|A day in the life of gun violent America
|Seventeen year old
fired 10 rounds into a group of teenagers in the Chardon, Ohio high school cafeteria, eventually killing three. Lane didn’t know the people he shot, didn’t even go to Chardon high school; he attended Lake Academy, a school for students with academic or behavioral problems. Just the day before the shooting, the Cleveland Plain Dealer ran an article on how legal concealed carry licenses in Ohio had doubled in the past three years.
Now this may have no direct relationship to the Chardon shootings but does point out once again just how many more guns are on the streets of America. Where did Lane get the gun? It has been reported that it was his grandfather’s, taken from his barn and
did go looking for it after he found it missing. The next question is why didn’t grampa report it missing?
These are the kinds of questions about gun violence that go unanswered on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the gun worshipping National Rifle Assn. and its gang of gun nuts go on their merry way, supporting laws to put even more concealed guns in the pockets of yet more gun bubbas. The reasoning is bizarre.
|CSGV’s Josh Horwitz
But Josh Horwitz, Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), takes the dilemma one step further. He points out the arrogance of the pro-gun movement in his article on Huff Post, “When Buying a Gun Becomes Easier than Voting.” Along with daily shootings throughout the U.S. and now what seems fairly regular gun massacres like Virginia Tech, Loughner’s Tucson, the Chardon High incident, the gun freaks want to just rub our noses in it. Here’s the story.
It was only one day after the Chardon High mass shooting, Feb. 28, when Nicholas Looman in Grand Rapids, Michigan, walked into his voting place, also a public elementary school, blatantly carrying a loaded handgun. Horwitz says, along with placing his vote, “…he also ‘wanted to make a point that he should be allowed to carry’ a gun while voting.” Looman was asked to leave after voting and that apparently hurt the poor baby’s feelings. The idiot asked for an apology.
CSGV’s Exec. Dir. comments: “His rights? Let’s be clear… The landmark Supreme Court decision on the Second Amendment from 2008, District of Columbia v. Heller, found that the right to keep and bear arms is about individuals protecting ‘hearth and home.’ And that there certainly is no right to carry firearms wherever and whenever one wants — much less at a school or voting site. The idea that there is a right to ‘vote and carry’ would be laughable if it did not expose a dangerous ideology that, if left unchecked, will fundamentally change our democratic system.”
Wow! That is powerful stuff and helps confirm one of my most serious beliefs that these cowboys do not have the right to walk all over town with their concealed weapons, not even holstered guns that we can see. I live in Arizona; yes, the loosest gun laws in the country, and our hair brained Governor and GOP legislature are trying to make them even looser.
Looman would have a field day in this state; not only would they not ask him to leave, they would welcome him and his gun totin’ friends to hang around and discuss setting up a gun show once voting was over.
Horwitz continues: “Our Founders drafted our Constitution explicitly to prevent force — or the threat of force — from influencing the political system. ‘Freedom’ was understood as the ability of the government to abide by the rule of law without interference from an unelected monarch or a frothing mob. In fact, the duty of the Militia, as defined in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, is to ‘suppress Insurrections,’ not to foment them. Carrying a gun into a polling place or a legislative body turns that history on its head by making the statement that ‘The guys with the guns make the rules.’ Our country declared its independence under the banner of political equality. We must have the freedom to exercise our right to vote without being exposed to a show of force by someone who might disagree with us politically. And it’s entirely possible that Looman’s behavior alarmed and/or intimidated other voters on Tuesday.”
But voting is getting harder, according to Horwitz, with bills introduced in both Virginia state houses that make it harder for people to vote without government-issued identification. It was called “Old South” and a return to the Jim Crow era by Benjamin Chavis, former director of the NAACP. Horwitz says:
“And Virginia is not alone… Many GOP-controlled state legislatures across the nation are now moving to implement voter suppression laws before the 2012 elections. Of the eight states that require residents to show photo identification before voting — Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kansas, Indiana and Wisconsin — all allow residents to purchase firearms through private sales without undergoing any type of background check or showing any form of identification. These sales are cash and carry, and no paperwork is required. 23 other states require residents to produce some form of identification before voting (though not necessarily a photo ID). Of those 23, only Rhode Island prohibits all private sales of firearms (Connecticut requires background checks for private sales of handguns only). Finally, in a development that may or not be coincidental, some states are now allowing residents to use a concealed handgun permit as an acceptable document to verify identity when voting, but not a student ID card issued by a public university.”
Horwitz finishes: “Seriously, when you can buy a trunk-load of AK-47s without government-issued identification but you can’t vote – something is seriously wrong with our democracy.”
Think about it.