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Who's Responsible for the Gun Epidemic?

Updated: Jul 12, 2023


Man buys guns
Who's responsible for the gun epidemic in the U.S.? There is plenty of blame to go around.

As we recently celebrated our nation’s birthday, many also exercised their Second Amendment “rights”. There was the typical, and likely alcohol influenced, celebratory gunfire, but there were also several incidents that resulted in multiple fatalities.


Reports are that there were no less than 20 + mass casualty shootings (These numbers had to be updated several times as this piece was being written as more and more incidents were reported.) over the holiday weekend.


There is plenty of finger pointing going on as people try to explain this epidemic of violence. Many of those making the accusations are trying to deflect from the issue of gun control and are instead attempting to deflect from the horrific body count by blaming everything from mental health issues, illegal aliens, poor support of law enforcement by the Biden Administration and firearms purchased illegally. They want you to ignore that these numerous deadly events are a uniquely American phenomenon caused by those who support unregulated firearm possession over public safety.


So, who’s to blame as the body count keeps rising in America’s seemingly endless gun epidemic? It turns out there is plenty of blame to go around.


Republican Lawmakers

This ain’t your daddy’s Republican Party anymore. It’s a collection of conspiracy theorists, corporate stooges and defenders of the faith. They are far removed from the Party of Lincoln and more akin to the White Nationalist dominated John Birch Society which opposed the Civil Rights movement and other social programs.


A major area where those on the right agree is their adamant support for a decidedly limited interpretation of the Second Amendment. They wholeheartedly accept “the right to bear arms”, but categorically reject “a well-regulated militia” when it comes to anything to do with the amendment. In fact, any mention of regulations is met with extreme hostility from these elected representatives. Instead, they refer to their right to bear arms as a God given one.


Sadly, they believe their right to bear arms outweighs the safety of school children.


Every time there is a mass casualty shooting they roll out their tired litany of excuses. First it was “Now is not the time” as they tried to avoid the issue by claiming emotions were running too high to discuss gun control rationally. They blamed the mentally ill, as if wanting to own an inordinate number of firearms wasn’t already a sign of mental illness, while cutting funding to the very services provided to treat them. And they claimed Democrats wanted to take guns away from “law abiding citizens” while ignoring the fact they were only law abiding due to the lax way gun laws have been implemented.


And what a fine collection of crazies they have as defenders of the Constitution. There’s QAnon kook Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was recently booted from the far-right Freedom Caucus for not being loony enough, if that can be believed.


She was among those who accused the survivors of the Parkland attack of being crisis actors. She harassed them as they came to the Capitol to argue for stricter gun control measures and, despite the numerous shootings on Fourth of July weekend, posed for a tone-deaf political ad exiting a military vehicle while brandishing an assault rifle.


There’s rootin’ tootin’ shootin’ Lauren Boebert who lost her gun-themed bar and her sex offender husband in the span of a few weeks, yet she still had time to rail against anything related to gun safety. Her rantings have little to do with getting any other legislation passed as she is solely focused on a single issue. That is, unless she’s trying to impeach a member of the Democratic Party for actually doing their job. So apparently, she’s earned the label her fellow nut job applied to her.


And when he isn’t jetting off to Mexico while his constituents are freezing to death, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is offering useless solutions to the epidemic of gun violence. Arming teachers, getting seniors to volunteer and “hardening” schools (Whatever that means) are among his idiotic suggestions. After a recent shooting where the perpetrator blasted through a secure entrance, Cruz blamed doors as the reason schools were uniquely vulnerable.


Yeah, ok Ted.


There’s the self-described paragon of everything manly, Josh Hawley. He views gun ownership as the ultimate symbol of manliness. When he’s not touting the Second Amendment, he’s fist pumping insurrectionists and then running for his life from them soon afterward.


But it’s not just limited to the Federal government. Red states are passing laws that make it even easier to obtain guns. Some have even allowed gun owners to carry a concealed weapon without getting a permit. This makes the job of law enforcement even more dangerous as they have no idea who is, or is not, packing.


Yes, there is plenty of blood to go around when it comes to the deaths of children. Yet Republicans seem content with bathing in it to protect their “inalienable rights”.


The NRA

What was once a respected organization that taught gun safety has morphed into a political juggernaut bent on destroying Democracy by pitting one heavily armed side against those who want to live freely. They have effectively weaponized (pun intended) the gun lobby and turned Republicans into their own pawns to prevent any reasonable discussion of gun control from occurring.


What began soon after the Civil War to improve soldier marksmanship is now a powerful political force aimed at preventing any reasonable gun control measures from passing in the midst of wholesale massacres where firearms are now the leading cause of death for children and teens in America. With sayings like “From my cold, dead hands”, a good guy with a gun and molon labe (Roughly translated as a dare, “Come and take them”), the NRA has routinely refused to allow restrictions on firearms since the middle of the 20th century.


Having been founded soon after the Civil War, it’s difficult to overlook the timing as anything more than an effort to intimidate newly freed slaves. In fact, the only time the NRA supported banning open carry was when California sought to limit the practice after Black Panthers took to the streets to protest law enforcement abuses of minorities.


Because of the NRA’s stance on gun ownership, many countries have issued travel warnings for their citizens visiting the US. This is typically something reserved for Third World countries or those involved in armed conflict, but the proliferation of firearms in our nation has resulted in other countries applying the label to the “Land of the Free”.


Many of those who participated in the January 6th insurrection were viewed openly displaying their weapons. Others, such as members of the radical Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, who were convicted of Seditious Conspiracy for their role in attempting to overthrow the government, stored their weapons nearby, awaiting Donald Trump’s enacting of the Insurrection Act, which would have given them permission to occupy the Capitol. No doubt many of these participants were card carrying members of the NRA.


Many countries would have already declared the NRA to be a terrorist organization. Due to its overwhelming political influence, it is viewed in America by those on the right as a legitimate lobbying group.


The blood of innocents, which definitely could be called Blood Money, is on each member’s hands.


“Responsible” Gun Owners

Undoubtedly there are gun owners who behave responsibly, just as there are drivers who obey the traffic laws. However, there are also those who flaunt the rules by using loopholes in the system. Most drivers are aware that there is “wiggle room” in speed limits and many gun owners soon find there are similar openings when it comes to gun ownership.


It is these rule breakers who present the greatest danger. Instead of being content with a handgun for home protection or a rifle for hunting, they pursue multiple firearms in order to amass a dangerous arsenal of lethal weapons. They use the Gun Show Loophole to purchase firearms from private dealers, thus avoiding federal background checks. They find them on the internet where there is less oversight. They inherit them from relatives, avoiding the pesky paperwork. They cross state lines to purchase guns in states with less restrictions. And they purchase “ghost guns” that are untraceable to add to their mania.


There are more guns than people in America, but since not everyone owns one, it stands to reason there are far too many “collectors” out there to allow people the feel safe. They see themselves in a totally different way. Like Ralphie in the classic A Christmas Story , they view themselves as protectors of innocents rather than those causing the harm.


They fail to recognize that by opposing sensible gun control laws they are enabling those who commit these horrendous school massacres to get the very weapons they use in these crimes. Instead they cling to the paranoid belief that any effort to reign in gun violence is meant to take away their precious guns. So, they allow the shootings to continue in the name of protecting their Second Amendment rights.


These self-styled vigilantes maintain that they are the very “good guy with a gun” that is necessary to stop the violence. They delude themselves into believing that, if they were there with their AK-47, they would have put a stop to the shooter’s rampage. They glorify Kyle Rittenhouse while ignoring that he was able to obtain his weapon the same as Dylan Roof.


In order to satisfy the often ignored “well-regulated militia” phrase in the Second Amendment, many have taken to organizing so-called Citizens Militias with the idea they will somehow overwhelm an invading army (or a group of pesky Liberals) with a show of force. These wannabe G I Joes are often ex military and want to continue to demonstrate that they can still be of service. They offer firearms training but are often at odds with local, state and federal law enforcement due to the unrestricted access to sometimes military grade weaponry.


These gun owners are anything but responsible. They are a danger to law enforcement and the community at large because of their “shoot ‘em first, ask questions later” attitude. By opposing sensible gun reform, they are permitting access to the very school shooters they say they want to prevent.


There is not enough soap to clean the blood from their hands.


The Supreme Court

The current makeup of the Supreme Court is overwhelmingly Conservative. They’ve used the concept of being Constitutional originalist, meaning they interpret the law based upon the original intent of the Founding Fathers (grounded in their own biased interpretations). They have used this method to overturn decades of precedent, including a woman’s right to choose and affirmative action.


Now the court has agreed to hear a case that asks if taking guns away from a domestic violence suspect is a violation of their Second Amendment rights. It continues a trend that began in 2008 when the Heller decision allowed for greater access to firearms within the home. Later cases opened the floodgates to open carry and now concealed carry without a permit in many states as they adopted vague “Stand Your Ground” laws aimed at protecting gun owners who simply need to declare they felt threatened as they commit murder.


The pending case could further dilute Red Flag laws that are meant to protect victims of domestic abuse. This despite the fact the so-called originalists are ignoring the “Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness “ that is specifically guaranteed in both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Instead they appear poised to defend the all important Second Amendment over the safety of the general public.


With its current stance on the Second Amendment putting lives at risk, Conservatives in the Supreme Court have the blood of a nation on their hands.


So who's responsible for the gun epidemic in the U.S.? There is plenty of blame to go around.



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