Just this past weekend I started out writing about how amazing it was to see celebrities and average people come to
, thousands lining the streets, to
mourn the passing and celebrate the life of Muhammad Ali. Ali, an African-American
man and a Muslim. And a man of peace. Louisville
But then real life and tragedy intervened before I posted that essay. Now we are dealing with the aftermath of the largest mass shooting in American history.
It’s probably too early to know what motivated the shooter. He was Muslim and proclaimed he was a supporter of
He had been on the terror watch list. He also was a domestic abuser with anger
issues. And he had easy and legal access to military-style weapons.
So the hate-monger who goes by the name of Donald Trump, who ironically also claims to have been a friend and supporter of Ali, has renewed his call for banning all immigrants who are Muslim. As Trump spews forth his gleeful hatred—tweeting that thousands have congratulated him for “being right” (another lie—fact checkers found only a handful of such tweets) Trump uses this tragedy to sow fear since he believes fear “he
his numbers”. Trump’s behavior and
rhetoric are so eerily reminiscent of nationalistic fascism that it should be
making our heads reel.
But no, Trump is not done with his fear mongering and pandering to the worst demons amongst us. He also says he plans to meet with the NRA to find ways to keep Americans safe. There can be no doubt what the NRA’s answer is—more guns in the hands of anyone with the money to buy them.
Appealing to Americans’ fear of those who are different and fear of having their guns taken away, Trump hopes to pull in more votes and more NRA money.
Of course, he ignores the fact that more guns will not keep us safer. But we should not ignore the facts. The myths the NRA relies upon to reap blood money for the sale of weapons are completely rebutted by facts.
1) The NRA and its ilk like to say, “People not guns kill people.” But in fact, guns, particularly assault and automatic weapons, are extremely effective at killing lots of people. A person with a knife, a baseball bat or a brick can perhaps kill one or two before someone can stop them. A crazy person with an assault weapon can kill dozens or more in the same time.
2) The NRA is looking to put more guns in the hands of “good guys” who can stop mass shootings. In the real world, an untrained “good guy with a gun” is totally ineffective at stopping a mass shooter.
" No mass shootings in the past 30 years have been stopped by an armed civilian; in 1982, an armed civilian successfully killed a shooter, but it was only after he committed his crime.”
3) We need to use mental health resources to identify crazy shooters in advance. Sure, many of the mass shooters are crazy. But we have no reliable way to identify who is both crazy and likely to become a killer. So, while efforts to provide mental health services are a great idea there’s no indication that’s likely to prevent the next mass shooting.
4) “The Second Amendment prevents any restrictions on guns in
Baloney. Without a long legal dissertation, it should be recognized that the
Second Amendment, like all of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights, is subject
to reasonable restrictions. For example, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Ninth Circuit recently recognized, there “is no
Second Amendment right for members of the general public to carry concealed
firearms in public.” America
The last thing we need are more guns. There already are as many guns in the
as people. Americans die by guns at an unparalleled rate compared to any other
rich, western country. All those guns
have not made Americans safer. U.S.
the death rate from gun homicides is about 31 per million people — the
equivalent of 27 people shot dead every day of the year. The homicides include
losses from mass shootings, like Sunday’s United States Orlando attack,
or the San Bernardino,
Calif., shooting last December.”
No other equivalent country comes anywhere close to the
in the loss of life from guns. U.S.
In the aftermath of the
tragedy we need to hear all the voices for peace and love rather than this
hate-mongering fascism. We particularly miss the voice of Muhammad Ali, a
Muslim and man of peace to rebut the hate-filled fear mongering that is alive
and prospering amongst us. Orlando