Thoughts and Prayers and Guns

Well, another elementary school has been shot up by a teenaged gunman, and there is much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth throughout the halls of Congress. Many of the nation’s so-called ‘representatives’ are, as usual, offering their worthless thoughts and empty, meaningless prayers as they stomp on the graves of the child victims of their cowardice.

Three senators, when asked why the U.S. is the world’s gun violence capital, were puzzled:

+ “I don’t know the answer to that,” said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.).

+ “I don’t know the answer to that,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).

+ “I don’t know the cultural underpinnings of that. To me, this is something that I think we ought to be definitely concerned with, find what common ground we can look at.” Pearls of wisdom from Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.).

Perhaps this writer can enlighten Senators Hawley, Romney and Braun.

For Hawley and Romney: IT’S THE GUNS, STUPID! The U.S., with about 4% of the world’s population, has over 40% of its guns. There are more guns in the United States than there are people. Almost anyone in the U.S. can own a gun. People who are on the ‘no fly’ list – that is, they are not allowed to fly on U.S. airplanes because of suspected terrorist ties – can buy guns. The 18-year-old assassin in Uvalde, Texas, purchased two semi-automatic weapons days after his eighteenth birthday and then, after shooting his grandmother in the face, went to a nearby school and killed 19 children and two adults.

Canada is another nation where many people own guns, mainly because hunting is quite popular there. But there are laws requiring registration and licensing. These laws don’t prevent people from having guns; they simply help to assure that those with mental health issues or criminal tendencies don’t have them.

But what of the murderer in Uvalde? There is no record of mental illness and no criminal history. So, one might ask, why should he not have been able to walk into his local gun shop and purchase an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle?  The greater question is why, in the United States of America, anyone should, under any circumstances, be allowed to purchase such a weapon. Why are such weapons available for sale in the U.S.? Oh, right, the National Rifle Association (NRA), which is very generous to lawmakers that do its bidding, says they should be.

At least Braun thinks gun violence is something to be concerned about. To respond to him, the ‘cultural underpinnings’ are the ‘shoot-‘em-up’ cowboy mentality that is fostered by a Congress bought and paid for by the NRA. And if he seeks to find common ground to look at, can we all perhaps watch the funerals of dead children whose only crime was to attend school? Perhaps looking at grieving parents, whose precious children cowered in a classroom, while teachers vainly tried to protect them from every parents’ worst nightmare, might enable some ‘common ground’ to be established. Could the NRA-owned senators perhaps say that children shouldn’t be murdered by gunmen in school? Might that be something that can be agreed upon, at the very least?

As usual, after innocent, unsuspecting students are slaughtered in school, there are cries not for fewer guns, but for more, if one can imagine such twisted reasoning. ‘Arm the teachers’, some say. ‘Put more police in the schools’, is the answer from others. In a panicked situation, it is unlikely that armed teachers would be much help. And classroom mass murders have occurred in schools with a police presence.

Following a mass killing in Australia, the government of that nation passed and implemented strict gun control. Many of the politicians who spearheaded this movement lost in the subsequent election, but the legislation remained, and the rate of gun violence dropped dramatically. But perhaps here we have the problem: risking election loss is not an option for U.S. politicians. They will sell their souls if it will bring them victory at the polls. And with that attitude, what’s a few dead children?

Does anyone wonder what will happen now in the U.S? Is there anyone who thinks this recent, unspeakable tragedy will bring about change? President Joe Biden spoke about the need to do something about gun violence, but didn’t even hint at an executive order banning the sale of semi-automatic weapons. No, with the Democrats in trouble as mid-term elections approach, now is certainly not the time to take a courageous stand, make history, and protect innocent children. No, better to wait and see who controls Congress after the November elections.

If there are more funerals to attend, thoughts and prayers will suffice.

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Propaganda, Lies and False Flags: How the U.S. Justifies its Wars.