Sunday, December 16, 2012
Today's MOMENT OF ZEN 12/16/12
I can't believe that I'm sitting here, writing THIS again. But I have to because the unthinkable has happened - again. A deranged person has used a gun to kill, maim, and destroy. WHY? WHY? WHY? We may never know truly why. The perpetrator of this heinous act took the cowards way, as most of them do, and wasted himself after inflicting his unspeakable carnage. And we do need to know why. We need to know how and why this obviously deeply troubled young man came to this place of horror. We need to know how and why our mental health system has failed, once again, to protect us from the evil that lurks in men's hearts. But I do not want to focus of this subject for today's discussion. I'd rather focus on how and why, once again, someone turned to, and OBTAINED, weapons of mass destruction to achieve his demented goals.
Adam Lanza was 20 years old when something seriously snapped in his brain and he resorted to the most extreme violence imaginable to ease his own pain. Details are still emerging, but we do know this: he got his hands on some guns. They were legal guns. They were owned by his mother. And they were powerful guns. In, perhaps, the greatest bit of irony in this story, he took one of his mother's guns and shot her in the face. He then took two more guns, his mother's car, drove to the school where his mother was a teacher and preceded to brutally execute 26 more people, including 20 young children, before taking his own life. All the victims where shot with a high-powered rifle, multiple times and at close range.
Of course, the reaction was immediate and visceral. After the shock of what had really happened started to wear off, the debate began. People on both sides of the so-called gun debate started to fill the air defending their positions, me being one of the many. The pro-gun lobby, headed by the NRA (the National Rifle Association), started their spin immediately with their trite, inane, insane slogan, "guns don't kill people. People kill people. Really? Well, that PERSON sure didn't use a fucking butter knife to achieve his perverse goal - he used a fucking HIGH POWERED ASSAULT WEAPON - WHICH CAN BE LEGALLY PURCHASED IN THE US!! So, fuck you NRA!! One "pro-gun" friend even tried the equally inane, insane argument that maybe we should ban driving and flying because those things cause more deaths than gun violence! WTF? Forgive me for being so direct, but that's just fucking stupid. Deaths in cars and planes are ACCIDENTAL. Shooting someone to death is no fucking accident!!! GUNS ARE MADE TO KILL. They call upon the 2nd Amendment that protects the so-called right of Americans to bear arms, not REALLY knowing the true spirit of the law. They use fear as a tactic: what if someone breaks into your home and threatens you and your family. You have a right to defend yourself. Well, you most certainly do. However, what the NRA doesn't tell you is that the DOWNSIDE of keeping a gun in the house FAR outweighs the potential benefit. Every statistic that I could find shows that the chances of something bad happening with that gun (including it being used AGAINST you) are so much greater than any good.
Every industrialized nation in the world looks at us and our obsession with guns and violence and wonders what happened to the dream of America - a benevolent, peaceful America. They look at the number of people killed with guns in this country and are shocked! NONE of them, even those with strong hunting cultures, can match us for pure, unadulterated gun violence. Why? Simply put, because too many of worship guns and the violence that surrounds them.
The NRA is, hands down, the most powerful lobby in this country. Simply put, any politician who screws with their agenda is annihilated in a barrage of money given to their opponent by the NRA. They will slay anyone who opposes their goal of unfettered gun ownership. THEY HAVE BLOCKED EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF REASONABLE GUN LEGISLATION PUT BEFORE CONGRESS. And this will never change UNLESS WE MAKE IT CHANGE. And I'm not even asking people to give up their guns (although they SHOULD) totally. That would be unrealistic. Unfortunately, guns are a part of our history and culture - after all, we were created by violent revolution. But let's work to insure that the NRA does not dominate the scene as it has in the past. Show your righteous anger and indignation. Let your voices be heard. SCREAM if you have to - before another child is blown away by fear and ignorance in the form of a gun.