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Let's Join in a Moment of Silence for Victims of Mass Shootings; and Then Again and Again

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How many times have we heard someone in a position of responsibility ask that we join in a moment of silence to honor those who have been killed in the latest incidence of gun violence in America? How may more times will we be asked to pause for a moment of silence as this nation and society plunges ever deeper into this societal morass?

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The incidence of insane gun violence continues to plague this society and no matter how many times we join in that moment of silence nothing of any significance is ever done about preventing future occurrences; not by the people not by the government, not by the clergy of America; and while all this is going on those who manufacturer and sell firearms in America continue to reap their enormous, obscene profits.

If what is going on is not bad enough, just wait until it becomes commonplace for citizens of this country to carry concealed weapons in public. Can you imagine going to church and watching as a fellow parishioner sits in the same pew and you see a gun in his holster? Or that while eating in your favorite restaurant you see some gun whacko come swaggering in with a pistol on his hip? Or maybe having the same experience at your hospital or doctor's office? That's just plain bizarre.

Well, it won't be long before that will become a reality as every state in the union has now passed concealed carry laws. If a friend had told me years ago that this kind of madness was going to happen in America I would have told him that he should probably seek immediate psychiatric help. But if has happened and the nightmare in America is just beginning.

While the people of this country are too passive, they aren't really the major problem relating to this highly divisive issue since it is well-established that the vast majority of them fully support more gun safety measures; especially the strengthening of background checks. It's the rotten do-nothing members of Congress that have, in effect, sold their souls to the gun manufacturers, the lobbyists and the NRA and refuse to do anything to bring this situation under control. These political hacks represent the scum at the bottom of the barrel of politics.

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We hear these requests for a moment of silence after each and every tragic incident; at baseball and football games and other sports and entertainment venues. And we bow our heads in silence. But after that moment of silence then what is it that America, collectively, does? People go on with their lives, basically forget about the latest tragedy, and then when the next tragedy happens, they once again are asked to pause for a moment of silence.

Since polls show that up to 90% of Americans are in favor of effective background checks for prospective gun owners, that leaves about 10% of Americans that are against these checks as well as any other gun control measures. This 10% of Americans seem to be entirely capable of hearing about these tragedies that involve the continued slaughter of innocent Americans without exhibiting any real feelings or concerns; they simply don't view these mass shootings as representing a grave crisis. This kind of behavior is commonly referred to as being amoral, the definition of which is: "having or showing no concern about whether some act or behavior is morally right or wrong."

They keep on insisting that guns don't kill people which is like saying that heroin doesn't kill people; guns and heroin are both "vehicles" that people use to produce devastating consequences. This 10% also use the excuse that those who commit these heinous acts must be mentally deficient and that's where the problem lies. But they can't seem to grasp the concept that if this country had strong background checks and closed the loopholes in the sales of guns at gun shops and gun shows, the result would be that many of these demented individuals and gun nuts who pull the triggers would be unable to purchase firearms or even ammunition. Their mindset is such that they simply refuse to accept or even consider rational recommendations that try to arrive at workable solutions.

Here's an article that provides some staggering facts about just how grave this firearm issue in America is becoming. It indicates that, while the overall crime rate in the U.S. has been declining, at the same time the slaughter of Americans by gun violence is rapidly escalating. It states that the annual toll of deaths from firearms is currently running at 32,000 and climbing; and, can you believe that since 9/11 there have been fewer than 20 terror-related deaths in America while there have been 364,000 deaths caused by firearms.

For those who continue to try to minimize this problem, who say that crime rates are in the U.S. are declining, that guns don't kill people, that a background check would do no good, that there must be no restrictions of any kind on gun ownership, here's my message to them: do you understand that mass shootings in America are drastically increasing and reaching a point of crisis in this society? Take a look at this article from CNN identifying the 20 worst mass shootings in U.S. history and the fact that 13 of them have occurred since the year 2000; that must be considered to be an epidemic in the making.

Only about 30% of Americans are said to have firearms in their homes. Now let's say that most Americans and even a majority of NRA members want to see reasonable gun safety regulations, including background checks and that about 10% of gun owners in this country are the ones that are absolutely insistent that there be no restrictions of any kind. What we have here is a great example of what is commonly called "the tail wagging the dog", i.e., that 10% of Americans totally dictating the rules on firearms for all Americans.

Of course, this 10% of the American population is not nearly powerful enough to dictate these gun policies on its own but when it is connected to the mighty power of the gun manufacturers and those who distribute and sell firearms, together with the NRA, the lobbyists and the members of Congress who grovel at the feet of the gun lobbyists, this pro-gun movement has proven to be invincible.

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What these apologists for gun violence are doing is very troubling and downright appalling as they never show any great sorrow or alarm over what is happening to their fellow Americans and, in fact, use every excuse at their disposal to deny that guns are the primary contributing factor to this societal violence. They aren't outraged about the people and kids that are being slaughtered, they only care about pursuing their own agenda.

This is a situation that makes no sense whatsoever. When a typical person in America must obtain a drivers' license to operate an automobile, when that person must buy insurance to cover the vehicle and obey all the rules of the road or pay a penalty, why in the world should an individual in America, including the mentally disturbed, be allowed to purchase a firearm without an extensive background check; why will that person, in the very near future, be allowed to carry a concealed firearm into public places? What kind of pure stupidity, what kind of uncivilized behavior is that? Only in America!

We are living in a nation in which the wishes of the large majority of Americans are being negated by those who profit from the sales of firearms, by those in Congress who, more or less, accept bribes to refrain from doing anything about instituting effective, reasonable gun safety laws; these members of Congress are no more than Corporate whores, they are despicable, pathetic individuals who deserve nothing but the contempt of the people of America.

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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