As everyone is now aware, last Thursday, a gunman murdered 10 people on the campus of a community college in Oregon, leaving at least 20 other people injured.
In the days following the shootings, Fox News took to the defensive, saying that this was not an issue of gun violence, but instead was an attack on religious freedom – another form of Christian persecution by a crazed, anti-religion zealot.
They also parroted the familiar talking point that a good guy with a gun could have put an end to this before it began, which is the standard line that the NRA issues to conservative media outlets following a mass shooting like this.
But here’s the problem with that theory – according to witnesses, there were plenty of armed “Good Guys” in the very building where the massacre was taking place, and MSNBC was even able to interview one of those people. The state of Oregon is an open-carry state that allows for the carrying of concealed weapons. Colleges operating within the state are allowed to ban weapons in certain buildings, but they cannot ban them from the campus, as that’s a violation of state law. So this wasn’t an instance of a man choosing an area that he believed would be gun-free. Other guns were present, and they didn’t solve the problem or save a single life until police showed up.
Rather than focusing on the problem – rather than talking about the need for gun control – Conservative politicians tweeted out prayers and condolences, feigning shock over the actions taken by this gunman. If you listen to those politicians, you’d find it hard to believe that something like this could happen in America. And if you are shocked that this happened, I have a message for you – WAKE UP!
So far this year, the United States is average one mass shooting per day. PER DAY! 45 of those have been on school campuses. 142 school shootings have happened since the Sandy Hook tragedy in December 2012. 36 people die in the United States every single day from gun violence. Are you starting to see a pattern here? There’s something wrong with us, America, and we’re not doing anything to fix the problem.
President Obama was absolutely correct when he spoke immediately following the shooting, telling America that we have to politicize this tragedy because that’s the only way that action will be taken. We can enact strong gun control legislation without infringing on anyone’s Second Amendment rights, although I personally believe that the Second Amendment is an outdated notion, and if voting isn’t a guaranteed right to our citizens, then owning a firearm shouldn’t be either.
Seriously, WAKE UP! This problem isn’t going to go away by praying for an end to the killings. Clearly that isn’t working or we wouldn’t have to talk about this issue on a near-constant basis. It’s time to take action, and those in Washington who refuse to take this issue seriously need to have a talk with the families that lost their children. Or the children who have lost their parents. It’s time for a serious discussion on gun control, but that won’t happen until we get the Republican majorities out of Washington for good.