Merry Christmas From the Gun Lobby
Once again, a nutter has cut down innocent people thanks to the easy availability of firearms and the Wild West the gun lobby has created. In a week, the shock at more carnage will be supplanted by gun lobby shills assuring the public that the occasional shooter in a movie theater, mall or school is the price we pay for a "free society" and our "gun rights." And the "violence wouldn't have happened" if the moviegoers, shoppers and students had just been armed themselves....
No carnage seems to jolt people out of their NRA trance. Christmas shoppers gunned down? TSA agent mowed down at the Cleveland Hopkins Airport by her husband who then kills himself? Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shoots his girlfriend in front of his own mother and drives to Arrowhead Stadium to shoot himself in front of team officials? These things happen!
33 dead at Virginia Tech? 70 gunned down at Batman movie? Arizona Congressperson Gabby Giffords and Kirkwood, Missouri mayor, public works director and council members shot? It's the price we pay for our "right" to own rapid fire weapons and arsenals. Murder/suicides are happening so regularly, no one even asks anymore, "The gunman was carrying WHAT?"--or "The firearms dealer sold a weapon to WHO?"
Of course the gun lobby says the "bad guys" will get firearms regardless of laws--which is why we need to be armed. But most mass shooters are legal gun owners who sail through background checks.
Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech killer, Stephen Phillip Kazmierczak, the Northern Illinois University killer, Sulejman Talovic, the Salt Lake City's Trolley Square mall shooter and Vincent J. Dortch, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard shooter were all legal gun owners. Talovic was a Bosnian immigrant, legally required to show a second piece of identification, but bought the murder weapon at Sportsman's Fastcash, a pawnshop chain in Utah, with just one ID, say investigators.
Jiverly Voong, who killed 13 in Binghamton, NY and Richard Poplawski, who killed three Pittsburgh police officers, both in 2009, were legal gun owners. So was Bruce Pardo, one of two shooters dressed as Santa Claus is recent years, who bought at least five firearms within five months from a single weapons dealer before killing nine on Christmas Eve in Covina, CA.
Latina Williams, the Louisiana Technical College killer who was living in her car, paranoid and delusional and giving her possessions away in suicidal gestures, walked right into a New Orleans pawn shop and bought a .357 revolver and a box of ammunition the day before the shootings. Hey, she had rights. Jennifer Sanmarco, the Goleta postal facility killer was also a legal gun owner. So were Terry Ratzmann, the Milwaukee church service killer, Chai Vang the Wisconsin hunter killer and Bart Ross, who killed a Chicago Federal judge's husband and mother. Is there anyone who can't buy a firearm?
Still, the gun lobby is not satisfied. Gun laws are still too restrictive, especially in Illinois. On the same day Christmas shopping was interrupted by a gunman at an Oregon mall, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals bowed to the lobby and said Illinois' ban on carrying a concealed weapon in public is unconstitutional. Illinois is the only state to ban conceal and carry. Make that was. END