on the caseabout the latest terrible shooting
Today the whole country saw what is true: that there will be an endless succession of mass-shootings, and no one will be able to stop this from happening, because of the NRA's money, power and influence.
I mean this nicely. I'm not saying it in a judgmental way.
The NRA had convinced a majority of legislators that they will be ruined if they try to renew the Assault Weapons Ban. It has convinced the right wing that gun control people like me are out to take away your 2nd Amendment rights.
That is only partially true.
If I were God's West Coast Rep, my PREFERENCE would be that crazy, mentally ill men not be able to buy rifles and hand guns, period. But I am just one aging, bleeding-heart peacenik, and I would settle, gladly, for the law making it harder for crazy, mentally ill men to buy assault weapons.
I swear to you gun nuts: you get to keep the rifles and handguns, even if you are mentally ill! I promise. We just want the semi-automatics. God is my witness.
Unfortunately, this is probably never going to happen. The NRA will make sure of that--you know it, I know it. So that's a little discouraging. A crazy man could buy an assault weapon, with a magazine that holds hundreds of rounds, and kill 134 people next month at a public event, and the NRA would STILL terrorize legislators into voting down the Assault Weapons Ban.
One tiny, tiny fly in the gun nuts' argument, though, that law-abiding citizens are safer against the crazy man with the gun, is that something like 45% of American households have guns, and yet not ONE citizen has ever shot and stopped a crazy man mid-mass shooting.
There's nothing much anyone can do, legislatively, especially not in an election year. It's like that famous Shel Siverstein cartoon of the two prisoners chained to the wall of the prison, and one of them saying to the other, "Okay, here's my plan..."
Mass shootings will continue to be a common part of the landscape in America, at movie thetares and malls.
Where on earth do we go from here?
All I can think to do is what we've always done.
We work towards peace and non-violence.
We register voters.
We create art and music in the face of madness.
We light candles.
The praying people pray:
Lord have mercy.
The meditating people meditate.
We create Love
and beauty as radical acts
We take care of the poor,
and teach people to read and write.
And as Molly Ivins would urge us to do
if she were still here,
we bang our pans.
We rise up,
take to the streets
and we bang our pans
and we make a ruckus,
and we stop this war, too.
This piece by Bill Moyers is really brilliant. http://www.salon.com/2012/07/20/the_nra_has_america_living_under_the_gun/face
So is this piece by Roger Ebert in the Times: