No, It Is NOT Too Soon …

Yesterday, a man named Devin Patrick Kelley entered a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and opened fire on the people inside the church, killing at least 26 and injuring many more.  He performed this atrocity with a gun.  The gun was a Luger assault rifle, a German weapon designed for warfare, not self-protection..

There are those who will say that it is too soon to discuss the relevant fact that this crime, this mass murder, was committed with a gun.  They would say that it is disrespectful of the victims to use this atrocity to launch a discussion of gun regulations, or lack thereof.  NO, it is not too soon and it is not disrespectful.  It is exactly the right time, when perhaps a few people get angry enough to make some changes around here! What is disrespectful is to fail to heed what is happening in this nation, to allow people to continue to bring guns into public places and shoot people.  All the recent gun atrocities should be a wake up call, but instead there are those who want to keep saying, “hush, hush now, don’t upset anyone”.  What is disrespectful is Donald Trump’s comment …

 “We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries, but this isn’t a guns situation [emphasis added] … we could go into it but it’s a little bit soon to go into it. Fortunately, somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction, otherwise it wouldn’t have been as bad as it was, it would have been much worse.”

This is, indeed, a “guns situation”.  Granted, Mr. Kelley had a history of violence, having been court-martialed in 2012 on charges of assaulting his wife and child. He was sentenced to 12 months’ confinement and received a “bad conduct” discharge in 2014.  So yes, he was obviously mentally unstable, so why was he allowed to own a gun?  And an assault rifle, one that was banned for ten years until 2004 when the NRA convinced Congress to allow the ban on assault weapons to lapse.

Yes, Donald Trump, this is precisely a “guns situation”, for without the gun, Mr. Kelley would have been unable to kill 26 people.  Had he entered that building with a knife or even a machete, he would not have been able to murder 26 people.  Just as Dylan Roof, Charles Whitman, and Stephen Paddock, to name just a few, would not have killed anybody, but for their guns.

This nation is indeed under attack, but the threat does not come from Middle-Eastern refugees … the threat comes from our own backyard.  The threat comes from those who go about uttering the same tired old phrase “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”.  Yes, people kill people … mostly with guns!  Typically white, male U.S. citizens with a grudge against somebody or something, real or imagined, and with a gun!

To add insult to Trump’s inane statement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made equally inane remarks, calling for more armed security guards in church or “at least arming some of the parishioners so they can respond to something like this.” The same ol’ spiel we hear from the NRA … if some guns are causing mass shootings and deaths, then more guns must be the solution.  Paxton also used that other tired old NRA adage: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Well guess what, folks?  That one has been disproven time and time again, but the NRA and its proponents always manage to put a different spin on it.  Not to mention that they manage to put enough greenbacks in the pockets of Congress to sway their votes. Let me ask you a question:  You own a gunshop.  A man walks into your shop, wants to buy a gun.  Is he a “good guy” or a “bad guy”?  You don’t know, you cannot know.  And frankly, even if he is a good guy today, there is nothing that says he won’t turn into a bad guy under a given set of circumstances.  All you know is that he is a human, subject to the foibles that have plagued mankind since the beginning of time.

Gun laws in this nation are a joke, for truly, there are few laws and they are not uniformly enforced. It is obvious that We The People do not matter, for some 80% of people in this nation are in favour of tougher restrictions on gun ownership, including re-establishing the ban on assault weapons and denying gun ownership to the mentally ill and to those with a history of violence.  Those are bare-bones minimum requirements, and yet even though the vast majority support those regulations, Congress is unwilling to pass such laws, for the NRA is buying their vote.  If you are satisfied with this situation, if you are sitting back saying how terrible this tragedy was, but believing it cannot happen to you or your family … then you are part of the problem.

As for me, I am not going to wait for “the right time” to shine a very bright spotlight on this issue, for there will never be a “right time” in the minds of those who don’t wish to hear what I have to say.  I can only say that at this point, I am thoroughly disgusted with the so-called president, with Congress, and with those who sit back and allow the status quo, who support unlimited gun ownership.  I am very seriously considering taking my family to another country, one where it is understood that, human nature being what it is, guns do not belong in the hands of every Tom, Dick and Harry.

50 thoughts on “No, It Is NOT Too Soon …

  1. Dear Jill,
    Good news for a change! Democrats have won just about every special election on November 7, 2017. If we can keep this up, we may be in a position to tackle this gun issue.I am so sick of seing this horror show happening over and over again.
    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry you keep going through this kind of tragedy, Jill. I wonder if there was an NRA convention with a very large crowd and some deranged guy walked in with an assault rifle and opened fire – would they still say it’s not about guns? I wasn’t aware that the ban on assault weapons had lapsed – so I kept wondering how these shooters got their hands on them. Now I know. Those legislators are insane.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, John. Y’know … I have wondered that myself. Easy to talk when it’s happening to someone else, but if it ever hits them squarely in the face, they may sing a different tune. I just don’t know, and I don’t understand the gun mentality in this country … it is almost an obsession for some. I have often said it’s a ‘manhood’ thing, but then, I know a few women who are equally obsessed, so … I don’t know … I just don’t know. I have had a gun pointed at me twice in my life, and I can tell you that I have no desire to ever touch one or see one again! Thanks again for your kind words … greatly appreciated.

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  3. I get so frustrated with this. I support the 2nd Amendment, but I don’t support the legal status of weapons that can mow down multiple people in a short period of time. There is no practical use for these outside of a military context. I have a retired military ‘friend’ on Facebook that tallied up all of the people that were mowed down by terrorism attacks by car and concluded that, by the same logic of ‘gun control nuts’ we should outlaw cars. I tried reasoning with him. 1) Cars are not designed to kill things. 2) If you add up all of the casualties from these vehicular attacks, they don’t approach the number of the single Las Vegas attack.

    Today is was revealed that this guy had mental and domestic violence issues that the military was aware of but did not put in his background file. He also escaped from a mental institution after a domestic violence incident. He doesn’t sound like someone that should be legally allowed to buy a weapon. Could he mow down people with a car, sure, but why legally sell him an instrument designed to kill. I’m not sure how this plays out, but I’m torn between hiding in my home or getting a concealed weapon permit so I can try to defend myself against these nutballs.Obviously new laws or better enforcement of existing laws will not happen under this joker of a president.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know, Don … I am sick of it, and sick in the knowledge that it is only likely to get worse, not better. I am not a fan of the 2nd amendment, but I can support it within reason. My 3 requests would be: 1) a total ban on assault weapons; 2) strict background checks with a waiting period, and no gun sold to anybody with a history of violence or a criminal record; 3) training & competency testing — you have to take both a written and road test for a driving license, why not for a gun license. Otherwise, I suggest we go with my original idea and make guns available only to military and law enforcement, but we both know that won’t fly.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That waste of resources in the Whitehouse tries to put on a solemn face and says his thoughts and prayers…oh give me a bucket someone….when a week ago after another lunatic mowed down people in New York he was blathering about immigration control. Did he say anything about guns….hell he did!!
    In Sutherland Springs the situation is complicated. The first responders were members of the public, one with just a handgun who took on an idiot loser with an automatic, the other who helped the first give chase and ensure the shooter’s demise. I get that entirely. So are we in a situation which is getting so toxic that folk feel the need to arm themselves ‘just in case’? If I lived in the USA my thoughts would drift in that direction.
    Basically, the bottom line is that. Firstly, the political class need to grow up and act like adults, take some of the anger and conflict out of rhetoric and at least try to show they care about the whole population of the USA. Secondly, they can then go and tell the hate and hysterics mongers to ‘Shut The F*%@ Up’.
    Whichever way they slice it, dice it or wriggle, they have blood on their hands

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Yet again, you and we all feel helpless in the face of the stubborn, reckless and wilfully blind attitude of your gun lobby but also of the politicians, who should behave like morally responsible human beings not paid ciphers, but are so determined to cling to power that they ignore the common sense truths staring them in the face. Sorrow doesn’t begin to cover, it, but I am so sorry, all of you who see the madness but cannot seem to get your leaders to do anything about it. Big hugs all round.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You can deny health care to the mentally ill but not the “right” to own guns. Hello? Can anyone out there see what’s wrong with that? What next? How about congress passing a law that if you’re homeless and can’t afford a gun, the state must provide it for you free of charge? No, you can’t sell it, you must be able to produce it on demand by the police and it must be loaded. You know, even the score and all… The right to bear arms, after all, is the most important clause in the bill of rights, and no one should be deprived because they are penurious. Restrictions would apply, of course, for example if you’re black, a female or under 14 you might qualify only for a Saturday night special. It would still fulfill the letter of the law. Sarcasm apart, Americans need to make it clear in no uncertain terms that they no longer support the “gun culture” and voluntarily turn in their guns (or destroy them) then vote accordingly. Sadly however, the problem is deeper than guns: Americans, based on their entertainment choices and sports, love violence. Plus they actually believe that having a gun will make it possible to overthrow their illegitimate Washington ruling cabal if/when they decide it’s time to do so. They see their guns as instruments of personal power, freedom and independence, so you’re dealing with an ethos, a symbol, an idol, not just a killing tool. The NRA plays that tune for all it’s worth, whatever their motives should these extend beyond the cash register which they do. I suspect deeply rooted racism and fascism moves behind the gun scene.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree with all you say, and your scenario of the state providing a gun if you cannot afford one reminds me that a few years ago there was a push by some group or another to lobby Congress to pass a law that every household must have at least one gun! This nation is gun-crazed … it is an epidemic … and every time there is a mass shooting, the first thing the gun afficionados say is that it is too early to mention the fact that there are more gun deaths here by far than any other western nation. But, there is never a ‘right time’, for these senseless tragedies just keep coming. Sadly, I do not think it is likely to change anytime soon, and the only catalyst I see to bring about change is an autocracy. I have written about people who, when faced with a choice between keeping their guns or their children, chose to keep their guns.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. In many ways, I think it is more disrespectful to the victims and the survivors to NOT discuss & implement gun restrictions. I think they’d pretty much all agree. The Pastor whose daughter was killed? It is this ‘God-given right to bear arms’ attitude without the responsibility of what that ‘right’ brings. It is greed — how do you stop the NRA bribery of government? Believe me Jill, Canada would welcome you. We are ‘nice’. We like peace. Although, I must warn you, Trump fever is spreading across the border — it is damn scary. We might need a wall. LUV 😉 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you … it seems to me the appropriate response is to begin immediately finding ways to prevent this ever happening again, and what is the answer? Get the guns out of the hands of civilians. No other nation in the western world has as many guns floating around in the hands of unqualified and inept people as the U.S.

      Thank you so much! Yes, you Canadians are indeed nice people … a number of my friends are your fellow countrymen and they are all wonderful, as are you! Welcome, by the way, and thank you for your kind words! I hope you’ll come back often! Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ok. Understandable…… but the FACT is: he was turned away from buying said gun because of his past. The law worked. How then can you stop someone from breaking the law and getting it anyway? It was a black market purchased weapon. I don’t own a weapon, though I am a veteran. But the state of things nowadays, has me seriously thinking about getting not one, but a few. I’ll be damned if this f’d up government is going to tell me I can’t. I believe that that 80% number is way off…..maybe 55% is more accurate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi.
      Writing from the UK, and sitting on the far Left of politics (so far out, enough to give nightmares to most folk including many of my fellow socialists ).
      That said I can understand how you must be feeling; I have read of approximately 150-200 mass shootings (involving 4 or more victims) in the USA this year, bound to make a person think. To my way of thinking a lot more people with a public profile should be thinking not about their right to free speech and expression but their civic duty to display a more responsible attitude.
      Back in the 1970s I was talking to an older (then) but equally hard-line socialist who said to me ‘You know the trouble with this country? Everyone talk about their Civil Rights, but never about their Civil Responsibilities,’. That stuck with me.
      Take care, wherever you are.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Perfect response, Roger. And the comment about ‘civil responsibilities’ even made me stop and think! Thank you for responding to Jerry … he lives near me and we have been friends for some 20 years, but we frequently disagree bitterly on political issues, especially this one. Thanks for responding to him, as I could only stutter when I read his comment.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks Jill.
          As you may have noticed I have this ‘zero-tolerance’ thing when it comes to Intolerance and taking out your problems on other folk.
          It is a very complicated issue and the carrying of guns is built deep into the culture, but it’s getting like folk who DUI would argue it’s their right to drive around drunk, or high.
          Small steps would be a start. Like The NRA running a ‘Responsible Gun Ownership’ Campaign or slowing down the sale of the automatics. And for politicians to stop slithering around the issue.
          By the way; congratulations on the latest election results; it looked like Mr Northam back-tracked a bit to get in, but something is better than nothing- bound to upset the Whitehouse!

          Liked by 2 people

          • Hah … I cannot imagine the NRA and a “responsible” gun ownership campaign! They were the reason the ban on assault weapons was lifted, which I will never understand. However, this current status quo cannot continue to escalate indefinitely, and I don’t see a good end to it no matter which scenario I play in my head.

            Thanks for the congrats! Yes, I am fairly pleased, but I think the GOP isn’t. Awwwww …. how sad for them, yes? 😀

            Liked by 1 person

            • A responsible NRA…..I wuz dreaming there Jill….y’know how it was in the ’60s’….even without substances.
              Yes it’s tough on the GOP, I see it this way………
              (Intro & explanation..back in the 1970s UK hit comedy series ‘It An’t Half Hot Mum’..set in British Army WWII Burma. One character loud and overbearing Sergeant Major- had a sarcastic response to any soldier’s problems…said in a very thick welsh accent)
              ‘Oh dear. How Sad. Never mind’
              We use it all the time in our house 😄
              (Check it on YouTube).
              My other one is
              ‘Never mind, adversity is good for your character building’

              Liked by 1 person

              • Ah yes … I remember watching a couple of clips from that series once before when you mentioned it and it is indeed quite apt here! I think I shall check it out again … I need some humour! And I am quite enough of a character as it is … didn’t need this adversity to come along and add to it … just ask my girls! At least four times a day one or the other looks at me and says, “You’re funny!” And then they roll their eyes and move as far away as possible, in case it might be contagious. But I’ll give it all credit … life is never boring and I never lack for something to write about! 🙃 😜

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  9. The bigger issue is why as citizens of the US, feel we need guns in the first place? Most countries in Europe and Asia don’t even have gun laws banning/ restricting handguns, let alone assault rifles b/c ppl feel secure enough not to have the need to own firearms. Only in America does every redneck have a shotgun in the back of his truck, and 5 in his house!

    Even if Congress passed a new law banning all weapons tomorrow, a “War on Guns” for instance, that just pushes everything underground. Prohibition has that effect, whether it be drugs, alcohol, sex, or guns.

    It would make more sense to analyse why Americans have this violent obsession with guns in the first place. As with any commodity, it’s supply and demand. If nobody demands guns, then suppliers will go out of business. Problem solved!

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  10. The shockwaves from this latest atrocity have gone around the world. 😦 Here in Australia, I watched a news segment that flashed big, bold statistics on the screen, and those statistics were terrifying. So many people killed, sprayed to death by a weapon that barely even needs to be aimed. The US Constitution may grant citizens the right to bear arms but back then they only had muskets and crossbows…/single/ person dealers of death…if the assailant had enough skill to make the most of his weapon. Now the weapons need no skill and they deal death indiscriminately. It’s wrong. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly! These idiots are not even satisfied with a pistol or a rifle which, to my notion is bad enough, but they have to own guns that were meant for military use only. I was in the book shop one day a few months ago and noticed a man bent over looking at magazines about guns, when I saw the butt end of a pistol sticking out of the waistband of his pants. I was so infuriated!!! They say they need them for self-protection, but I have never been attacked in a book shop! I found myself wishing he would accidentally blow a certain part of his anatomy off! Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Such inanity. In US schools, so I read, a kid in kindergarten, or first grade, is taken to the principal’s office and expelled for drawing what looked to the teacher “like” a gun. This madness (ref: the many articles by Jon Rappoport on this issue) points to a “nation” being torn by extremes, extremism, extremists. Under the suzerainty of the No Bell Peace Prize winner Drone King Obomber political correctness was the law of the land, which the usual idiots took extreme interpretation. Then came the reign of the Short Fingered Vulgarian and the weathercock swung a hundred and eighty degrees in the homeland winds. Sadly for the rest of an embattled and impoverished world, nothing changed out there… and equally sadly, nothing much changed on the home front either, except perhaps a more unemployed, dispossessed, hopeless, “Grapes of Wrath” scenario spreading across the face of that nameless “nation.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • There seems to no longer be a center ground in this nation, but merely a huge divide. When the right went further right, the left went further left, and now there is a huge chasm that I don’t think anybody quite knows how to cross. Rather than civil dialogue, we now have reactionary rhetoric … from both sides, and often I am guilty of this also. I recognize the problems, but have no idea how to go about fixing them. I am trying to encourage people of all political ideologies to come here and share their views, respectfully, of course, and I do have one reader who has offered some valuable insight, and who is also interested in listening to my point of view, but in general, this nation is so divided that I see only one possible outcome, and it is one that I do not like at all. Sigh.

          Liked by 1 person

        • In truth, I’m sure I would have been scared if I had not been so filled with rage. I have a tendency that drives my family nuts to fly off when people do really stupid things, and tell them exactly what I think. I made a not-very nice comment to this man, trying to keep my voice from shaking, and he just gave me a look and left. You think about that later and say, “gee, that might not have been too bright”, but at the moment … rage was all I felt. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Your gun laws don’t make sense to this Englishman. It’s impossible for a member of the public to own a hand gun legally here, or a military-type weapon of any description. Licences for Hunting Rifles are are incredibly difficult to obtain. Ordinary members of the public are permitted to own shotguns, but obtaining a shotgun certificate means applying to the local police, and trust me, anyone with a history like that of Devin Patrick Kelly would be unlikely to be allowed a firearm of any kind. https://northyorkshire.police.uk/what-we-do/licensing/firearms-licensing/firearm-shotgun-certificates/
    Both drivers licences, and firearms seem stupidly easy to obtain in the USA, but of the two, I think it’s easier to buy a gun in the USA than it is to legally drive a car.
    Cars and guns are both deadly weapons in the wrong hands, but guns are supposed to kill people, and cars aren’t.
    Somewhere, somehow, you guys have got yourselves stuck back in the 18th or 19th century, when a gun was a needed tool and your Militia was needed to defend the union. Times have changed. The ordinary man in the street should not need to carry a gun, and mentally ill / disturbed people like Devin Patrick Kelly shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a gun / ammunition / knives / axes / or a car.
    Well Jill, that’s my twopenn’orth worth. It doesn’t help much.
    Maybe lots of love, hugs, and kisses will ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Our gun laws, such as they are, don’t make sense to ME, either. You are correct, a gun license is MUCH easier to get than a driver’s license. This has always been one of my pet peeves … one must prove competency and skill in order to obtain a driver’s license, but neither for a gun license. And assault weapons??? There can be no possible justification for a civilian needing a weapon that can mow down a 40-50 people inside a minute. NONE!!! But try telling that to these fribbin’ idiots …. or wazzocks! 😉
      Many hugs, my friend! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I couldn’t agree more …. ‘NO, it is not too soon and it is not disrespectful. It is exactly the right time, when perhaps a few people get angry enough to make some changes around here! What is disrespectful is to fail to heed what is happening in this nation, to allow people to continue to bring guns into public places and shoot people. All the recent gun atrocities should be a wake up call, but instead there are those who want to keep saying, “hush, hush now, don’t upset anyone”. What is disrespectful is Donald Trump’s comment … ‘

    Liked by 2 people

  13. So sad yet so spot on. I just left this comment beneath an article about the shooting: “Here’s the clever ruse being pulled on all of us whenever politicians trot out their tired old ‘don’t politicize this’ line: mass shootings are now such a frequent event that before we can pass through this undefined period of ‘grieving without politicizing’ (and in this case, “politicizing” is a euphemism for TRYING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM), then another one will occur before it is considered socially acceptable to politicize the earlier one. Brilliant, huh? In other words, there will NEVER be an acceptable time to stop being frightened children sucking on their semi-automatic pacifiers and start introducing common sense measures around who can get a gun and what kind they can get. And to everyone foaming at the mouth to tell me that this guy didn’t get his gun legally so what I’m saying doesn’t apply: shut up. The US has the worst rate of gun violence in the world AND by far the highest rate of gun ownership. It is a gun culture and we have essentially told everyone, in no uncertain terms, that the best solution to any problem is a killing machine.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are so right! There will never be a “right time” to have this debate, for the bottom line is that those die-hard 2nd Amendment fanatics would give up their own children before they give up their guns. They spin every mass shooting to find something else to blame beside the fact that the killer used a gun. And I do not have any solutions … cannot see an end to the madness. I applaud you for taking a stand … your comment is spot-on!

      Liked by 1 person

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