In a bizarre (or not so bizarre ) coincidence the headquarters of the gun industry association is located in Newtown, CT. It’s called the National Sports Shooting Foundation. On its site it has this message in a few places, “NSSF Statement On Newtown Tragedy, Dec. 14, 2012, Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of this horrible tragedy in our community. Out of respect for the families, the community and the ongoing police investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment or participate in media requests at this time.” Not too much soul searching here. They do have a piece defending the semi-automatic assault rifle explaining how its so very different from a machine gun.
In 2011 the Foundation reported the firearms industry had a $31.8 billion impact on the economy last year, up from $27.8 billion in 2009, due to job creation, sales and taxes levied on guns. It’s the curse of unbridled money making (capitalism) that’s the main reason for U.S. gun mania. So many are gun happy in this country because the companies want it so. After every gun massacre sales of guns actually go up. A good first look at the National Rifle Association and the gun industry is found on the Forbes site. I’d like to see someone go deeper and expose the NRA as a shill for the gun companies as opposed to simple a club of “gun enthusiasts”.
It’s not human nature. The U.S. has far more gun killings than other countries.
The Washington Post has a chart for the number of gun killings divided by population for a bunch of developed (rich) countries. The chart shows that “The U.S. gun murder rate is about 20 times the average for all other countries on this chart.” The difference is that it’s much harder to get a gun in those other countries.
It’s one thing to have a gun for protection, but these semi’s like the one used in Newtown don’t belong in civilian hands. They don’t spray bullets like Dillinger’s machine gun, but just with pulling the trigger time after time they can shoot an incredible number of shots in just a few minutes. And you can buy thousands of rounds for these guns right off the internet.
I’m unimpressed with the “freedom” argument for unrestricted gun sales. Supposedly we need guns to protect society from a government that may become a tyranny. How well has that been working in the Gun Heaven U.S.A.? Everyday we lose liberty. The NDAA now lets the government put anyone (including U.S. citizens) in military prison indefinitely. Privacy is shot to hell with the government snooping on everything from your email to your library book check-outs. How have guns protected us?
Hopefully this latest atrocity will spur Congress to action, but I wouldn’t count on it. In the short run people should go directly to gun companies and gun stores and insist they stop selling the weapons of mass murder. If they don’t, folks should picket these places of business and expose the names of the people who value their “freedom” to be greedy ahead of our freedom to live.
Why don’t teacher unions, whose members are among the latest victims of gun massacre, take the lead in action here?
In Michigan, where the inmates appear to be running the asylum, the legislature approved a law that will allow people to carry guns in schools as long as they’re not out in the open.
On a related subject mental illness and the lack of proper help in treating it, here’s a terrifying article. “I Am Adam Laza’s mother”
The larger issues connecting gun violence within the U.S. to our constant warfare around the world are found in this Socialist Worker article.