I try not to get political on this blog, with the exception of dealing with issues related to animal welfare. Recent events, however, leave me with no choice but to speak out. This entry has nothing to do with dogs, but everything to do with our lives, and a uniquely American issue. If you come here to see pictures of puppies and learn about cool things people are doing with their dogs, then, by all means, stop reading and come back for the next entry. I am about to discuss a very divisive topic, guns in America.
Every so often, way too often, we see headlines about another mass shooting. We don’t even see the headlines as often as it happens, which in our wonderful country, is about every day, according to those who track such things, which I can only imagine as a horrifically disheartening job. We read these stories and view the aftermath of the carnage on television and we cry, and we mourn, and we shake our fists at the sky and scream, can’t something be done?!
The short answer is, no, nothing can be done. As a country, we need to face a harsh truth about ourselves. In the end, nothing will be done because we don’t care. We, as a Nation, do not care about these murders. We don’t care about the deaths. We don’t care about the people whose lives will be forever changed. Yes, we feel terrible for the family members of the dead, and we offer support to the survivors, but we do not care. You can stack up the dead bodies like cordwood and it doesn’t matter if they are college kids, concert-goers, or elementary school children, we do not care. If we did, we would do something, anything to prevent it from happening again, but we don’t. If we cared, if we truly cared, we would stop at nothing to curb the violence. We would rant and rave at our impotent elected officials and vote them out of office in favor of someone who would stand up to stop this. We do not do that. We do nothing, because we do not care. America as a whole does not care.
We offer thoughts and prayers, blah, blah, blah. We offer our “warmest condolences” blah, bah, blah. We vow to remember the names and never forget, blah, blah, blah. We do nothing.
It’s not that the acts aren’t atrocities that should never happen in a developed country in a civilized world. They are awful and should be prevented at all costs. Which, with very few exceptions, they are in nearly every other country in the Western world. However, the fact is, it happens all the time in the United States. Gun violence is an amazing killer of Americans, but despite the average 12, 000 firearm related deaths annually, we do nothing.
The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms.
That’s stupid, many people may say, the Declaration of Independence guarantees the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which I can’t have if I am getting shot to death by an angry ex, a junkie looking for cash, or some random madman who decides to open fire on a crowd. This, is however, the only viable reason anyone gives for the lack of effort put into stopping the near constant bloodbath occurring on our soil right now. The abbreviated lives of the dead, with their unalienable right to LIFE, is a pale second to the right of gun enthusiasts to have easy access to firearms and firepower. The more than 1.4 million deaths since 1968 are no match for the right of a drunken hunter to hang out with his buddies and blow away a deer with ammunition capable of piercing an engine block. The right of the weekend warrior to go play G.I Joe in his back woods is the highest and most sacred of all the Constitution’s amendments. Forever and ever, amen. Nevermind that in areas with higher gun ownership there is also a higher rate of police killed on the job, suicide, and accidental deaths.
Complicit in this horrific slaughter is the money behind the efforts to not just limit smart gun laws, but outright gut any type of control or restriction on guns, the NRA. The NRA in its current political form is an enabler of the killers, a political powerhouse buying off politicians to keep their money making machine running. It is a supporter of domestic terrorism, feeding the fears that fuel gun buying and help create the next deranged gunman who decides his message to the world will be writ large and in red. It perpetuates misinformation and paranoia about the state of the world, which of your neighbors to fear, and what will happen if you let your guard down. Through its silence in some cases and token responses in others, the NRA helps keep this deadly cycle of fear and mistrust going.
And, we don’t care. America, does not care.
I am not anti-gun, in fact, there is a gun in my home. Many of my friends are gun enthusiasts and hunters. I grew up in a town where nearly every family had guns in the home. However, I am a strong believer that there should be restrictions on what guns a person can get and which people can get guns. I see no reason a person cannot wait a few days to get a firearm, if they want to buy one. I believe that if a person posts on Facebook or twitter that they want to harm someone else, the police should be able to go and take that person’s firearms for a cooling off period. If you threaten your ex, your co-workers, or yourself, law enforcement should be able to say, hey, sir(sir, because it almost always a man), you’ve been saying some pretty wild things, we need to hold onto your weapons for a while. I believe if you have a history of violence or mental illness, you should, at the least, have to prove your stable enough to own a firearm. I think we should be able to study the effects of gun violence on our culture and economy, but not only is that type of research not funded by our government, thanks to lobbying efforts from gun manufacturers and the good old NRA, that type of research is outright banned in many forms.
So, we will continue to do nothing. America will not do anything while its citizens die. At least not anything other than sit helpless while thousands of our neighbors, friends, and families die senselessly every year as a result of gun violence. And when it happens, we will again cry, and mourn, and shake our fists at the sky, asking can’t anything be done?!
And again, nothing will be done, and nothing will change.
Because we don’t care. As a Nation, we do not care. As a country, America simply doesn’t care.
So, save your useless and hollow prayers, your condolences, and your petty and pathetic token arguments over what can be done.
Nothing will be done.
Face it. We don’t care.
Except, some of us do.