Last Friday, the First Amendment was trampled on by the Second Amendment. While Wayne LaPierre held an infomercial, protesters were dragged out of the room. Mr. LaPierre never even expressed a word of sympathy; all he did was whip the chest beating fear mongering to an even higher level while he stated unequivocably that more guns are the answer. The absence of a statement such as "our hearts go out to the families of the victims of these tragic shootings" was a giant kick to the hearts of all victims of gun violence. As the puppet for the gun manufacturers, Wayne LaPierre has disgraced himself, anyone in elected office who fears the NRA, and our country. The oath of office is to protect and defend us from enemies both foreign and domestic. The gun industry is guilty of advertising how manly a male will be (sexist and idiotic) if he owns a gun. It's more difficult to get a driver's license than it is to get a gun. I have a chronic illness and have to take a driving test every year to ensure I can operate a motor vehicle safely. Something is out of whack. I've never been at fault in an accident, yet I need insurance and an annual driving test. But we allow people to walk into a gun show and purchase guns without a background check. I'm confused. Or perhaps I'm too logical.
Why would we deliberately arm people who have no desire to deal with what it takes to kill another human being? I have a friend who has been teaching for over 35 years; I can safely say she would never consider having a gun for herself as protection in school. The "meaningful contribution" was for Wayne LaPierre to call on Congress to appropriate money for armed guards at every single school in America. States cannot afford enough teachers to staff our schools. They don't have money for supplies necessary for students to learn. Classes are over crowded. Children who need extra help can't get the attention they need. We need to consider how education lifts people up and helps us feel like useful contributors to our society. NBC's Ann Curry is asking the people of the world to perform one act of kindness for every life lost in Newtown, while the manufacturers of the gun that killed them want to keep selling more.
Blaming the mental health of the perpetrators of these mass murders is a waste of time without removing the stigma of mental illness and providing easy access for those who need help. In the early 1990's three mental health facilities in Nevada were closed down leaving people who had received help wandering the streets, hungry, angry and self medicating, creating more health problems. This is a state where gun shows are part of the culture, there is legal gambling and 24 hour drinking...what could possibly go wrong? There aren't armed guards in casinos, but we should have them in schools? And again, we're just talking about the massacres that have happened since Columbine (where there was an armed guard). What about the innocent people just going about their day who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. This happens at an alarming rate all over our land of the free. Every night on the evening news the names of victims of gun violence should be announced, just as the names of fallen soldiers in Viet Nam were scrolled on the tv screen when the networks signed off for the night.
Is this an exceptional country when we cannot protect our children? I don't know the answers. I do know when a fire breaks out, firefighters don't try to put it out by adding gasoline. They do everything in their power to neutralize and end the blaze. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Doing nothing is criminal. But this is just my opinion; and last time I checked, that never hurt anyone.