Death Death Death

NRA ad encouraging people to blast away more sedately, like an assassin.
It's like the American people are now used to driving along through their bloody history, seeing a car-crash like Aurora, Colorado, and then putting it out of their minds, and continuing on till the next car crash down the road.

"What can anybody do about it?" "Nothing will change." "The pols are too afraid of the NRA."

Yep. But also, we hear in accord with the last sentiment about the NRA, expressions of the NRA deathstyle ("lifestyle" isn't quite what they promote).

The NRA spends a lot of time and money convincing Americans, like James Holmes for example, that gearing up military style is just what they need to be safe and prepared. And not merely prepared in case some lunatic who ALSO has taken this propaganda to heart barges into a movie theater and starts shooting up the place. No, the NRA preaches (and it is really a religion, since it is so often tied to "faith" posturing) that the US government is fundamentally evil and is conspiring to eliminate citizens' freedom. While that view of things may have some basis in fact, at least regarding the government's increasing tendency to treat the people as a herd of sheep, the government is the product of the political process—which is to say it is a democratically-produced repressive entity.

The question then is what to do about it.

One answer is to believe in the 18th-century message of the long-obsolete Second Amendment, which in view of wanting to insure the people could protect themselves from "enemies", encouraged gun ownership and use. That made a lot of sense when so many people lived in frontier environments, needing to stave off bears, indians, and whatever bad guys might happen by.

For the most part, people in the Old West, particularly, quickly realized that guns on the trail were perfectly OK, but guns in town were a crazy idea. And town after town began passing gun ordinances to stop citizens, and especially visitors, from carrying firearms. Why? Because limiting gun ownership in that way decreased the body counts on Boot Hill.

That conflict between practical concern for being armed against threats, and being protected from armed people in an urban environment, has been going on ever since.

Americans love the gun myth of the Old West. But the incomplete story of it suggests laws meant to limit gun ownership were an attack on freedom—instead of an attack on death by gunshots.

Anyway, now the USA has over 300 million people. Arming most of them to the teeth with military-grade lethal hardware is not going to make the nation safer. Gun control is not merely wise—it is essential to our national survival.