about armed confrontation with the US government. As powerful as these weapons are against helpless, trapped civilians, they would not be very effective at all against armored vehicles and attack helicopters. Any fool who thinks he’s going to win against our military might is completely deluded and hasn’t the brains of a fence post.
      I sincerely hope that Senator Murphy’s bold filibuster will inspire more of our representatives in Congress, to find the political and moral courage needed to stand up and say NO MORE.

      I’d run for office if it weren’t for my old life in the fast lane and lack of a formal college education. But, I can still vote and sign petitions and write my congress critters. That is something we all can do, and need to do in massive numbers.
      I don’t want my daughter to have to live in a society in which she can be gunned down in cold blood, for trying to buy a fucking slice of pizza somewhere, or take part in a parade or peaceful protest, or just doing her job so she can earn a living.

  5. Hey Ad. Thanks for posting the article so quickly. I do have a minor complaint though. I didn’t want the words “Gun Violence,” in the title.

    • AdLib says:

      KT, it’s been changed back to your original title.

      Just so you know, the title revision was in the pursuit of helping attract more readers to your article. On our Twitter, Facebook and email notifications, some may see just the title and in cases where a post’s title doesn’t mention the issue it’s about, people may not see it as of interest to them.

      It’s a very timely piece, we want it to get as read as possible!

      • I appreciate that Ad. But I wanted the reader to see the title and ask him/her self…”What is as constant as the weather.”

        I’ll keep your point in mind regarding any future articles I may write,

  6. AdLib says:

    KT, so true that Sen. Murphy and his colleagues deserve a big thank you from the American people for doing what politicians should be doing, fighting for them.

    And look at the results, there will be 4 bills on gun control voted on in the Senate.

    What gets me is the obviously dishonest BS that the NRA and Repub pols use to try and derail any regulation. The “slippery slope” theory which is always used by the dishonest to stop what they oppose, that any regulation means everyone’s guns will be taken away.

    There are limits to all constitutional rights. You can’t use the 1st Amendment to libel, slander, commit fraud or yell fire in a theater.

    And is it legal for a 5 year old to buy an assault weapon? Or a convict? Aren’t they arguing that all US citizens have a right to own a gun? Why can’t they buy rocket-fired missiles and anti-aircraft guns?

    A responsible society limits the rights of others when they infringe upon or become a danger to the rights of others.

    According to our Constitution, we have a right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Allowing the mentally defective to buy assault weapons to shoot us and deny us our rights is unconstitutional. And which is more important (to anyone other than the NRA and their puppets), the right to live or the right for terrorists and the mentally ill to buy military weapons of war?


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