I've blogged about this before and have felt strongly for years that the gun lobby in this country has plenty of innocent blood on its hands. Ditto the NRA and all those John Wayne types who think the Constitution gives them the right to carry no matter what or where.
Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against hunters and sportsmen or people who shoot skeet or even sane, honest, mature adults who want a gun for protection, or farmers and ranchers who need a rifle to keep the " varmints" away. But nobody who is not in military combat or the police needs a semi-automatic assault rifle or a heavy duty hand gun like the one that shooter, 22 year old Jared Lee Loughner, bought legally at a local gun shop on November 30th, in spite of a history of mental instability and not one but TWO run ins with police.
Let's see, he tried to enlist in the army and was rejected. He was recently suspended from Pima Community College pending a mental evaluation and yet, on November 30th he walked into a gun shop and with no problems bought a Glock 19 9mm handgun like the one pictured above. I won't even mention that he was unemployed at the time and the gun cost over $400. No alarm bells went off anywhere. I find that amazingly stupid. What kind of people are we anyway?
Only in America do we make it possible for mentally marginal people to buy guns. Jaren Loughner is a very sick dude. You don't have to be a mental health professional to see schizophrenic delusion in his YouTube videos, Almost every week it seems like some sick guy walks into a fast food joint or an office building, shoots the place up, murders a few innocent bystanders and then turns the gun on himself.. When you add into the mix a toxic pollitical atmosphere, where right wing media types play to the paranoia of the not too tightly wrapped and overtly incite violence, you have a recipe for disaster.
Lets hope this is a tipping point.Let's hope we are shocked enough as a people to turn down the imagery of violence in our political discourse and to finally take responsibility for the truly mentally ill in our midst by making sure they never, ever have the opportunity to get their hands on guns.