In Texas, a paranoid state senator, proudly sporting a perfect score by NRA criteria, this past week said he opposed having Syrian refugees admitted into the United States because they might buy guns and commit acts of terrorism. He said it was too easy to get guns, but he has also spent his political career opposing responsible gun control measures.
This past week in Minneapolis, police arrested three White supremacists who shot five Afro-Americans at a peaceful protest rally; each of the shooters was carrying a legally-purchased gun. In New Orleans, 17 people at a park were injured by gunfire; witnesses identified one of the shooters as having a silver-colored machine gun. In Biloxi, Miss., a man pulled a concealed 9 mm. gun and killed a waitress who asked him not to smoke in the restaurant. In Colorado Springs, police arrested a 57-year-old man who used an AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle to kill three people and wound nine others. One of those killed was a police officer; five of the wounded are police officers.
Next year, when we gather with our families to celebrate Thanksgiving, those of us still alive might wish to give thanks that we weren't killed intentionally or accidentally by someone wielding one of the 300 million guns that Americans cling to as if they were the essence of their own lives.
[Dr. Brasch is an award-winning journalist and the author of 20 books, most of which fuse history and contemporary social issues; his most recent book is Fracking Pennsylvania. He readily admits to being a mediocre trap shooter.]
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