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Richard Martinez was on "The Last Word" discussing the Second Amendment -ing of his son Christopher in the Isla Vista massacre. He ended with a comment about how gun zealots will come after him once they decide his grieving period is over:
"My son's dead, and there is NOTHING that you can do to me that's worse than that."
The Second Amendment is becoming a religion to gun fetishists. This is not healthy on so many levels, starting with, you know, living human beings being slaughtered. Here are a few links to the Los Angeles Times that you should read in full.
Let's start with Steve Lopez's column that examines how mass killings should affect us deeply, but instead, it appears that, disturbingly, we are becoming desensitized or increasingly uncivil. His post is titled "Ignoring the Insanity of Gun Violence":
Sensational gun violence... always gets us wringing our hands about gun control for a few days or maybe a few weeks, but that's about it. The focus is often on the mental health of the killers in those high-profile cases, and certainly there's room for vast improvement in identifying and treating illness and preventing violence.
But firearm violence is an everyday reality, and the truest expression of insanity is the argument that greater access to more guns can make anyone safer. No developed nation comes close to either the number of guns per capita in the U.S. or our rate of firearm deaths, and yet the NRA and its congressional stooges stay the course, money in their pockets and blood on their hands. [...]
[E]ither [the staggering statistics on gun violence] have lost their shock value or we have lost our civility. [...]
[I]t's worth noting that the states with the lowest gun control grades have the highest rates of gun death, while the states with the highest gun control grades have the lowest death rates.
In the video above, Ari Melber gave Richard Martinez well-deserved time to express himself, as-- especially in the second half of the video-- he shifted from beautiful memories of a wonderful son to his frustration with the status quo and revelations of how he, himself, failed to take action until his own son was murdered.
Lopez ended his column with an earlier quote from Martinez: "Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights. What about Chris' right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say, stop this madness, we don't have to live like this? Too many have died. We should say to ourselves — not one more."
Yesterday I linked to an op-ed in the L.A. Times in my post, "Joe the Plumber": "Your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights." Here's the link: California needs a Gun Violence Restraining Order. Today the Times is reporting that the "gun violence restraining order" concept has now prompted a proposal for a new firearms bill:
If notified by a subject's family or friends that someone could harm himself or others, law enforcement officers would be able to petition a judge to grant a restraining order that could prohibit possession or purchase of a gun. [...]
The family of Elliot Rodger, the shooter, had raised concerns with law enforcement about his mental state, and Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies visited Rodger at his apartment in April but took no action against him.
Of course, ignoring countless mass shootings over the past few decades, Sam Paredes, executive director of the Gun Owners of California, called the proposal a "knee-jerk reaction." Apparently, in his mind, "knee-jerk" means that lawmakers haven't had years upon years to carefully consider needless deaths caused by easy access to deadly weapons. Isn't that just like a gun fondler who reveres the Second Amendment the way GOP Senate nominee Ben Sasse reveres his religion over established law?
Finally, there was this letter to the editor, because despite how often we feel ignored, our voices do matter:
It has indeed been sadly demonstrated that no alarms were sounded about Elliot Rodger prior to his gun rampage in Isla Vista this past weekend despite some warnings. There have been, however, countless red flags raised about the dangers of having the access Rodger had to guns. ("In Isla Vista, red flags came too late," May 25)
I blame not only those who misread and misinterpret the U.S. Constitution, which they also unreasonably cite as holy writ on a par with scripture. I also blame the politicians who pontificate about the horrors of innocent people being killed by these weapons while continuing to accept money from the National Rifle Assn.
I am weary of this repeated scenario, and I await the next front-page article on another mass murder committed by someone with easy access to guns designed not for "protection," but primarily to kill people.
"Joe the Plumber" (Sam Wurzelbacher, the not-plumber), wrote the following in response to the grieving parents of the kids slaughtered in Santa Barbara by a gun-toting, knife-wielding murderer who took his own life:
By Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher
I’m not talking here about the three tragic murders Rodger committed by stabbing before his driving and shooting spree; I speak now only to the families of the gunshot victims in Santa Barbara:
It’s a tragedy.
I am sorry you lost your child. I myself have a son and daughter and the one thing I never want to go through, is what you are going through now. But:
As harsh as this sounds – your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.
Well, there is that weird thing about my right not to get shot trumping your right to abuse the right to own a murder weapon. Some of us kinda cherish the right to live and breathe without intimidation by gun fondlers. As someone in Nicole Sandler's chat room noted today while I was on air with her:
"We can move protestors to free speech zone. But, we can't remove those who show up with guns?"
And as another chatter observed, "The Plumber's crack is in his head." I think he's onto something. More from Joe the Cracked:
We still have the Right to Bear Arms and I intend to continue to speak out for that right, and against those who would restrict it – even in the face of this horrible incident by this sad and insane individual. I almost said “Obama Voter” but I’m waiting for it to be official.
But let's not politicize it, right "Joe"? Crossing lines is apparently his real profession.
Which brings me to today's Cliff Notes, a shortened version of a post by my dear friend Cliff Schecter, who has given me permission to share. The title of his article is How the Gun Nuts Try to Excuse Away the Santa Barbara Slaughter—and Why They’re All Wrong. Apparently it got the Breitbartians so angry that they're going after him, so you know it must be good:
[T]he firearms fetishists have been up to their usual tricks trying to excuse away yet another gun massacre in America.
They have their talking points at the ready for these, and they immediately got started: If we ban guns, they warned, then we have to ban knives and cars, because he used those to kill and injure people, too. California has liberal gun laws, and this proves they don’t work, they insisted. There is nothing we can do to stop gun violence, they recited; guns don't kill people, people do.
As usual, the gun nuts are wrong, and not one of these stands up to the slightest scrutiny. [...]
[T]he fact that the shooter possessed only 10-bullet magazines and no assault weapon—or what he could legally buy—clearly did help. As terrible as this was, it could have been much worse if the gun fetishists had their way, and any manner of weapon or magazine was for sale.
Additionally, and I know this is a tough concept to understand, but we have these territories separated only by an imaginary boundary known as states. They border one another. People can drive across them at will, as they often do from Arizona—where gun laws are among the most lenient in the U.S.—to California. It is also quite easy to drive from California to Nevada, which also has lax gun laws.
This might be why when John Patrick Bedell, another angry and troubled man with a hatred for his own government, decided to try to assassinate public servants at the Pentagon, he went next door to Nevada to get his guns no questions asked, once he couldn’t pass a background check in California. Wow, that was hard! [...]
And for those of you about to point out that cities like Chicago have both strict gun laws and horrifying gun violence, well, you might want to do some reading about how many of those guns came from Indiana, which has much less strict gun laws, or other parts of Illinois, where laws don’t come close to matching those in the city of Chicago. Use The Google, my friends. It's free.
But, if like foaming NRA mouthpiece Wayne LaPierre, you still are a believer in the almighty assault weapon and like your guns plentiful and unregulated, I have a fantastic vacation destination for you! It’s called Iraq. Every household with a male in it is allowed to have an assault weapon, no questions asked.[...]
However, If you do truly fear that “the government is going to use any information to come get my guns,” then I have a real three-letter organization, not part of the government, that you may want to fear. It’s called the NRA, and they’re collecting your private information as we speak. Good luck convincing the money-grubbing charlatans among their leadership not to sell what has been called a “massive secret database” of member information to any advertiser looking to make a buck. [...]
I know, your mind is spinning right now. Don’t bother. You are wrong on this one, as you are on everything else. Your reaction to shootings is to think first of your guns, which is shameful. The rest of us prioritize our children’s lives first. As my friend, the brilliant host of The Zero Hour--the #1 most downloaded podcast when it debuted earlier this month—RJ Eskow says, we’re not anti-gun. We’re pro-kindergartner.
I urge you to read his entire piece at the Daily Beast, here.
And while you're at it, check out this proposal (please read the entire thing) from an L.A. Times op-ed by Renée Binder, a professor of psychiatry and director of the psychiatry and law program at UC San Francisco. She is president-elect of the American Psychiatric Assn. It's titled, California needs a Gun Violence Restraining Order:
A Gun Violence Restraining Order would allow a judge to temporarily stop an individual from buying or possessing a firearm. The judge would examine the situation and consider all the factors suggesting that the individual was a risk to himself and others. If granted by the judge, the restraining order would have to be reassessed after a short period to restore the individual's firearm rights if he or she is no longer at serious risk of harming himself, herself or others.