Amid all the turmoil associated with the recent high school massacre of students and teachers in Parkland, Florida, two things stood out in stark contrast to the response of NRA sponsored politicians and lobbyists, the bravery of so many victims and the honesty of so many survivors. It is doubtful that either of these qualities will impress or even register with the majority of the Florida State House and Senate. Most of their majority members, with campaigns well stocked with money from the NRA and other agents of the gun manufacturing industry will be busy hastily crafting their individual versions of "guns don't kill, people do." They can put ashes on their foreheads, sharpshooters in public schools, pray to whatever sick god they pray to before their own children are eaten by gunfire from an assault weapon that didn't "actually" kill them. The fine senators and congressmen as well as Governor Scott and chief enabler, Pam Bondi can all take turns talking to the empty beds and chairs once occupied by dead children, telling them they are not dead at all because an assault weapon simply cannot do such a thing!
Whether handguns, assault weapons, bump stocks, or high capacity magazine clips can kill people or not, one fact stands out. The more of them that are produced and sold, the more people get killed and the more politicians are paid to encourage the production and sale, the more people get killed. Please forgive the poor traumatized students who are rushing to Tallahassee to reason with their "grown up" legislators for trying to explain the correlation between these facts. Don't hold it against them for employing basic logic. Apparently they have learned about logic in school and are not aware that its use is prohibited by the ruling party in the legislative halls or in the governor's office except by royal decree. The students are angry and concerned about the fact that so many politicians have been paid so much money to facilitate the murders of their friends and teachers. Soon they will realize that their dramatic protests do not mean as much to the facilitators as do the donations and the ratings they receive from the gun manufacturers. What they also don't know is that about 95% of gun owners don't belong to the NRA and that it doesn't represent gun "owners," but gun "manufacturers," the grand facilitators of the murder of their friends and teachers.
After some forty years of pettifogging, of the NRA morphing from an organization representing and supported by responsible gun owners into an obvious terror organization financed by irresponsible gun manufacturers, it is just possible that enough of their BS may have actually stuck to the walls of a school in South Florida so that it may be properly examined. It is time for all students of America to stand up and show their weak kneed parents where they ought to stand! If some of these parents aren't willing to protect their children, then they don't deserve to have them! But marching is not enough. If parents continue to vote for people who are proud to be accessories to murder than they too will be facilitators of murder!
Meanwhile, I would encourage those individuals legitimately interested in protecting the Second Amendment to begin immediately to honor the amendment itself. The Second Amendment was never meant to be a carte blanche pass to do whatever you wanted with whatever weapon you wanted. It was a compromise intended to maintain a well regulated militia in each state and thereby eliminate the need for an imperialistic federal standing army. According to Cass Sunstein's 2/18/18 article in the Tampa Bay Times, "Constitution doesn't ban reasonable rules on guns," until 2008 the U.S. Supreme Court did not protect an individual's right to own a gun. He points out that in 2008 in a 5-4 decision the Court finally ruled that the Second Amendment does create an individual right of gun ownership. However, Antonin Scalia, author of the opinion, warned that "Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions on the commercial sale of arms." (District of Columbia vs. Heller).
This leads us to the real question: What do you call homicide due to "depraved indifference" when politicians are bribed by representatives of gun manufacturers to be depraved and indifferent, fully aware of the fatal consequences of their actions?
It is quite apparent that given Justice Scalia's warning, state legislatures and U.S. House and Senate members claiming that the Second Amendment prohibits them from enacting reasonable gun laws are lying through their teeth and worse yet, being paid to lie by the gun lobbies and gun manufacturers. Even worse is the attempt by these paid terrorists to encourage open carry policies in colleges and public arenas just so their employers can sell more firearms. Calling this "facilitation of murder" is much too kind. More accurately it is "murder for hire" by the cowardly gun manufacturers and "murder by proxy" by those in public office encouraging the mentally ill, criminals and domestic terrorists to commit the murders for which the public officials have been so handsomely paid to commit. If blatant thugs like those in the Florida legislature and others like Marco Rubio (three and a half million dollars in gun lobby donations, really?) can't buck their employers and pass responsible gun laws then they belong in Guantanamo with fellow terrorists. Otherwise, in a very few years after many more student massacres, when voters like those student's from Parkland have come of age, they will have no other choice but to repeal the Second Amendment altogether.
Note: In my first 30 years of general medical practice, I had never thought to ask a parent about guns in the home of a pediatric patient. However, as soon as Florida's excuse for a legislature and its bloviating Governor Scott were paid off by armed terrorists to silence physicians, forbidding any questions about guns, I began asking every parent of a pediatric patient about gun safety in the home. So arrest me! Message to fascists in public office: There's a First Amendment too!
Al Finkelstein, D.O., 2/20/18