Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Tragedy in Nebraska: Get Guns Off the Streets Now!

By Joe Sims

This morning's news is full of stories about yet another mind numbing massacre committed by a teen aged male in Omaha, Nebraska, with eight people dead and several wounded. Pages are now rife with speculation about what caused it: depression, break-up with girl friend, loss of job at McDonald's. Will America ever wake up? These may have been contributing factors, but the issue of issues is GUNS: the widespread availability of weapons. And it's not just handguns either. Sorry hunters.

Heavy fire power is more available to youth today than candy or crack. I remember being startled a few years ago when a nephew visting with me in NY around the December holidays, couldn't wait to go back home for New Year's eve? Why, so he could shoot an AK-47 into the air. Where would he get his hands on an AK?

Lest anyone think this was an isolated incident, consider the following: several months ago a story appeared in my hometown newspaper, The Youngstown Vindicator, reporting a police chase of 3 teenagers who opened fire on a cruiser. When pursing the youth who fled into a wooded area, the cops found three machine guns on the path. Type? You guessed it: AK 47.

I remember thinking: if this were the early 1970's, and those kids were members of the Black Panther Party instead of the Bloods or the Crypts, they would have called out the National Guard and declared a state of emergency with curfews and all. How many more have to die before people wake up and realize that in a deeply troubled society, where violence is glorified, racism rampant, unemployment high, social alienation and isolation skyrocketing, and the wide availability of weapons, such killings are bound to happen.

The Supreme Court will hear a case on this issue in January, the first time since the 1930's. Little hope there. So what can be done? Stop pretending not to know the causes of the tragedies and deal with genuine root reasons. And also stop pretending that guns defend anyone against anything - including racist and fascist-like elements. If anyone on the left has any illusions on this score, let him or her be disabused of the notion! Stand up and have the courage to get guns of the streets now. All of them.


Dimensio said...

Your suggestion is interesting. How do you propose "getting guns off of the streets now"?

Joel said...

There just is no reason not to strengthen and enforce gun control laws.

joe said...

Well my feminist side says that since the overwhelming majority of these crimes are committed by men, we could start by prohibiting all men from owning and handling guns, punishable by heavy fines and prison sentence with mandatory peace instruction combined with meditation and breathing. Second, ban all killing of animals, recreational or otherwise. As animals clearly exhibit equal problem solving skills and better memory retentive ability as has been proven with chimps, they are clearly sentient and their slaughter should prohibited as a matter of law. One might also notice that they haven't started any world wars or other forms of ritual and habitual slaughter.
That could be followed by prohibiting the civilian sale of weapons by gun corporations. They could be converted into making safe bridges: start in Minnesota. Then aim should be taken at the military propaganda machine, including video games. I'm not for censorship, but boycotts and other forms of pressure might be employed. Corporate heads might be forced to watch repeat episodes of Kung Fu to understand how non-violent behavior might be promoted. And finally legalize drugs and thereby take Big Business and the mafia out of it. Job programs at union wages with affirmative action and vigorous educational program should be enacted. Included should be family counseling specially for new parents. And finally vote against the Republican right in November 2008: they are the biggest purveyors of violence in the world, bar none.

joe sims

Dr. Scotch said...

As matter of fact science has evolved to the point that males are no longer necessary for reproducing the species. The best solution is just to have females as the only sex on the planet. The species will continue and the now technologically unnecessary and vioence prone drones will be eliminated.

Dimensio said...

Are you serious, joe? Do you actually see everything that you posted as a reasonable suggestion?

Joel, how would you recommend strengthening gun control laws? Do you have any specific recommendations?

Anonymous said...

Although I ave always had a weakness for Scotch whiskey, I beg to differ with dr. Scotch. His suggestion reminds me of contentions that some separatist feminists made generations ago, a world of test tube babies, a world of women without men and vice versa. This ain't progressive.
Developing a socialist society in which human beings of both genders will be socialized to work cooperatively which each other, making the violence against animals and other humans at atavism, not something associated with being a 'real man" and a "right" of men(hunting, bearing arms, etc) makes more sense then test tube segregation or banning men as men(as against serious gun control laws which would keep individuals from purchasing modern automatic weapons, which can easily become weapons of mass destruction, is much more the way to go on these issues.
Norman Markowitz

oldcorps76 said...

Hey Joe--just who is going to enforce all these rules you propose? Men with back into your ideological hole.....

Anonymous said...

the reponsibility is in the hands of lawful gun owners to properly store there weapons saftly. what most of you are saying is that you want your government to take away your rights. is that what you what? if you don't want to live in a nation of arm bearing citizens, MOVE TO ENGLAND!!