Why Do I Keep on Beating the Same Little Drum?

Another day, another blog. And I seem to say the same thing in different ways day after day (maybe in not such different ways, but I try). I wish my repertoire were more varied, and I sympathize with any readers who skip over my blogs muttering “same old, same old.” But in my defense, don’t you think it’s a shame that I have to keep complaining endlessly about the same abuses? Don’t you think that things should’ve improved by now?

Here it is the end of 2013, and Americans are still shooting each other – and each other’s kids. I’m sure you know about that teenager in Colorado who blasted that pretty girl in the face with a 12 gauge shotgun a couple of days ago. Another shooting in Colorado, where two Democratic senators lost their seats in recall drives because they dared to vote for very modest gun control.

You would think the Newtown Massacre was enough to end the tyranny of the arms manufacturers, but here it is a year later, and the blood keeps right on flowing. I read an article by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship in Salon.com this morning that just about broke what’s left of my heart. The headline charges (justifiably I think):

The NRA has our children’s blood on their hands

And the subhead reports that:

One year after the Newtown killings, 194 kids have been shot to death but only 11 states have passed gun laws.

Elections come and go, campaigns collect millions of dollars, pundits bemoan the Great American Tragedy. But the merchants of death and their minions in the National Rifle Association have proved invincible. The Salon article reminds us that:

There has been a lot of killing in America since Newtown a year ago, perhaps more than 30,000 gun deaths since that fatal day. And gun purchases are way up. The biggest publicly traded firearms manufacture in the United States, Sturm Ruger, had more than half a billion dollars in sales for the first nine months of this year, 45 percent higher than two years ago, with a 67 percent profit rise over the same period.

Does that make you want to rush out and buy some stock in Sturn Ruger? It makes me want to write a blog – yes, another blog – about the senseless way weapons are bought and sold in America.

In the past week or so, I’ve read at least two stories in the local paper describing fatal gun accidents. In one case, a woman shot her daughter to death by mistake because she thought it was her enraged boyfriend banging on the door of her house. And the woman’s daughter was holding her baby in her arms. Mercifully the baby was not hurt. In another case, a woman went outside to look for something in her boyfriend’s truck, and her rummaging around discharged a firearm. The woman’s 2-year-old son was following her and the bullet killed him.

How ironic! Those people bought those guns as protection!

I know all about gun safety and “responsible gun ownership.” My family grew up around guns. And I know guns go off when they’re not supposed to, even in the most careful hands.

I know there’s nothing I can say to convince our politicians to stand up to the NRA. Our local mayor lost his job because he dared to sign a letter to the President – along with a bunch of other mayors – pleading for saner gun laws. The NRA backed his opponent. Imagine that! The mighty NRA taking the trouble to become involved in the politics of our little town.

It could be a waste of time, writing this blog. It sure seems like it. But I can’t be silent when this horror is going on.

I have to keep beating my little drum… Pa rum pum pum pum, as the Christmas song goes …

Click for the Salon article.

Click for the latest Colorado shooting.

Click for Colorado recall votes.

Local shooting fatality.

Another local gun death.

 

 

 

 

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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