Unhappy shooter

English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

English: Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today another unhappy person with a gun attempted to share his unhappiness as widely as he could by killing or wounding as many people as he could before he was shot and killed. A person’s future potential for unhappiness is not something that can be measured or forecast before a gun sale. The only way to reduce shooting by the mentally disturbed, be it temporary or permanent, is to make it much harder to acquire firearms.

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Gun rights/gun wrongs

Assault weapons don't kill, unarmed people do.

Assault weapons don’t kill, unarmed people do. (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Gun rights are guaranteed by the Second Amendment while gun wrongs are guaranteed by the NRA. 30,000+ Americans die every year while far fewer die annually by acts of terrorism and our wars against terrorism. Why do we sacrifice so many lives to prevent random acts of terror? Partly because gun sales and wars are so profitable for some and partly because we don’t value the people who die. We put a higher value on the unborn than we do on the living. There is also the fear factor: fear of change, fear of the unknown and the pseudo fear of our own government whipped up for profit by the fear mongers on the right.

Self-destruction

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whenever Wayne LaPierre of the NRA opens his mouth to comment on gun legislation, he is one step closer to self-destruction and he will take the NRA with him.

The TEA Party 3, Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, have threatened to filibuster any gun legislation in the US Senate. Together with Michele Bachmann in the House, they will destroy the TEA Party. The question in my mind is will they take the GOP with them? To survive the destruction of the TEA Party, the GOP will require a stronger leader than Reince Priebus.

Gun violence, Chicago-style

Chicago Skyline 2008

Chicago Skyline 2008 (Photo credit: TomC)

Chicago has strict gun control laws that are not preventing 500+ homicides per year. Critics of gun control laws use Chicago’s experience to argue that strict gun control laws don’t work. That is total BS. Chicago is the transportation hub of the nation and is adjacent or close to three other states, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan. Guns are brought into Chicago from outside the city limits, either from other cities in Illinois or from out-of-state.

I grew up in Chicago and moved to California in 1965. I am not up to date on the current situation, but this is what I know and what I think I know. Chicago is one of the most racially segregated cities in America. Most of the homicides that make up the 500+ annual figure are crimes committed on blacks by blacks, and many whites in the Chicago area don’t really care. If the homicides were blacks killing whites or whites killing whites, there would be much more support for strict gun control laws within the state and across state lines covering the entire metropolitan area. That and only that would be a true test of how well strict gun control laws really work.

Wayne LaPierre and the NRA

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In yesterday’s “news conference,” Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President and chief spokesman for the NRA blamed everyone but gun owners and the NRA for the tragedy in Newtown. I agree with some of what he said, but I disagree with his proposed solution of adding more guns to the mix. We have too many guns already in this country, and more guns will make a bad situation worse.

I read Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist by Richard Feldman several years ago and then gave my copy to a friend. As best I can recall, he called the NRA a well-oiled, money-raising machine. In addition to membership dues, the NRA uses frantic-sounding messages to its members to raise additional cash. Your immediate response is requested or some law will erode your second amendment rights. What struck me at the time was the odd amounts requested: $38.54 or some such rather than the usual round numbers of $25.00 or 50.00 or 100.00. I suppose the odd amounts requested have been tested and found to be more effective. LaPierre is paid about $1,000,000 per year.