FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Year in Gun Massacres

by

The year 2015 not only marked an escalation in citizen-perpetrated mass shootings, it marked an escalation in where mass shootings occur from churches, movies, highways and medical offices to on the street during a live TV newscast. Many people, except those in San Bernardino, Roseburg, Chapel Hill, Chattanooga, Lafayette and other places, have forgotten the many 2015 massacres per the gun lobby’s wishes. After all, we can’t legislate on “fresh graves,” it says, while selling guns on the basis of fresh graves.

Most of the 2015 mass shooters were clearly unbalanced, violent and some had police records or issued threats. Anyone could see the murders coming. Yet the gunmen had sailed through their background checks and were the “law-abiding” gun owners whose “rights” the gun lobby defends.

A case in point is Craig Stephen Hicks, who allegedly killed three Muslim students at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in February, possibly over a parking space. Hicks, whose gun threats had been noted by neighbors, owned more than a dozen firearms including an AR-15 and an extensive collection of ammunition and scopes at the time of his arrest. What normal person needs such weaponry cache for “self-protection”? Many gun perpetrators can be identified by the outrageous arsenals they keep, including George Zimmerman.

The summer of 2015 was saturated in gun bloodshed from the Charleston church murders–possibly the most overt racial murders since the civil rights era–to the murders at military recruitment stations. After the Chattanooga murders, gun rights advocates stationed themselves at recruitment stations to “protect” troops, blaming the deaths on “gun-free zones.” (The military told them to go away after some misfired weapons–thanks but no thanks.) But Military Times reported the Chattanooga recruiting stations were far from gun-free zones and some servicemen had personal weapons they fired back. The real issue the gun lobby ignores is: guns are so easy to obtain in the US, a clear terrorist with a police record bought them legally and murdered troops in Chattanooga. At least two guns used in the San Bernardino massacres were bought legally too.

It is hard to believe the “patriotic,” “Constitutionalist” gun lobby reveres “gun rights” over protecting Americans from terrorism but even after San Bernardino the gun lobby and its toady lawmakers defended the rights of people on the Terror Watch to buy guns. What?

There is something else the gun lobby doesn’t want to talk about. It says gun laws will never work because “criminals don’t obey laws” and only law-abiding citizens will be affected. Yet the massacres at Chapel Hill, Charleston, Chattanooga, Lafayette, Roseburg, Roanoke, Denver, Planned Parenthood, Santa Barbara, the Navy Yard (both), Fort Hood (both), Tucson, Aurora, Northern Illinois University, the Wisconsin Sikh Temple, Virginia Tech and more were all courtesy of legal gun owners who passed their background checks.

 

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative health reporter. She is the author of  Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Prometheus).

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

April 24, 2017
Mike Whitney
Is Mad Dog Planning to Invade East Syria?    
John Steppling
Puritan Jackals
Robert Hunziker
America’s Tale of Two Cities, Redux
David Jaffe
The Republican Party and the ‘Lunatic Right’
John Davis
No Tomorrow or Fashion-Forward
Patrick Cockburn
Treating Mental Health Patients as Criminals
Jack Dresser
An Accelerating Palestine Rights Movement Faces Uncertain Direction
George Wuerthner
Diet for a Warming Planet
Lawrence Wittner
Why Is There So Little Popular Protest Against Today’s Threats of Nuclear War?
Colin Todhunter
From Earth Day to the Monsanto Tribunal, Capitalism on Trial
Paul Bentley
Teacher’s Out in Front
Franklin Lamb
A Post-Christian Middle East With or Without ISIS?
Kevin Martin
We Just Paid our Taxes — are They Making the U.S. and the World Safer?
Erik Mears
Education Reformers Lowered Teachers’ Salaries, While Promising to Raise Them
Binoy Kampmark
Fleeing the Ratpac: James Packer, Gambling and Hollywood
Weekend Edition
April 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Diana Johnstone
The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty
Paul Street
Donald Trump: Ruling Class President
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Dude, Where’s My War?
Andrew Levine
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em
Paul Atwood
Why Does North Korea Want Nukes?
Robert Hunziker
Trump and Global Warming Destroy Rivers
Vijay Prashad
Turkey, After the Referendum
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, the DOJ and Julian Assange
CJ Hopkins
The President Formerly Known as Hitler
Steve Reyna
Replacing Lady Liberty: Trump and the American Way
Lucy Steigerwald
Stop Suggesting Mandatory National Service as a Fix for America’s Problems
Robert Fisk
It is Not Just Assad Who is “Responsible” for the Rise of ISIS
John Laforge
“Strike Two” Against Canadian Radioactive Waste Dumpsite Proposal
Norman Solomon
The Democratic Party’s Anti-Bernie Elites Have a Huge Stake in Blaming Russia
Andrew Stewart
Can We Finally Get Over Bernie Sanders?
Susan Babbitt
Don’t Raise Liberalism From the Dead (If It is Dead, Which It’s Not)
Uri Avnery
Palestine’s Nelson Mandela
Fred Nagel
It’s “Deep State” Time Again
John Feffer
The Hunger President
Stephen Cooper
Nothing is Fair About Alabama’s “Fair Justice Act”
Jack Swallow
Why Science Should Be Political
Chuck Collins
Congrats, Graduates! Here’s Your Diploma and Debt
Aidan O'Brien
While God Blesses America, Prometheus Protects Syria, Russia and North Korea 
Patrick Hiller
Get Real About Preventing War
David Rosen
Fiction, Fake News and Trump’s Sexual Politics
Evan Jones
Macron of France: Chauncey Gardiner for President!
David Macaray
Adventures in Labor Contract Language
Ron Jacobs
The Music Never Stopped
Kim Scipes
Black Subjugation in America
Sean Stinson
MOAB: More Obama and Bush
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail