Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has been lying about the school shootings in Uvalde from the beginning. He initially talked about the shooter using a handgun and we later found out he had no handgun. Abbott continued to lie about school resource officers and other events because he wanted to shift the narrative away from an eighteen year old murder buying assault rifles legally after his birthday. Abbott clearly understands his liability in the death of 21 people and he does not want the citizens of Texas to think about the policies he pursues. I am sure that Abbott enjoys the support of some Texans who feel that he is delivering what they want; but I hope that most people actually love life more than they favor bullying and harassment to return to the 1950s. The human brain is not fully formed until after the mid 20s. People who want assault weapons in their lives between the ages of 18 to 25 can join the military, reserves, or national guard. Research and support candidates who are in favor of sensible gun laws that reduce the death toll in America.
Watching Governor Greg Abbott of Texas hold a press conference in Uvalde, TX made it plain that no one takes the media seriously. Abbott said that eighteen year olds in Texas have been able to buy “long guns” for the last 60 years. No journalist asked about assault rifles or the period of the ban on them (from 1994 to 2004) and mass shootings in Texas during that period. Governor Abbott and the Texas media initially after the shooting said the shooter had a handgun, it was only late in the day of primary elections that the true murder weapons were revealed. Journalists never asked Governor Abbott about the delay in identifying the weapons, or if there were a political reason for this. Abbott said the murderer had no adult record, but there was no discussion that his eighteenth birthday was only a week before the shooting. An obvious question for the Governor and legislators is whether they believe that eighteen year olds need weapons of war like assault rifles; no journalist asked about this. It is reported that most mass shootings are committed by young men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four; if this is a fact it was never brought up by journalists. Governor Abbott said that mental health is a problem in the Uvalde, Texas area; he was not asked why he would not expand Medicaid to get more dollars from the federal government for healthcare. Journalists in America have a problem; they seem to have limited mental capacity, courage, or character. Greg Abbott, Republicans, and other politicians regularly get away with ridiculous lies, misdirection, or spin to the detriment of American institutions and citizenry. If journalists are record keepers they need to use it to ask questions that matter.
America has a problem. We love to destroy one another. We take issues and divide ourselves over them with a lot of lies thrown in to rationalize our positions; meanwhile reality tells us to stop lying. Deaths due to cigarette smoking continued for years while politicians and corporations lied. Pollution and Climate Crisis kill thousands in America and we still avoid the truth about the depth of knowingly caused destruction. QAnon and White Supremacist lie in a systemic way to point the heavily armed mentally ill at minorities or people they don’t like. Republicans claim to be pro-life but don’t support health care for all, or gun control to stop mentally ill 18 year olds with assault rifles. America is big into death and personal destruction. It is said that courtesy is the lubricant of society, but the “Pro Life” party uses personal attack on any who disagree with them. The January 6 coup attempt should have been enough. The children murdered in Uvalde, Texas are an atrocity that happens because we value the ability to kill and destroy more than the lives of children.
Reports of an ammunition shortage are in the news today. Why is there a shortage? Maybe there were outbreaks of COVID at the ammunition factories, or perhaps the record level of gun sales has led to more demand than supply. Americans seem to be preparing for violence with years of record gun sales and more guns than people. You have to hope that at least many of the guns are in the hands of responsible persons who are both progressive and conservative. Several politicians on the right have made veiled threats of overthrowing the government, or unleashing mobs of angry people to exact some sort of revenge for unnamed injuries. Climate change (and COVID) has many people getting ready for the breakdown of society so weapons figure into that scenario. I no longer think it is realistic to ban firearms, but I do believe that the castle doctrine can be returned as the central idea for legal gun ownership. We have a lot to be concerned about and the lack of trust in our society only feeds suspicion of each other. Research and act to develop a society of true dignity and respect for life.
Recent reports of Matt Gaetz saying that the Second Amendment was for citizens to control the government raises an alarm for us all. We live in a time where elected members of Congress feel comfortable raising threats of deadly violence. Every citizen must be concerned with law and order while not allowing a small group to bully or threaten for power. Our weapons soaked society makes it important for responsible citizens of all political viewpoints to use their Second Amendment rights and own a gun; that way foolish people do not believe that making threats based on weaponry is an advantage. Research and act to keep our country strong, stable, peaceful, and free.
Many Americans seem to be struggling with taking responsibility for a variety of issues from political leaders to getting vaccinated against COVID-19. When surveyed Americans tend to say they like their representatives, but don’t like the decisions the same politicians make. A sizable minority of people say they will not take the vaccine, but only offer vague reasons for not trusting it. Too many people are stuck in laziness leading to ignorance and a lemming-like follower mentality. Polls show the majority of people don’t want assault rifles in our society, but we still have them killing Americans on a regular basis. Someone recently joked that ‘we should quit fooling ourselves and leave the flag at half staff’. Republican voters poll as wanting more gun regulation, but their politicians are loyal to firearms companies and block restrictions on gun purchases. America looks increasingly like a nation in decline whose politics is more about greed and diminishing fellow citizen’s rights than solving real problems. The real issue is not lying low-life Republican politicians but the people who keep electing them while expecting a good outcome. This will not end well until we all take responsibility and act to bring about the world we say that we want. If we have another Trump or similar presidency I fear our country will decline noticeably and rapidly. The time for participation in our democracy and action to save it is now.
The issues America faces are numerous and daunting. From healthcare to justice reform there is a lot to do. Americans have many blessings, but we have allowed fear to dominate our society for a long time. People fly American flags dedicated to support for police, while others march for police accountability. Why are the police a lightning rod in our society? Has money and greed become more important than the basic wellbeing of our countrymen? Are we at war with each other and using the justice system as a substitute for a social contract? America has one of the lowest rates of social mobility and the highest incarceration rate of the industrialized democracies. If you are born to a lower class you are more likely to be stuck there here in the USA than similar countries. Americans are afraid of each other and the current uptick in gun purchases highlights that fact. We have more guns than people and we still don’t have enough. The election of 2020 will clearly be a pivotal vote for America as we will define ourselves for the future. A vote for hope can put us back on track as an exemplar nation, the shining city on a hill, or we can be deceived into the chaos and fear of the wild animal park.
In a time when there seems to be so much lawlessness and corruption in our current administration it is good to think of the positive in our country; like the great police and law enforcement who protect us every day. I remember the police officers in Dayton. Ohio who within seconds charged straight towards the gunfire that others rightfully fled. The officers used their skill, courage, and professionalism to stop a killer from taking more lives. In America this is the expectation we have grown used to. Maybe other parts of our government bring out the worst in us, but our law enforcement provide a reason to cheer.
Mass shootings in American cities targeting random people with assault rifles is becoming a routine news event. Every few weeks we have another horrific slaughter whose victims could literally be any of us. Politicians don’t seem to know what to do. I believe in the right to bear arms, but I don’t think civilians need assault rifles with high capacity magazines any more than we need hand grenades. Most Americans don’t believe that military weapons systems designed to kill people quickly and in high numbers should be on the streets. Some new policies need to be enacted into law, and we don’t need to wait for more slaughters to start doing it. Hunt and defend your home – yes; kill the whole block – no.