I’m sick of gun violence and I’m sick of our fear of talking about guns. We are more terrified of challenging the NRA than we are of the home-grown terrorists who are gunning-down innocent people year after year in this country.
According to Mother Jones, “Since 1982, there have been at least 60 mass murders carried out with firearms across the country, with the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii.” If you want to be reminded of this grizzly history, check out the story where they have mapped them, “including details on the shooters’ identities, the types of weapons they used, and the number of victims they injured and killed.” http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map
And that doesn’t include “incidents” like the attack on Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, TN (July 27, 2008) because only two people actually died in that assault on a Sunday Morning worship service (http://www.uua.org/news/knoxville/index.shtml). It takes killing at least four to qualify as a mass murder.
I no longer can sit idly by while students, elected officials, movie-goers, church members, and countless others are victimized by a gun lobby that continues to assert that guns have nothing to do with the violence. Yes, we have bigger societal problems to address before killing is stopped and yes, without access to legal weapons (75% of mass murders are committed with legally-obtained firearms), IEDs might become the weapons of choice, but we have to start with the obvious.
In Cheryl Wheelers’ 1987 anthem, “If It Were Up To Me,” which she wrote after the Jonesboro schoolyard shooting incident (http://www.cherylwheeler.com/songs/iiwutm.html), she posits,
Maybe it’s the movies, maybe it’s the books
Maybe it’s the bullets, maybe it’s the real crooks
Maybe it’s the drugs, maybe it’s the parents
Maybe it’s the colors everybody’s wearin
Maybe it’s the President, maybe it’s the last one
And the list goes on. But after all the possible causes, she ends with:
Maybe it’s the end, but I know one thing.
If it were up to me, I’d take away the guns.
Today, I can say with complete clarify, if it were up to me, I, too, would take away the guns.