An International Embarrassment

Most people reading this blog likely drive a car.  In order to do so, you must have a license issued by your state, and in order to obtain said license, you had to pass a written test to prove that you understand the laws that govern all drivers in order to make the roadways as safe as possible.  You also had to pass a road test to prove that you have the skills needed to drive safely.  And after doing all that, you want to know that the other drivers out there are also competent.  Even under the best of circumstances, accidents will sometimes happen, but we all … well, most of us anyway … do our best to avoid them.   A car or truck can be a lethal weapon in the wrong hands.

So, why is it that there is no testing required to own a firearm, another lethal weapon?   Why is there such an uproar among gun owners (likely prodded by the NRA) whenever any form of regulation on guns is proposed?  They don’t want a person stoned on drugs or drunk behind the wheel of a car, yet they are happy for that same person to be behind the trigger of an AR-15?  I’m sorry, folks, but I honestly just don’t get this!

I know that to some I sound like a broken record, but … are we no longer horrified by mass shootings?  Do we no longer care that it’s as safe to walk across an eight-lane expressway as it is to enter a bar or restaurant where somebody almost certainly has a gun in his possession?

This is the 11th day in April, and already there have been 16 mass shootings that caused the deaths of 21 people and injured another 64.  But the mass shootings aren’t even the worst of it.  Thus far this year, 101 days into 2021, there have been 11,671 people killed by guns in the U.S.  Do gun owners, NRA members and congressional Republicans honestly think this is what the Founding Fathers envisioned when they wrote the 2nd Amendment into the U.S. Constitution?

On Thursday, President Biden announced a series of executive actions to curb gun violence, and he pledged to push for sweeping change to the country’s firearms laws — his first substantive response to a pair of mass shootings last month that left 18 dead.  He was spot on when he said …

“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic, and it’s an international embarrassment.  The idea that we have so many people dying every single day from gun violence in America is a blemish on our character as nation.”

Unfortunately, there is very little that the president can do on his own in this case, but here are the four measures his executive orders call for:

  • Serial numbers for guns made at home from kits. Biden called the homemade weapons “ghost guns” because they’re hard to trace and because kit buyers don’t have to submit to a background check.
  • A new annual report from the Justice Department about gun trafficking. There had previously been a report done by Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, which dated back to 2000.
  • Stricter treatment of handgun stabilizing braces, like the one used recently in a mass shooting at a Colorado grocery store. The change would require the modification be reported to the Justice Department, just like a silencer. There would be a $200 reporting fee.
  • Finally, Biden said he wanted to make it easier for states to enact “red flag laws,” allowing the police or family members to petition for the temporary removal weapons when a person in crisis is a danger to himself or others.

These are a start, but much more is needed and only Congress has the power to enact legislation such as a ban on assault weapons, expanded background checks, competency & skills testing – all things that the NRA and those lovers of their 2nd Amendment “rights” will fight tooth and nail.  And because they fight it, Congress won’t pass it and thousands more people will die needlessly this year … and the next … and the next.

What does it take?  Will Mitch McConnell change his tune when his own grandchild is killed by a man with a gun?  Will Lauren Boebert suddenly become an advocate for gun laws when the life of one of her own children is taken at gunpoint?  I doubt it, for remember Representative Steve Scalise, who was shot and nearly died in 2017 during a congressional baseball practice?  A year later he said …

“I was a strong supporter of the second amendment before the shooting, and frankly, as ardent as ever after the shooting …”

What a guy, eh?

Every year, the number of guns in the hands of civilians increases and predictably, every year the number of people in this country killed by guns also increases.  Even the smallest steps taken toward reducing the number of guns that will, potentially, be used to kill is met with rage and indignation from those who believe their ‘right’ to own a gun is more important than your ‘right’ to live.  President Biden is right … we are an international embarrassment.

37 thoughts on “An International Embarrassment

  1. I absolutely do not understand why any suggestion of even the slightest restriction being placed on any firearms is greeted with a howl of outrage as if someone was proposing a cull of everyone’s firstborn.

    On reflection, I wonder whether that cull might be more likely to get the nod.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Disgrace. Sin. Crime. Outrage. All are better words to describe this, and all are accurate. The rest of the world sees the US as a backward, third rate nation while it allows this lunacy to continue.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I agree with all of your terms and would add to the list a “freaking horror show”. We are moving backward and I’ve said more than a few times that we are heading toward becoming a third-rate nation. I’m always amazed when I hear somebody call this country the “greatest nation on earth” … I nearly choke on my coffee, for we are nowhere near that! Our healthcare system is third-rate, as is our education system, and add to that the guns … what a mess!

      Liked by 2 people

      • The stereotypical view held by many outside the country is that the US is inward-looking, thinking it is the best and not recognising that, as you say, in several respects it isn’t. The former guy’s tenure has made that insularity worse. Mind you, having said that, we seem to be moving the same way, with a jingoistic government whose only talents are for arrogance and blindly pushing dogma!

        Liked by 2 people

        • To a large extent, you are right. That was what made the former guy so popular, his “America First” policies that gave people the false impression that this country is somehow better than others. Sure, there may be areas, but of late our education, healthcare, civil rights, women’s rights, and other systems are simply failing. Yes, many Western nations in this, the age of ‘populism’, are heading down the same path, although not at breakneck speed as we are. I have to wonder if sanity will return, or if we will simply destroy ourselves from within.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill, I agree, but also like Rawgod taking it a step further. To be frank, any politician who refuses to act like a parent or grandparent on these issues, is not exhibiting good stewardship. And, what frustrates me is even gun owners approve in majority of certain changes So, these funded politicians need to get off their hind end and act. I applaud the President for at least doing something. I fault Senator Mitch McConnell for his embarrassing failure to act over the years and now. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

      • Indeed, I saw that one, and tonight another. It’s a daily occurrence, and one problem is that people become inured to it after a time and it’s … “oh, just another shooting”. Until, that is, it happens to them or one of their loved ones, yes?

        Like

    • Yes, I agree with rawgod in this one, too, but as I said to him, it would hardly have been proper for the President to use the language to aptly describe it. That so many in Congress put their allegiance to the gun manufacturers/lobby ahead of our lives is just unconscionable, and yet … it is up to us to vote these jackals out of Congress. Instead, we keep sending the likes of Mitch McConnell back to Washington time and time again. Funny, they vote a man out for voting to impeach the most corrupt president in history, but they won’t vote one out for putting the lives of the people at risk time and time again.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Being an international person, read not American, I would not call this an embarrassment, I would call it The Real American Horror Story! Embarrassment is such a weak word, don’t you think? You need a word which actually raises ire while condemning the very practice that is causing this embarrassment. Even horror story does not do it justice, but my mind is just not going there right now. I’m betting you or your readers can come up with a much more appropriate word. PLEASE!

    Liked by 3 people

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