Guns…again !!



Two seconds before shots were fired at Pres. Reagan…





There is constant chatter coming from the WingNut community which asserts safety and security comes from being armed; yet yesterday we had another mass shooting episode that killed a score of innocent people, in a community college setting. There was at least one bystander at the college who was armed, who did not go after the shooter for a very simple reason: he believed he could have been mistaken as a perp by the SWAT team when they arrived. This bystander was in a building several yards away from the killing zone, and it would have taken him several minutes to get to the site, roughly the same amount of time it took the police to arrive.

In one of the deadliest of a series of school shootings that have become violently familiar across the U.S., a gunman opened fire at a community college in southwestern Oregon on Thursday morning, killing at least nine and injuring seven others before dying in a shootout with police.

The massacre at Umpqua Community College in this rural lumber town began when the assailant, armed with three handguns and an assault rifle, stormed Snyder Hall and started firing, asking students about their religion as he attacked.

A series of frantic police recordings, punctuated with the scream of sirens, narrated the terrifying scene at the two-year college, about 180 miles south of Portland, where the school year had just begun Monday. The chaos was apparent as ambulances were called and victims were tallied.

A dispatcher could be heard saying the gunman was “outside one of the doors, shooting through the doors” in the hall, with 35 people inside. Several minutes later, an officer is heard describing a gun battle with the assailant. “The suspect is down,” someone shouted, while another officer called in for “as many ambulances as possible.”

This mayhem occurred in other advanced countries in the past, and some countries have taken steps to ameliorate this by tightly controlling firearms. A case in point is Australia, a country with strong similarities to America, including the “Wild West” and “Exceptionalist” motifs. So what happened in Australia?

We need to address this defect in American governance now, as reasonable adults and citizens of a democratic republic, not as jingoistic libertarians living in some 18th Century mental frame ! Our founders did not want us to stop advancing as a civilization by a strict adherence to what they created. Circumstances change, and only idiots fail to do so as well.

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