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General News    H3'ed 5/19/18

Gun Lobby Thanks Public For Short Memory

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It has been a whole 24 hours since nine students and a teacher lost their lives in a shooting at Santa Fe High School, not far from Houston. Already the news cycle has moved on and Twitter has gone dark. The gun lobby and pro-gun politicians thank the public for its short memory.

It has been a whole month since the Waffle House shooting in Nashville in which four were killed and two wounded and people have forgotten about it, too. They have especially forgotten about the fact that law enforcement officials transferred the suspect's guns to his father who then returned them, according to published reports. Yesterday's suspected gunman possessed a shotgun and a .38 revolver legally purchased by his father.

What if there was a law that such parents are charged as accessories? They would face prison time like their killer children? But no! That would violate our "gun rights"----right gun lobby?

The gun lobby says no laws could stop such shootings despite the clear disproof that every developed country presents: there are not weekly school shootings or practically mass shootings at all where there are strict gun laws.

Countries with strict gun laws don't have school shootings
Countries with strict gun laws don't have school shootings
(Image by Martha Rosenberg)
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As far as the gun lobby's knee jerk "criminals don't obey laws" comment, should we repeal laws against robbery, rape and murder because criminals don't obey them? How about the gun lobby's claim that "law-abiding" people unduly suffer from laws while criminals slip through? Should we repeal airport screening to get on planes? Why should we, law-abiding citizens, suffer? Criminals who don't obey laws anyway.

The gun lobby and pro-gun politicians are happy the public has forgotten about the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting last year in which the murder weapon had been returned to the suspect and was reportedly used to kill five and wound eight.

Only two months earlier, there was a shooting at Oklahoma City's Will Rogers World Airport which the public has also forgotten about. A gunman shot and killed a Southwest Airlines employee who was the father of Kansas City Chiefs long snapper James Winchester. Who remembers that? The suspected gunman, a legal gun owner, was a former Southwest Airlines employee apparently seeking revenge.

Three years earlier there was another airport shooting at the Los Angeles International Airport. A gunman opened fire, killing a U.S. government Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer and injuring several other people. He carried a note saying he wanted to kill TSA officers and asked people if they were with TSF before shooting.

The gunman was carrying a semiautomatic rifle, five 30-round magazines and hundreds of additional rounds of ammunition contained in boxes. Due to the weaponry, police could not let paramedics enter the crime area and as a result a TSA officer bled to death. Like the Fort Lauderdale airport and Will Rogers World Airport gunmen, the LA airport killer was legal gun owner.

If people have forgotten the Waffle House shooting and airport shootings, they have certainly forgotten about the biggest shooting in US history in Las Vegas in October which killed 58 and injured 851.

In addition to our short memory, the gun lobby appreciates how little attention is given to this fact: countries that do not allow people to purchase 55 guns in one year as the Vegas killer did do not have Vegas-style massacres.

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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by (more...)

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