This is no way to live

American flag

Another mass shooting south of the border. More innocent lives lost. More slavish NRA devotees who fervently believe that for America to be safe, everyone should be armed to the teeth. This is no way to live.

The day after the San Bernardino shooting, a New York county sheriff wrote an open letter to the public urging all those who were licensed to carry a firearm to PLEASE DO SO (his shout, not mine). It’s bad enough that thousands of slack-jawed yokels with more bullets than sense are yowling for blood and polishing up their .45s; now there’s law enforcement personnel urging people to wander the streets with a weapon. I mean, really, what’s next? Will protective gear soon become as necessary as mittens and long johns in winter? Will Lululemon be coming out with a line of bullet-proof yoga pants?

Back in October, a woman with a concealed weapon permit open fired on a shoplifter in a parking lot in Michigan. Aside from the fact that I don’t know when shoplifting became a murder-able offence, thank goodness she didn’t hit anyone.

And that’s the whole point. Most law-abiding folks who own firearms have been trained to use and store them safely. I know people who own guns; I’m related to one of them. But what the majority of gun owners have not been trained to do is methodically assess a situation before emptying their cartridge into a crowd. You simply cannot expect that, when the next mass shooting inevitably happens, the terrified lunch lady with a gun at School X will take the time to figure out that the terrified man with a gun in front of her is actually the math teacher.

I feel sorry for Americans. The majority are perfectly lovely, law-abiding people who, in poll after poll, say that they want greater gun control. These perfectly lovely, law-abiding people are being held hostage by paranoiacs and the National Rifle Association who has a stranglehold over the campaign budgets of far too many U.S. politicians. Their country, in a pattern eerily similar to the many war-torn countries around the world, has allowed a few nutbars to terrorize the many at the expense of all. This is no way to live.

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