We Interrupt Your Programing

Every time the news breaks in the middle of the day I cringe. My heart sinks and I prepare for the worst news.  But I always know what it is. I brace for the details, where, how many, and exactly what the damage is this time. When the numbers are final all too often I have a disturbing thought, it was ‘only’ this many, this time. Yesterday in San Bernadino, it was even worse than  more than 1000 shootings in 3 years had prepared me for. I sat holding my toddler, with an even worse thought, at least my babies are ok, today.

I then must prepare myself for the propaganda. The politicians and the willfully ignorant.  It’s just a matter of time, and the same talking points start. Unfortunately, those buzz words, scapegoats, prayers and grandstanding don’t prevent more shootings.  I remember the memes after Sandy Hook.  “God why did you let this happen? ” And god replies “Because you took me out of school”. I was appalled then. Not much of an all powerful being if a separation of church and state prevents god from saving tiny lives. That’s not even accounting for the fact that never once growing up in the bible belt did we bow our heads and pray. That’s a new history we’re telling. But now we’ve had a mass shooting in a church. God’s house. Where was he? If there is a god, he’s probably wondering why our leaders are offering prayers instead of a solution.

Then the rhetoric and false equivalence starts. My favorite. Let’s walk through my top hits from media.

I have tried not to go through my news feed since last night because one of the first things I saw was a rant about our president ‘talking about the damn weather’ when people are getting shot.  Same person was oddly silent last week when planned parenthood got shot up but hey, now he’s concerned. And of course the typical crap I expect full of false equivalence and absolutely no facts or data behind ridiculous claims that pop up every few hours after a new shooting.Here’s the top of the list.

1.One of my favorites is the spoon and getting fat analogy, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Sure, but it’s a tool designed specifically and with only one intention, killing..

2. You can kill just as easy with a knife or rock. Utter nonsense. Otherwise we’d have people out deer hunting with river rocks and steak knives. By the way, i’d really like to see that one play out.

3. You’re safer with a gun than without. No statistics have proven time and again you aren’t. Toddlers have actually killed more people in the country this year than terrorists because there are guns in the home.  From The public health watch :   ‘A study released by Stanford last year took a look at the data and found clear links between allowing concealed carry without a permit and some types of violence. It was difficult to tie right-to-carry laws to violent crime, but researchers did find an estimated 8 percent increase in aggravated assault cases — and this is likely an underestimate, according to the researchers. “The totality of the evidence based on educated judgments about the best statistical models suggests that right-to-carry laws are associated with substantially higher rates of aggravated assault, rape, robbery and murder,” said the researchers, who described the analysis of such laws as a “vexing task.”

4. Video games are behind the rise in gun violence. For one thing the research that was supposed to be done, even with 10 million set aside, never happened. Why? Because common sense tells us that isn’t the problem. Its a convenient scapegoat for the gun lobby to blame grand theft auto

. And my favorite…. drum roll…

5Regulations won’t stop gun violence. Australia, May 1996, a lone gunman killed 35 people and wounded an additional 23. Subsequently, Australia passed a very strict gun control law that included a buy-back program that managed to recover 600,000 assault rifles and other arms — 20 percent of all the known firearms in Australia.They changed their laws, no more private sales of firearms, there were strict registration laws, and, as with other nations, you had to prove to authorities that you had a specific reason for purchasing a firearm. Self defense was not a valid reason. 

All gun related deaths did not end.  But gun related deaths dropped  59 percent between 1995 and 2006, with no corresponding increase in non gun related  homicides. Suicides  carried out by guns was even more dramatic: 65 percent. The govt gun buy back was a large part of the success. Robberies involving a firearm also dropped significantly. Home invasions did not rise. So there goes that theory.  But before the   Port Arthur massacre, there had been 11 mass shootings in the country. Since regulating guns, there have been NONE.

These are facts. Easily found, available to everybody, facts.

 

No matter your political, religious or ideological beliefs, remember this if nothing else. 14 families will not be decorating, shopping, or sending out cards this holiday season. Rather than prepare for holiday celebrations, they are preparing a grave and saying good bye to loved ones. There will be no cheer, no joy, no stockings hung with care. There will be grief and void left in their lives.

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