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Dec 15 2012

Enough Children Have Died

Enough children going to school, or out with their families, have died. Enough adults going to work, going out to eat, going shopping, going to the movies, have died. Enough people attending political rallies have died. Enough people have died.

It’s time to have a serious conversation as to why the United States has so many more of these shootings than anyone else.

It’s time to get serious about gun control.

It’s time we found the political will to face down the NRA and those who refuse to believe that regulating guns will solve anything, and make it much more diffcult for raging, hateful people to access the weapons they need for murder.

It’s time we found the political will to face down the cries of socialism and enact health care policies that will allow people to seek the help of a therapist when they can’t control their anger and hate on their own. It’s time we have the will to ensure that people who need help can get it, afford it, and will be judged as strong and good for seeking that help.

It’s time we stop excusing these killers as lone nuts, and start seeking real answers regarding their actions so that we can engage in real prevention. It’s time we had the courage to follow the evidence wherever it leads.

It’s time. It’s been time for a very long time.

I don’t want to see any more dead kids on my screen.

Contact your representatives. Tell them it’s time.

Control Arms campaigner David Grimason lays a photo of his son Alistair, who was killed by stray bullets in a gun fight, at the base of a mock tombstone. Control Arms coalition set up a mock graveyard next to the United Nations building in New York July 25, 2012. They are demonstrating as the negotiations for an Arms Trade Treaty comes to a close on Friday. Image and caption courtesy Control Arms/ Andrew Kelly

Control Arms campaigner David Grimason lays a photo of his son Alistair, who was killed by stray bullets in a gun fight, at the base of a mock tombstone. Control Arms coalition set up a mock graveyard next to the United Nations building in New York July 25, 2012. They are demonstrating as the negotiations for an Arms Trade Treaty comes to a close on Friday. Image and caption courtesy Control Arms/ Andrew Kelly

Link roundup and my letter to my Congresspeople below the fold.

From FreethoughtBlogs:

I am putting Avicenna’s post on top. If your heart isn’t already broken, I hope this breaks it.

A Million Gods: “The Right to Bear Arms.”

After he’s told us about a five year-old who will never, ever be the same, he says, “If you don’t realise that the right to not get shot is more important than the right to shoot people then nothing I say will ever make sense to you.” And this is what I will be saying to anyone who starts arguing with me about the right to bear arms, unless I choose the choice words of John Poteet instead.

Do not even think about slathering your right to shoot people bullshit all over my comments section. You have nothing to say to me today.

To all of you who might be tempted to howl, “Don’t politicize a tragedy!” – answer this question:

Brute Reason: If Not Now, When? On Politicizing Tragedy.

I’m not willing to wait a “decent interval” while children are dying, and have been for decades.

Pharyngula: Newtown Murders and Before you reach for the “it’s not guns, it’s the cray cray” argument.

Zingularity: Elementary school gunman identified, Frum makes sense on guns and Take a wild guess why Fischer & Huckabee think the shooting happened?

Greta Christina’s Blog: The Newtown Shootings: It Is Not Too Soon to Start Talking.

Butterflies and Wheels: A holy God in judgment.

Lousy Canuck: Yet another isolated incident of gun violence.

No Country for Women: Let the children live.

Ashley F. Miller: When You Tie Shootings to Mental Illness.

Mano Singham: What more is there to say?

 

Other reactions I’ve read:

Love, Joy, Feminism: Tragedies Should Be Calls to Action.

Wonkblog: Mythbusting: Israel and Switzerland are not gun-toting utopias.

Mother Jones: A Guide to Mass Shootings in America.

David Frum on The Daily Beast: Every Day is the Day to Talk About Gun Control.

Ontario Geofish: Male depression and machine guns from vending machines.

Salon: Congress mum on “guns” in wake of shooting.

Cross-Check: Will Connecticut Massacre Give Politicians the Guts to Take on the Gun Lobby?

John Poteet (reproduced here for those without access to G+):

If you’re thinking of defending easy access to handguns today…

Shut The Fuck Up.

Just shut up. Your gun is not your dick and it won’t kill you to shut up and listen to people, parents, grandparent aunts, uncles, brother’s and sisters of schoolchildren and teachers rant and grieve for a few days. This is the product of your philosophy. This blood is on your hands.

Own it. Silently.

 

This is the letter I wrote to my Congresspeople. Feel free to steal and modify for your own purposes. Contact your Congresspeople now.

Dear [Congressperson];

Enough children have died.

Enough children going to school, or out with their families, have died. Enough adults going to work, going out to eat, going shopping, going to the movies, have died. Enough people attending political rallies have died. Enough people have died.

It’s time to have a serious conversation as to why the United States has so many more of these shootings than anyone else.

It’s time to talk seriously about gun control.

I’m sure you’re aware that in at least 2/3 of the 62 mass shootings that resulted in more than 4 deaths, the weapons used by the killers were legal. (Source: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map)

It’s time we found the political will to face down the NRA and those who refuse to believe that regulating guns will solve anything, and make it much more diffcult for raging, hateful people to access the weapons they need for murder.

It’s time we found the political will to face down the cries of socialism and enact health care policies that will enable people to seek the help of a therapist when they can’t control their anger and hate on their own. It’s time we have the will to ensure that people who need help can get it, afford it, and will be judged as strong and good for seeking that help.

It’s time we stop excusing these killers as lone nuts, and start seeking real answers regarding their actions so that we can engage in real prevention. It’s time we had the courage to follow the evidence wherever it leads.

It’s time. It’s been time for a very long time.

I don’t want to see any more dead kids on my screen. What will you do today to help ensure that America’s children are protected from gun violence?

Sincerely,

Dana Hunter

Annual U.S. Firearms Fatalities. Image courtesy Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Annual U.S. Firearms Fatalities. Image courtesy Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

5 comments

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  1. 1
    Makoto

    Please, yes. It’s far, far past time to talk about this. It’s far, far past time to pass laws about this. I don’t think it’s insensitive to pass laws after a tragedy to prevent another – after a flood, are they worried about passing laws about dikes and ditches? No – that’s the logical time to talk, as it’s on everyone’s minds. After a gun-related tragedy is the best time to talk about guns. Who gets them? What types can they get? What are the restrictions? (This is completely separate from only potentially related items, like mental health – we have no idea what the state of mind of this shooter was, and trying to link school shootings to mental illness without evidence is wrong.)

    There are lots of questions, but very few mean that people who are responsible and law abiding wouldn’t be able to shoot at a target or a deer or whatever on their free time. On the other hand, many simple regulations could lead to fewer shootings like this.

  2. 2
    rq

    Yes yes yes yes. Came home last night and cried about this, in that way that says I’m also grateful that I don’t live in the States. I hope there will be positive action in terms of more control of firearms.
    John Poteet said it well.
    Now if only they would listen.

  3. 3
    Karen Locke

    “It’s time we have the will to ensure that people who need help can get it, afford it, and will be judged as strong and good for seeking that help.

    Damn right.

  4. 4
    Karen Locke

    Speaking as an American rifle owner, whose gun is unloaded and stuffed in it’s case (and thus totally useless in a break-in — that’s for the alarm company and the cops to deal with) I admit I don’t get the gun culture mystique. I see a gun as a tool for dealing with destructive critters on rural property that can’t be reasonably trapped and relocated, and a recreational device for practicing shooting at the range. (Husband sees it as a tool for bringing down deer, but so far the deer haven’t cooperated.) Together, we Just Don’t Get the gun culture. We have relatives who are into it, but we just don’t get it. Having a rifle in the back of the closet doesn’t make us any safer. It doesn’t make his dick any bigger nor make me invulnerable. It doesn’t matter what the make and model is, that doesn’t make us any better than anyone else. Yet the Gun Culture is real, and it’s a really strong part of the fabric of American society. And there’s a whole lot of “my guns are better than your guns” talk going around. ?????

  5. 5
    WithinThisMind

    Guns should at be at least as inconvenient to own as cars. You must pass a test that shows you know how to use one before you are given the license that allows you to use one. Your license can be suspended at anytime should you operate one in a manner even remotely unsafe. You must be retested at set intervals to ensure you are still able to utilize one properly. You must register and pay taxes on all firearms you own. If you take your guns out of your gun safe, you must be able to show that you have paid insurance on said firearms should any ‘accidents’ occur. You must produce your license, gun registration, and proof of insurance upon request by any LEO when having said firearms outside your gun safe. Being in possession of a firearm while under the effects of any mind-altering substance will result in your ‘right’ to possess a firearm being revoked for a minimum of one year up to however long it takes you to grow the fuck up.

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