Sunday, October 4, 2015

Politicizing Oregon’s Mass Murder

Bill O'Reilly calls out President Obama for politicizing the Oregon campus shooting and using the tragedy to push stricter gun control laws.”

Obama is politicizing? People who believe this should have the smarts to take the time to listen to President Obama on this issue.


“BTW [by the way], the President himself said this issue NEEDS TO BE POLICITIZED! Hello - are you really listening. It sure would be nice to hear this President say SOMETHING from his heart rather than reading it all from a paper. Guns don't kill people. PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE and if every single gun was removed from every single gunowner [sic] in the United States, sick people would still commit mass murders. They would just find another way,” was a reader’s criticism.

However, there is a big difference between saying that the President is politicizing, or taking advantage of the situation for political purposes, when Obama gives a heartfelt comment on such a tragedy and the need to understand legislating effective gun laws requires political action.

“And, of course, what's also routine is that somebody, somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue. Well, this is something we should politicize. It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic," is the way the President expressed it.

The guns don't kill people argument is asinine. It’s a strawman argument. Of course guns, in and of themselves, don’t kill people. The reasons people with guns kill people are numerous, but mental health is just a small part of the problem. The main reason is in the United States it’s easy to acquire a gun. True, people will find a way to kill regardless of whether they have a gun or not. But the availability of guns sure makes it easier to kill in an impersonal way. The availability of high-powered semi-automatic weapons means someone when they kill can kill more people in just a few more seconds than it takes to fire a single shot.

Considering the statistics, it’s mind-boggling how anyone could conclude that the United States does not have a gun problem.

Here are two of those statistics:

“Since 9/11, 74 people have been killed in the United States by terrorists, according to the think tank New America. In that same period, more than 150,000 Americans have been killed in gun homicides, and we have done . . . nothing.” To put this in perspective: One hundred fifty thousand gun deaths equal approximately three Vietnams.

“ … it makes little sense to focus on mental health. The United States has a gun homicide rate that is at least a dozen times higher than those of most other industrialized countries. It is 50 times higher than Germany’s, for instance. We don’t have 50 times as many mentally disturbed people as Germany does — but we do have many, many more guns.”

More guns, making them legal to carry by more people, will never make us safer. All it means is there will be more guns to kill more people. The call for more guns is self-perpetuating: more guns bring more crimes committed by guns, making people feel less safe, and in order for them to feel safe they buy a gun. Moreover, can you imagine being in a restaurant, shopping mall, school, or anywhere else, where everyone has a gun and each pulls their gun and starts shooting to prevent a crime or to stop someone from shooting people? How many other people, not intended by a shooter, do you think would be in the middle of the crossfire?

The United States has a significant gun problem. Pro-gun slogans come from gun organizations like the NRA that only want to sell more guns. Mostly Conservatives and Republicans grab these slogans and use them to promote their free enterprise, free society agenda in support of the Second Amendment, and that the right to bear arms argument keeps us safe and free. People who don’t take the time to do the research, out of ignorance, promote the same pro-gun slogans. These people promote mass killing as a mental health problem. Promote the guns don’t kill people argument. Promote the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. These people promote Obama as politicizing the tragedy as another way of deflecting the fact that there is a problem and the problem is guns.

© Copyright 2015 Horatio Green