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Sunday, April 2, 2023

The country that kills its children

America failed.  It promised to recognize equality and give everyone the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.  It has shown itself incapable of protecting life.  

Our failure is not spectacular in the ways that other countries have taken lives.  Right now we are much occupied by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but mostly unaware of a previous invasion and its consequences.  Germany invaded Ukraine in 1941 and on Sept. 29 and 30 of that year lined up almost 34,000 Jews in a ravine outside of Kyiv and gunned them down.

We haven't approached that magnitude yet, but we have gone a step further:  we're doing it to our own people, including our children.

Other nations experience mass shootings on rare occasions, but in America, they have become routine daily occurrences.  As of the 87th day of the year, America has had  130 mass shootings.  Thirteen of them were at schools.  Gun violence is the leading cause of death for American children.

Who cares?  Not many Americans.  At a news conference about the school shooting in Nashville this week, a woman repeated the contention that America loves guns more than it does its children.  The history of school shootings and the body counts of children killed in them show that statement to be true.  Government and research organizations have been tracking mass shooting incidents for a half a century, but the country has shown neither the ability nor the desire to do anything about them.  Gun violence has become a characteristic of the American identity; the refusal to address the security of the people as a condition essential to the pursuit of life, liberty, justice, and happiness is a failure of democracy.  The primary responsibility of a government is to keep its citizens safe.  America has refused to deal with the proliferation of guns and their role in the violence that has become a national trait. 

For every 100 Americans, there are 120 guns.  What we don't have is a well-regulated militia, but the Second Amendment was created to serve that as its purpose. We do have an epidemic of armed people who use their guns to kill other people, and we are the only nation in the world who has that plague as part of its national character.  Our national legislature has authorized mass murder as the  American way.  It let the ban on assault weapons lapse.  After the Nashville shooting, The New York Times posted this headline:  After Mass Shootings, Republicans Expand Access to Guns.

That headline explains how the United States became the world leader in mass shootings and the extermination of children.  It also designates the major political party that staunchly values the right to bear any kind of firearm over the lives of children.

In the 1960s, the nation put school children through drills on what to do in case of nuclear attack. Now they are drilled on what to do when an active shooter comes to their school.  Since the Columbine shooting in Colorado, 348,000 school children have experienced gun violence.  We lost no children to nuclear attack.  The enemies who attack our children come from within the nation.  And those enemies are served by people in Congress who make sure that they can get anything they need to carry out their attacks.

Gun safety has turned out to be the ultimate IQ test which designates the mentally and morally incompetent.  Rather than deal with the gun crisis, many Americans take refuge behind incredibly stupid sayings, such as "guns don't kill children, people do."  Some posit having teachers carry guns.  Others suggest having armed guards posted in every school.   Those who utter such inanities are in need of special handling themselves.  They are too mentally incapacitated to understand the problem.  Or they are too morally bereft to care, and some might even take pleasure in the killing of children.  America's gun problem will not be solved until its stupidity problem is.

Some experts on what the possession of guns means for America, suggest that there are so many guns out there that it is too late to devise any effective control measures.  They see America descending into a state of violent confusion that effectively ends the republic.  One expert said that America is committing suicide by cop.  

With guns being the leading cause of death in children, that is a sign that the nation does not have a peaceful future. The gun displaces books as the basis for what governs us.

1 comment:

David Newquist said...

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States