Saturday, October 3, 2015

American exceptionalism lives on in latest gun massacre

If we couldn't change gun laws after Sandy Hook, will we ever?
The Onion, the satirical website, has a standing headline that it trots out after the latest mass murder using firearms.

Sadly, it never gets old:

" 'No Way To Prevent This,' Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens."

Yes, call it American exceptionalism where we lead the world in firearm mayhem.

Who needs foreign terrorists when we have enough killers here at home.

The slaughter in Roseburg, where 10 were killed including the shooter, took about 10 minutes.

We may not be able to produce much in this country anymore, but we still produce mass murder faster than any other developed nation in the world.

Evidently, we've had 45 school shootings this year. Okay there are 52 weeks in a year and this latest mass shooting took place 40 weeks into the year. That's right, we average more than one school shooting per week.

Pathetically, there have been nearly 1,000 mass-shooting incidents in this country since 2012.

That's just the tip of the iceberg of American gun violence. The daily gang killings in Chicago or the near-daily murder-suicides, where a man shoots his wife and sometimes the kids before killing himself, are so routine that they barely merit headlines outside of the local papers.

Throw in your gun accidents and suicides and we have about 30,000 deaths per year by guns. No other developed nation comes close. Okay, Honduras has a higher murder rate. But, if we're comparing ourselves to failed states, than we have deeper problems.

In the past 45 years, we've lost more Americans to gun violence than were lost in all the wars we've fought in our history.

It's not terribly surprising that this latest tragedy occurred in Roseburg, a rural town that adores hunting.

It could happen in any city in America, including Bend.

Yet, the county sheriff in Roseburg, John Hanlin, once posted a video to Facebook that questioned whether the carnage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 actually took place the way it was reported. He also wrote a letter to Vice President Joe Biden in 2013 stating that he would not enforce any new gun laws passed in the wake of Sandy Hook.

Hanlin also didn't think it was unusual that the killer had 13 firearms.

Clearly, Sheriff Hanlin is part of the problem and not the solution to gun violence in this country. Because of people like him and his refusal to reign in gun violence, we continue to have mass murders.

Like all other school shootings in this country, we'll have the predictable responses from people like me and people like Bill O'Reilly who consider gun massacres worth the price of freedom to own as many guns as you want.

Or, as Jeb!? Bush shrugs, "Stuff happens."

Meanwhile, nothing will change except that the next school shooting could be less than a week away.

No comments:

Post a Comment