What Money Buys in America

A very funny writer named Lewis Grizzard wrote for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As a true southerner, he used to say, “First, we really don’t care how you did it in Chicago. Second, if you miss it so much, Delta is ready when you are.” So, when we hear someone from somewhere else try to tell us how things are, we Americans tend to get a bit riled. As a transplanted Yankee in the South, the late, great Lewis still makes me laugh.

We all know what is going on here. One of the most powerful lobbyists in America is the National Rifle Association. It’s strange that in America one can buy a “rifle” when they are young and not fully developed mentally, but they cannot buy a pistol. Yeah, see, the “Rifle” part in the N.R.A. is what we are protecting here. Because we need to have these long guns to protect the nation from a take-over by the deep state, a dark force some believe will soon be coming to take our guns away.

Now I have a writer friend from Great Britain, who claims to know everything about anything, and every once in awhile he proves it to me. After reading our post of 2-15-2018, THAT HOLLOW FEELING, AGAIN, he dashed off a note to me with some facts from across the pond:

“The United States has the highest number of guns per 100 inhabitants than ANY OTHER COUNTRY ON EARTH! 101 guns per one hundred persons. Compare that to the UK, which has 6.6 guns per one hundred persons.

Why compare it to the UK? Because, as you will learn, as things got worse with gun violence, their lawmakers redefined their laws. There might be a lesson here. 

As CNN wrote: “In the wake of the 1987 Hungerford massacre, in which one lone gunman killed 16 people, Britain introduced new legislation — the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 — making registration mandatory for owning shotguns and banning semi-automatic and pump-action weapons.

After the only school massacre that took place in the United Kingdom (16 children were killed in Dunblane, Scotland in 1996), they cracked down on guns – and banned handguns altogether. The Dunblane shooter fitted the same profile as Nikolas Cruz, the latest killer in Florida. But rather than blame mental health, our British allies tackled the issue head on.

Within a year and a half of the Dunblane massacre, UK lawmakers had passed a ban on the private ownership of all handguns in mainland Britain, giving the country some of the toughest anti-gun legislation in the world. After both shootings there were firearm amnesties across the UK, resulting in the surrender of thousands of firearms and rounds of ammunition.”

We thank our friend for his facts and figures, but this banning of weapons is exactly what the hard-core Camo and Ammo hunters in the US fear. When Obama was president, gun sales soared because of a rumor that the first African President was coming to take all the guns away. We must keep an open mind here. After all, things are getting worse not better. More facts from our friend:

“Britain has never had a “gun culture” like that of the United States, but there were about 200,000 legally-registered handguns in Britain before the ban, most owned by sports shooters. All small-bore pistols, including the .22 caliber, were included in the ban, along with rifles used by target shooters. Penalties for anyone found in possession of illegal firearms range from heavy fines to prison terms of up to ten years.

Did this draconian action have any impact? Well, here’s the sobering (and, to the NRA, very inconvenient) FACT: You are 45 times more likely to be killed by a gun in the US than in the UK. In the US, we have 10.55-gun deaths per 100,000 people per year, while in the UK only 0.23-gun deaths per 100,000 people per year.”

Now it’s easy to say that banning gun ownership will never work here, and you can go back to Cleveland, or Chicago or Scratchy Bottom, Dorset Maybe we should be looking at how other places handled this problem. We certainly are doing a lousy job of it.

We hear a dishonorable slogan after a shooting, “Now is not the time” as in, “now is not the time to talk about a problem until we get over the grief and sorrow of a terrible shooting.” Really? Must the emotion be drained from the moment, so we can collectively forget about it? Doesn’t the lack of action confirm a lack of care?

Or is it a simple fact that the politicians have been bought by the N.R.A. and nothing is exactly what they are supposed to do? Donald Trump doesn’t help the matter at all. He does three things that make matters worse:

  • He constantly pushes a notion of a deep-state that somehow makes it necessary to remain paranoid about defending democracy from some invisible tyrant.
  • He aligns himself with hate and promotes fear and negativity at every turn. Most of what he says tells us how bad things were or are and that he is there to fix it. He plays with the feeble minds ready to snap and fight back. However, these unstable people fight back by killing.
  • He promotes guns and, therefore, lethal force. By demanding that we have a large arsenal of weapons to protect our country, he glorifies the need to have guns. He equates weaponry with strength and those who feel weak in the system have been given permission to have weapons and ammo.

So, we must vote against the N.R.A. at the ballot box and change things for the better in America. Why are we letting guns get in the way of our safety and happiness? If Donald Trump and Congress fail to act on this issue, they are making America less safe. And one could argue, not honoring the oath of office they took. Throw the bums out!

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