By Martha Rosenberg, OpEdNews

December 14th, 2012  6:00pm

Once again a nutter cuts down innocent people and no one asks why he had a “large assault-type rifle” in his possession, as reported by KENS 5 TV. Thanks to rapid news cycles and gun lobby spin, the public accepts the occasional masked, armed shooter in its movie theaters and malls as the price we pay for a “free society” and our “gun rights.” Hey–another day another murder/suicide.

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shoots his girlfriend in front of his own mother and drives to Arrowhead Stadium to shoot himself in front of team officials? These things happen.

TSA agent mowed down at the Cleveland Hopkins Airport parking lot three days ago by her estranged husband who then kills himself? What are you going to do?

The gun lobby has so convinced people that laws against civilians owning military, rapid fire weapons (and all the ammo they can buy) violate our “rights,” no carnage jolts people out of their NRA trance. 33 dead at Virginia Tech and other school shootings? 70 gunned down at Batman movie? Arizona Congressperson Gabby Giffords and Kirkwood, MO mayor, public works director and council members shot? Hey, collateral damage in the fight to protect our “gun rights.”

The gun violence is becoming so over the top it barely makes the Nightly News or delays the shopping, movie or football game. No one even asks anymore, “The gunman was carrying WHAT?”–or “The firearms dealer sold a weapon to WHO?”

In 2009, an Illinois pastor was shot in church through the Bible he was holding . The same year, a gunman dressed as Santa killed nine on Christmas Eve in Covina, CA. Last year there was another Santa killer. What will happen this year?

And there’s another question people should be asking. Why are these gun nuts, who make sure the EZ gun laws stay on the books, so cowardly and scared? As Ring of Fire talk show host Mike Papantonio says, do these people need a “shot of testosterone” or what?

Every day millions of people, including children, old people and 110 pound women get to their destination without being strapped. Here in Chicago, millions board public transportation to get to their job, unarmed!   Surprise. Yet these burly, mustachioed “tough” guys, who always seem to be the ones who are so gun-obsessed, are afraid to go to work, into a national park or near a school yard without heat.

And they are winning. Yesterday, the same day Christmas shopping was interrupted by a gunman at an Oregon mall, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals said Illinois’ ban on carrying a concealed weapon in public is unconstitutional. Illinois is the only state to ban conceal and carry. Make that was.

Martha Rosenberg is a health reporter and commentator whose work has appeared in Consumers Digest, the Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Los Angeles Times, Providence Journal and Newsday. She serves as editorial cartoonist at the Evanston Roundtable. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, will be published by Prometheus Books in 2012.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced