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Under Siege From Within; A Society Trapped in a State of Self-Induced Fear and Paranoia

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We can agonize over this situation, discuss and debate the pros and the cons, but the probability that anything of substance will be done to strongly address the problem is minimal. The massive dilemma in which we find ourselves apparently is so widespread and embedded in this society; there are over 300 millions guns in America and so many ways that the bad guys can get their hands on guns illegally, that a solution may no longer be within our reach.

What is really amazing is that we live in a country whose military is chasing suspected terrorists all over the world but yet this society does not have the means by which to prevent a domestic terrorist from using an assault weapon equipped with a high capacity magazine from slaughtering its children at any time he wishes. That we as a nation and society don't possess the resolve and the intellectual capacity to use every resource and power at our disposal to find solutions to this massive problem is beyond comprehension.

We are allowing violence to run rampant across this country; extremely violent movies, violence in a large proportion of TV shows, violence in the video games many of our children are addicted to. Violence is everywhere; it is deeply embedded in this society. Some of us blame this violence on the acts of mentally disturbed persons. This opinion has merit but we then should ask ourselves this question: why do we remain silent and continue to allow the federal and state governments to cut funding of programs to treat the mentally ill and close hundreds of treatment facilities across America?

After four years of watching this succession of violent acts in America, President Obama has finally awakened to the fact that he needs to do something about them and the head of his task force charged with the responsibility to come up with strong, effective gun control measures, VP Joe Biden, has just delivered his recommendations. You can bet that when these recommendations are presented to this Congress that the forces of opposition, primarily Republicans and the gun industry lobbyists will fire back with guns blazing.

And we in America dare to call ourselves exceptional; the greatest nation, even when we have a raging problem in this society that we don't seem to have the moral capacity to address and solve. What's now going on would never be happening in a great nation inhabited by truly exceptional people. What's going on is shameful and a national disgrace.

Americans need to be far more than just shocked by these continuing atrocities. They should be horrified, totally outraged, and the social media should be ablaze with angry Americans strongly demanding that immediate corrective action be taken. If that's actually happening, it's news to me. Yes, people may be shocked and angry but, since their lives have not been personally affected, the danger is that they will soon, as has been the case so many times in the past, just lapse back into a state of passive acceptance.

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There is only one way that this massive problem can be solved. If we expect the majority of those in Congress to make upcoming decisions on legislation based on moral rather than political beliefs then we will be sadly mistaken. To put an end to this madness will take intense, unrelenting pressure coming from the mass of the people of this nation to demand that appropriate action be taken. These politicians must be forced by the will and determination of the people to do what is right.

If the people of this society do not have the courage and conviction to demand that firearms are controlled in a sensible, rational way, if a contrived interpretation of the 2d Amendment right to bear arms carries more weight than protecting the lives of our children -- then this society will have sealed its own fate and will remain powerless to free itself from its self-induced state of fear and paranoia

Michael Payne

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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)

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