There have been 270 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2017, and now we’ve had another. The latest in Las Vegas is one of the worst in U.S. history where 59 people were killed and hundreds injured. Not much is known about the shooter, or why he did this, but what is increasingly clear is that gun control is a must. Not a wish. Not a dream. A must.
And I say that as a person who likes to go to the range and fire weapons. I am also a person who upholds a person’s right to have guns for hunting and other sports. However, it only takes one bullet to hit a bulls-eye on a target or bring down a deer so you can put meat on your table. It does not take a full magazine of a hundred rounds of ammunition to achieve those sporting goals
So what are assault weapons used for? Mass shootings, gang wars, and killing police officers. According to information I found on Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, assault weapons are used in 20% of police shootings.
To answer my question. No, we do not need assault weapons, and it is past time that we did more than just talk abut it. Congress has got to reinstate the ban on those guns.
The other big news item is the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. People are dying for lack of medical attention, food and water, and our leader blames the people. It is clear in his Tweets and statements to the press that 45 is acting out of his deep seated racism. Maybe not consciously, but he views the country and the people as not worth bothering with. His, and the federal governments response bears this out.
For too many people, this is so reminiscent of Katrina and how New Orleans was neglected for too long. Images from that atrocity match images from this latest one, in that people of color are the majority.
So can we continue to pretend that we are not facing a major problem with racism in our country?
Today on POD Save America a renowned writer for The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates was a guest, and he had some interesting things to say about racism. Specifically, how racism is viewed by so many people. One comment that struck me in particular was “It’s the myths and the stories that we tell each other from generation to generation that matter more than the reality of history.”
He made that comment in reference to how people will alter the past in their minds to justify a current belief. He cited in particular the way people today look back on the early Civil Rights Movement, believing that Martin Luther King JR was highly respected across the nation. In reality, 66% of Americans did not support him or his efforts.
Coates has a new book about the years of the Obama Presidency We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy This is an important book at this time of racial unrest, and I highly recommend it. It is a series of essays that examine new ideas for justice, as well as looking at the shadow of history that hangs over all of us, black and white.