Thursday, October 1, 2015

Who Shall We Call Out for Gun Violence? Tell Me Why It Isn't the GOP and the NRA?

Roseburg, Oregon, in the 50s. Wasn't so dangerous then, was it?

Look at that picture of 50s Roseburg. I grew up in the 50s, and I lived in an even smaller town, Broomfield, Colorado. I never, never thought of gun violence. I doubt anyone who grew up in 50s Roseburg thought of it, either. I dare anyone with a memory as long as mine -- I'm 66 -- who worried about gun violence back then.

I dare anyone to tell me things haven't changed. I'll tell you one thing that has changed. The NRA used to favor sensible gun control. It no longer does. The Republican Party used to have members who could vote for sensible gun control. It no longer does. It's an undeniable fact that the NRA resists any and all attempts to control guns. It's also an undeniable fact that the Republican Party is the monolithic institution preventing us from passing any laws controlling access to guns.

These are undeniable facts. And they are the reasons we can't stop the endless deaths by guns in America.

I call out these American institutions for being the cause of our nightmare of gun violence. Where am I wrong? Why shouldn't all Americans feel the way I do?

I believe that Americans do feel this way. And it's time we stand up, demand strict gun control, and throw the bums out until we have it. And the NRA should be loudly condemned.

I watched Barack Obama's comments from the podium just a while ago. He was outraged, for all the reasons I pointed to above. One thing he made plain is that gun violence is now an accepted routine in American life. And the lines are almost indelibly drawn. The GOP and the NRA will say nothing can be done. In fact, they will insist more guns is the solution.

I'm not religious, but Oh. My. God. Heaven help us.

How many more times must our president make such comments? How many more times do you want to hear him do so? Are you content that this is the way it should be?

A final, tragic note: I have friends in Oregon and a home in Portland. For over twenty years I've visited Southern Oregon many, many times, and one thing I found was that Southern Oregon is NRA territory. They love the GOP and they love guns in and around Roseburg. So don't expect Southern Oregon congresspeople to jump up and announce they're ready to fix this. And don't expect the people of Douglas County -- the home of Umpqua Community College -- to vote the bums out anytime soon. Tragic but true.

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