It’s a generally accepted notion that what separates the sane from the insane is the ability to appreciate the consequences of one’s actions. True to form, Republicans are now tripping over themselves to offer ineffectual “thoughts” and “prayers” for the latest victims of senseless gun violence. This outpouring of concern also conveniently omits any responsibility for the part conservatives play in creating a society awash with assault weapons, and where health care is a “privilege,” (as numerous Republicans have asserted.)
With this latest gun massacre, made even more horrific by the fact that the majority of victims were innocent children mercilessly and senselessly executed by a deranged man, it’s time for America to maturely face the facts that we send our representatives to Washington to help create the type of modern society worthy of our supposed ideals. If these ideals do not include the murder of innocent children during a school day, then we must demand legislation that reflects this, and not just legislation that lines the pockets of powerful special interests and their puppets in Congress while endangering the health, safety and security of the populace as a whole.
“Freedom” means not being murdered by a madman with an assault rifle
At the Newton memorial, President Obama said that though there is no single law or set of laws that could prevent such tragedies, but “that can’t be an excuse for inaction.” He asked, “Are we prepared that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?”, reflecting the tendency to adopt conservative memes about “freedom.” In truth, normal people (non-Republicans) know that real “freedom” comes from the “freedom” to function in society without being gunned down by an armed madman. “Freedom” is also being able to seek medical and/or mental health treatment for yourself, your child, or loved one, without the fear of going bankrupt. These are “freedoms” that resonate positively throughout society, as we all experience the comfort of knowing our fellow Americans have access to health care, thus making us all safer.
The bottom line is, we need strict gun control laws, universal health care, and an economy that works from the ground up, for we know that the most unequal societies are also the most violent.
We must also demand public financing of campaigns to pry the grip of the NRA and the rest of the powerful special interests from around the neck of government.
In the meantime, we must demand accountability, and that means facing up to the fact that gun violence may be a tragedy, but it is also the effect of the causes we have allowed.