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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/15/16

The American Shooting Gallery, With Americans as the Targets

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Message Michael Payne

This society has now arrived at a point when no American can feel safe in any public setting anywhere in this country. That's a very sad commentary on what America has now become; a societal shooting gallery in which any American can be a target of some deranged person wielding a 9MM Glock pistol or an AR15 military-style rapid fire assault rifle with high capacity magazines.

There is nowhere that any American can go where they can't, without any warning, be gunned down in a second; we can become "sitting ducks" while at work, on the way to work, in a restaurant, in church, at a movie, in school, at the mall; anywhere in America.

In this extremely violent society, if you are in the wrong place at the right time, then -- bam -- you're gone. You can be carrying a concealed weapon and it won't make a bit of difference when some nut suddenly appears and unleashes a hail of bullets at you and those around you.

The latest Orlando mass shooting is yet one more in a long succession of murders of innocent Americans committed by fellow Americans. As usual the sensation-seeking national media feeds off these terrible tragedies to ratchet up their ratings. The hosts of the TV shows go on and on in describing what happened but we never hear them leading a serious discussion about the root causes and specific solutions to this terrible problem.

How things do change. During World War II Americans had a great fear that if the Nazis or the Japanese were not stopped "over there" that this country could be invaded by either or both. During the Cold War we had missile batteries positioned across America, ready to shoot down attacking Russian bombers.

Now we have a situation where fear is being generated by sources within this country itself. That is simply incomprehensible in this supposed land of the free. We live in a time in which Americans have become a distinct threat to one another.

You would think that, after all the many mass shootings that have taken place in recent times, that our government would have created a special federal commission, such as the 911 commission, whose members were given just one objective; to develop effective measures by which to bring this situation under control.

That hasn't happened largely because of the powerful alliance that exists between a majority of the members of Congress and the National Rifle Association. The two have a common goal which is to obstruct any and all attempts to enact legislation designed to monitor and control the acquisition and use of extremely dangerous firearms in this country.

What in the world is wrong with this pathetic Congress and, especially, the craven Republican facilitators of the NRA's agenda? These controlled politicians follow the dictates of the NRA and adamantly refuse to ban high-powered assault weapons that should be restricted to use by only the military. You have to be mentally unbalanced to witness these atrocities, often involving helpless little children, and then refuse to outlaw these lethal weapons.

The vast majority of Americans want this bloodbath stopped but the Republicans in this Congress continue to say NO! So it was refreshing to see some Democratic senators finally stand up and say, "Enough is enough" and conduct a 15-hour Senate filibuster demanding that their Republican colleagues follow the will of the people and enact legislation to close existing gun registration loopholes at gun shows and for internet sales.

Their intent was also to make certain that anyone who is on the government's suspected terrorist or no-fly lists is banned from purchasing any form of firearm. That should be a no-brainer. But, again, the Republicans shot down this attempt and have made it clear for all to see that they are protecting the 2nd Amendment rights of suspected domestic terrorists.

They are nothing more than the political slime found at the bottom of the barrel; the lowest form of American. And we are paying each one of them an annual salary of $174,000, together with many personal benefits. These are pathetic Americans that don't know right from wrong.

What can we do to stop the proliferation of guns in this country? Well, it's been said that there is nothing we can do because the "horse has already escaped from the barn", i.e., there are already, based on the best estimates, some 357 million guns in in this country; so it's kind of late to reverse the process.

That's the kind of negative thinking that says if "You can't beat them then join them." These fierce protectors of the 2nd Amendment advise Americans to carry concealed weapons and that will stop the carnage; in Texas they are promoting open carry legislation with no restrictions on where firearms can be carried. So why don't we all just start to "carry heat" and, in effect, initiate the era of the Wild West on steroids.

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