Six people were killed at a Walmart last night in Chesapeake, Virginia. Five were killed at a nightclub in Colorado Springs last week. And those were just the shootings that made the national news. Murder sprees at schools, churches, synagogues, mosques, concerts, theaters, shopping malls, an endless list of death and violence, so that we are almost numb to it.
The primary purpose (and indeed the very definition) of terrorism is to force societies to change through violence. Who now in the United States feels completely safe anywhere? Who goes to school, church, shopping or indeed any public place without a twinge of fear that you or your loved ones won’t be next?
The NRA, with significant funding from Putin and other unfriendly actors, has been transformed from a powerful lobby into a shadowy group that manipulates our laws and Constitution to allow gun violence to reign unchecked. Fear of retribution for blocking its agenda, either directly (through death threats) or indirectly (by withholding campaign funds or negative advertising) has transformed our political landscape in ways that would have been unrecognizable thirty years ago. It’s tentacles reach into every branch of government, primarily through Republican elected officials and Republican judicial appointees. It is long past time to stop treating the NRA as a legitimate lobby, but as a foreign-supported domestic terrorist group.
The Second Amendment was written at a time when automatic weapons did not exist. The logic used to justify their continued sale unabated, without any kind of reasonable control, is twisted beyond comprehension. The same logic could be used to justify personal ownership of anti-tank weapons and taken ad absurdum, even nuclear weapons.
Furthermore, in an age where nobody can use a smartphone without the owner typing a code or providing facial recognition, don’t tell me that there isn’t a way of insuring that only the registered owner of any firearm could use it.
As a measure of the distortion gun violence has introduced into our society, we can’t use the word “fuck” in a newspaper or when speaking in public without drawing gasps of horror. But mangled dead children at Sandy Hook, Stoneman and Uvalde? Well, whatever.