This graphic shows the Mass Shooting/Killing incidents since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. (H/t: Nicole Sandler)
In today's Los Angeles Times, there was an article that went into more detail about Navy Yard murderer Aaron Alexis's "calm, indiscriminate" gun massacre, and how he intended to kill as many people as possible.
As I read the piece, three passages stood out to me, three passages that were painful reminders of how wrongheaded Republican policies are and how the consequences of their laws can hurt Americans.
Let's take them one at a time.
One: Conservatives are obsessed with Small Government (except, of course, when their party's legislators shove trans-vaginal ultrasound probes into women's vaginas against their will). Ironically, it slips what's left of their minds that We the People are government, Elected officials represent We the People. We the People gave them their Big Government jobs. And they claim to value We the People over government, so by shrinking government, they're contradicting themselves by squeezing We the People out. We, too, become smaller. Oops.
Meantime, here's what happens when the GOP succeeds in downsizing the role of that Big Bad Evil Kenyan Marxist Government:
Anthony Meely, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police's labor committee for the Navy Yard's officers, said in an interview that the force was woefully undermanned Monday because of government cutbacks, which may have led to additional deaths. There were only six patrolmen on duty instead of 11, all were posted at the gates, and only two patrol cars were available [...]
Meely summed up: "I believe the security guard might still be alive if we had had adequate staffing." Instead, he said, "we were undermanned."
So budget cuts eliminated the very protection the shooting victims' lives depended on. Budget cuts resulted in people dying.
Two: "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Uh huh:
The chief could hear the shots ringing inside and saw the private security guard at one of the entrances, Meely said. The chief told the guard to unholster his weapon and be prepared to return fire, Meely said, and when the guard did, Alexis shot him.
The bad guy with the gun killed the good guy with a gun. Again, the end result was death.
Three: Gotta have those High Capacity Magazines, because the Second Amendment is the most important Constitutional Amendment evah! The problem with that is, those magazines allow high volume, uninterrupted bullet paths right smack into a large number of human targets. Mass murderers have often been tackled only when they needed to stop and reload. Had Alexis had an assault style firearm capable of shooting 30 to 100 rounds before having to reload, more people would have died:
[FBI Director James B. Comey] said the rampage ended only when Alexis ran out of ammunition. "He was isolated and pinned down by the first responders," he said.
Freedom to own certain weapons is one thing. Freedom to spray crowds with bullets is another. Most of us support the freedom to breathe without fear of being mowed down.
But gun makers donate to politicians and the NRA, and politicians and the NRA do their bidding. Because, you know, freedom.