Who Cares About The Mass Shootings in the USA?

I could be blogging about my writing life, but instead I’m writing about the mass shootings in the USA.

Drawing by Leonardo da VinciI am so upset over last week’s mass shooting in Chicago (13 wounded) and Washington, D.C. (13 dead, 8 wounded) that I had to get these thoughts out.

When a suicide bomber kills innocent people in a country across the ocean, we think he represents those who believe human life has little or no value. And yet, those who push against gun control laws in the USA, aren’t they saying the same thing? When over 30,000 die in the USA every year from the firing of guns and no one does anything to change the laws, aren’t lawmakers saying the same thing? That human life has no value in the USA.

Do the lawmakers care that 13 innocent people died in the naval yard, in Washington, D.C.? Do they care about all those innocent children and teachers at Sandy Hook? Do they care about the family members who died in Aurora while eating popcorn and enjoying a movie? Who cares about the shooting victims in Fort Hood?

The people in power obviously don’t or else they’d turn their backs on the men who want to keep the gun laws the same. They express their sorrow and their sympathy, but action speaks louder than words.

Why can’t there be limits? Why does anyone need a lot of guns? Why does anyone need an assault rifle in a civilized country? Somehow, the NRA and their supporters have convinced many Americans that they will lose their freedom if they can’t buy as many weapons as they want. How is it free to walk American streets, go to work, go to school, knowing someone, somewhere could pull a trigger at any time and shoot you dead?

And why is it, that every time there’s a mass shooting, the media plays it for all it’s worth until the next big story? Not long after, the concern over mass shootings dies like all those innocent people. Quickly forgotten by all those whose lives weren’t touched. Nothing gets changed. Tomorrow there’ll be another one and another one and another one.

Why not take a page from Australia, or Britain, where the powers that be acted swiftly to change their laws after a mass shooting? Why not look at Japan and Canada, where incidents of mass shooting are few and far between?

Obama has said. “By now, though, it should be clear that the change we need will not come from Washington, even when tragedy strikes Washington. Change will come the only way it ever has come, and that’s from the American people.”

My husband said this morning, “Why are Americans worrying about Syria or other threats outside their borders? They should do something about their own back yard.”


10 thoughts on “Who Cares About The Mass Shootings in the USA?

  1. marylin warner

    And I also wonder how others (here and abroad) see our legal responses to shootings, Diana. The soldier who on his own went to a village and shot all those women and children got a different punishment than the psychiatrist at Ft. Hood who shot all those soldiers. The theater shooter in Aura clearly agreed to plead guilty if they’d take the death penalty off the table; when the district attorney wouldn’t, the shooter is now claiming innocence by reason of insanity. So often we’re more aware of the shooters’ rights than their victims’ rights.
    All elements of shootings upset me, Diana. The restrictions or lack therefore, the uneven handling of different cases, the numbness that makes so many just shrug and wait for the next shooting.

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      So true. I’ve often wondered how this all came to be, where the legal rights of the one accused are greater than those who’ve been harmed. It’s a mixed-up world. The question of who is right has been muddied by our legal systems. In an effort to be fair, we’ve lost perspective. Anyway, I continue to hope and pray that common sense will prevail and those who have the opportunity to do the right thing will do it, despite all the temptations that gun lobbyists bring to the table. I was heartened to read about the gun control laws that Australia and Britain put in place after mass shootings in their countries. It worked. It can happen. A snowman starts with a snowball.

  2. juliabarrett

    I don’t know what the answer is, Diana. I do know any notion of getting involved in Syria is idiotic. I also know gun violence kills many people in Chicago, for instance, every single weekend and nobody says a word.
    What we’ve seen lately is mentally ill people with access to guns and, in the case of the Navy Yard, security clearance.

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      Julia, the mentally ill do get lost in the system. Having worked in mental health, I’m aware of all the lost souls on the street, and the pain they live with on a daily basis. I can’t remember which show I was watching recently, but someone said that there’s a 50% greater chance of someone committing suicide if there’s a gun in the house. I suspect the same applies to domestic homicide. With emotions unchecked, it’s too easy to reach for a gun, whether you’re mentally ill or just having a bad day.

  3. Julia Gilly

    Debunking the mythology would be a good start. Ludicrous as it seems, top down legislation is exactly the justification gun nuts need.

    U.S. Has been militarized since the civil war, WW2 served as a massive amplifier socially, economically and geopolitically. At war ever since, existential threats, real or fabricated, justified a lot of historically un-American or at the least unconstitutional domestic policy.

    Lots of strange ideas still float around in the U.S.A. with little acknowledgement. The civil war is worth considering as source material. Emancipation tends to be the take away but another principal theme was the imposition of rule of law versus what Southern gentlemen described as honor.

    Ask any teenage boy, North or South, about personal honor, the answers might surprise you. Most of these maniacs tend to be stupid young men on some delusional self appointed mission of honor. Honor is the driving force behind suicide bombers as well as Marine Corps recruitment.

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      Julia, you’re raising an interesting point when you bring up honor. It does go back to the time when the Right To Bear Arms came into effect. People today forget the circumstances back then and why it was deemed necessary. Also, a musket was a single shot and had to be re-loaded offering both the shooter and the target time to think and respond. Thanks for your thoughts.

  4. Arlee Bird

    Your statistics are a bit loaded in that they don’t take all factors into account.

    Most of the gun deaths are from suicide. Would not these people who are intent on killing themselves just look for another means of dying?

    Just as many people die from car accidents. What does that mean?

    More people probably die as a result of improper diets and lack of exercise. Does the government have a right to restrict what we can consume and how much?

    Another irony is that many who decry gun violence in our country are all for arming Islamic militants in Syria. We’ve already given those country plenty of guns that contribute to the chaos in that part of the world.

    I can only refer back to the tired old adage about it being people who are responsible for killing people and not the inanimate objects they use to do it.

    Tossing It Out

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      Arlee, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. The stats. are from a number of sources, including Wikipedia. It’s common knowledge that the USA has a gun culture. I know it’s people who kill people, but without easy access to guns, people have time to think before they kill themselves or others. Yes, there are other means when it comes to suicide, as you rightly point out, but with pills, there have been many rescues, and with knives, an injury that could be treated. A cry for help that was answered. Have you seen the recent stats. on how many children have been killed because there was a gun in the family home or car or yard? With a gun, it’s all too final.

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      Oh yes, Jo. I feel so sad for you and all Americans today. There is no longer an easy answer. As my husband said, with open carry in Texas being now the law, I’m sure the cops are anxious when they go out on their beat. I know the shooter in Texas had other problems, but with easy access to firearms, it’s not hard to understand how this can happen. Especially with all the media playing repeatedly the tragedies of the day.

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