Lookout columnist Claudia Sternbach is outraged at the latest spate of gun violence gripping our nation. She blames the National Rifle Association and its hold on Republican politicians. “Can someone please tell me what the endgame is here?” she asks. “Can someone tell me when gun proponents and the NRA will say enough is enough?”
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My plan had been to spend the day painting.
I am lucky that at this stage of my life I can devote time to doing things I love. Painting is one of those activities. I don’t profess to be good at applying acrylic paints to canvas, but I do believe the activity is good for me. It lifts my spirits if, at the end of the day, I can look at what I have accomplished and feel like I have introduced something new to the world.
I do not pretend that the universe was waiting for my splashes of color. I am not delusional. But the process makes me happy.
My canvas was prepped. The tubes of paint scattered next to my easel. Fresh water in a mug for rinsing brushes.
Then I looked at my phone.
Another shooting, this time in Atlanta. Five people shot in a medical facility. One declared dead already. Three in critical condition. Gunman on the loose.
The breaking news about shootings has become so common that I am often not sure if they are talking about yesterday’s shooting or last week’s mass murder or the one the week before. Men with guns seem to be everywhere. Shootings happening anywhere. People dying for making the mistake of pulling into a wrong driveway or ringing the wrong doorbell or asking your neighbor to stop blowing leaves.
I turned on the news and listened to the senator from Georgia, Raphael Warnock, speak before Congress about this latest violence. His children, he said, were now on lockdown at their school. Because no one knows where the shooter is or where he might go next or what he might do.
Sen. Warnock was eloquent in his speech. Much calmer than I would have been in his position. He listed all the places where we are no longer safe. Schools, office buildings, parties, music venues, medical buildings and on and on. He topped off the list with “home.”
Five people slaughtered in Texas because a father asked his neighbor to please stop shooting his AR-15-style rifle out in his front yard as it was preventing his baby from sleeping.
Can someone please tell me what the endgame is here? Can someone tell me when gun proponents and the National Rifle Association will say enough is enough?
Stupid question. The NRA doesn’t give a crap. Show them photos of mangled bodies and they use it to encourage people to buy even more high-powered weapons to keep them safe. It’s a never-ending circle of hell. And we are living in it.
And Republicans who do not stand up to the gun-loving organization are part of this nightmare. They love and worship money and power and if loss of innocent lives is part of this bargain with the devil, they really don’t care.
Oh, they may wring their hands and clutch their pearls, but their actions speak much louder than their meaningless thoughts and prayers.
The other day I heard our former vice president talk about our “God-given right” to own guns.
Where in the Bible does it say, “and thou shalt have guns?”
And these families who post pictures on Facebook all posing with their various weapons. WTF with that? And the men who wear T-shirts promoting guns, God and family. Again, WTF?
Did Jesus wander from place to place with a loaded gun slung over his shoulder? Would he today?
I know it is plucking low-hanging fruit to say this, but sometimes I feel like the bigger the gun, the smaller the penis. A guy sitting in his yard firing off an AR-15 into the ground just screams, “I need to prove I’m a man.”
You may be tired of reading about guns and violence. I am tired of writing about the subject.
But if we don’t keep talking, if we let the issue fade away because we can find nothing new to say about it, well, that is the way it simply becomes normal. And this, my friends, is not normal.
My canvas is waiting for me. The brushes lined up. But my inspiration is gone.
Just as Sen. Warnock stated, we are all being touched by gun violence one way or another. It weighs us down emotionally, spiritually, even physically.
Unless you are the NRA. To them the shootings are just another marketing tool. Get a gun. A big one. It’s the only way to be safe in our country.
And to the person who will no doubt declare that this is a mental health problem, I say, yes, we have many people in this country, just like any other country, who suffer from mental illness. Wouldn’t we all be better off if they didn’t have easy access to guns?