It is no longer an assumption, statistics frequently hidden from the public eye prove that the United States is a gun crazy nation. Encouraged by a single lobby which represents a multi-billion dollar industry, more Americans worship their guns than they do their family and friends. It’s hard to believe that there is a worse lobby than the Petroleum Industry, but for the average, innocent citizen, the NRA is the evil above all evils; they encourage America to commit violence using guns.
Owning a weapon which has only a single purpose, to kill another human being and the possession of that killing machine, has a heavy responsibility attached to it. Every year over 30,000 women and children lose their lives because of violence which is gun-related. Thirty would be too many, 30 thousand is a disgrace and reveals the lack of concern for human life which our nation actually exhibits.
Why do more Americans own more guns per capita than any other nation in the world? The politics of fear has been ingrained in our psyches for decades by Republicans and their best friends the NRA Lobby. Slogans such as ‘if we don’t have guns, only the criminals will have guns;’ or ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people,’ are all designed to influence our nation’s people to purchase more guns and make the gun manufacturers and sellers more wealthy.
Today in Washington State a three-year-old boy was shot in the mouth by his four-year-old playmate. A loud bang was heard in a bedroom; the father of the wounded boy found that the door was locked and broke it open. As he took him to the hospital, he was under the assumption that the door had injured his son. At the hospital it was discovered that the injury was from a gunshot. There is no information explaining how the four-year-old managed to obtain the firearm. The boy is in serious condition.
Last year a four-year-old New Jersey boy shot and killed his six-year-old playmate with his father’s .22 caliber rifle. The father plead guilty to multiple counts of child endangerment for failing to secure a loaded weapon.
Last Thursday a New Jersey mother placed a revolver inside a pillow. She proceeded to shoot her three children as the shots were muffled. The final shot she saved for herself. The children were 14, 11, and 8 years old. The 11-year-old boy and his mother are in critical condition; the other two children, a boy and a girl were dead at the scene. Local merchants, family and friends told authorities that the mother was financially distraught.
With the current federal laws in existence, anyone can purchase a gun and the ammunition necessary for it to become a lethal weapon. In most states background checks which encompass thorough information about an individual attempting to purchase a weapon of mass destruction are non-existent. Purchases online and at gun shows have almost no restrictions.
Those who initiate fear into the hearts and souls of Americans have no concern for the safety of our society. If the truth was told, each of us should be more fearful of our neighbors and strangers we encounter every day as we live our daily lives. Any individual with a loaded weapon could be the one who endangers our lives and those whom we love.
I once believed the adage from Franklin Delano Roosevelt; ‘the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’ I know that’s not true in the 21st century; I fear anyone I know who owns a weapon which could kill me and my loved ones in an instant.
By James Turnage