I have long said that Texas and North Carolina are the most dangerous places to live in America. I guess after the mass shooting in Texas I can rest my case. In nothing I have read has a writer laid the blame for the Texas shootings on the state’s open laws about gun control, which seemingly do not exist.
As far as my complaint about North Carolina, no state that I know of has gone further to restrict voting among the unwealthy to limit them from casting a single vote against racist, well-armed masses that believe the Second Amendment is an act of God.
Texas started this “stand your ground” thing and it whorled around the nation like a cyclone, encamping Florida, all of the Southern ring of states, particularly North Carolina and Kentucky.
In essence, the laws allow one to conceal and carry deadly loaded weapons anywhere one likes, in some cases even in church, schools and courthouses. I guess the idea is to replicate Wyatt Earp and the James brothers who did as they wanted with gun play after the Civil War in the Wild West. New laws we have today would have allowed Buffalo Bill and Wild Bill Hickok to add whole new acts to their Wild West Show.
Killing Indians armed with bows and arrows is nothing in drama compared to killing an unarmed young black man in a Miami gated community and getting away with it scot-free.
The National Rifle Association has created this mess. And now the rest of the world has to deal with it.
When I was a boy I would not have thought of carrying a gun into town, not even my BB gun, much less a loaded Colt. 44. Today, especially in Texas, it is commonplace thinking.
In the 1930s in my town a man kicked another’s dog. The man went home, brought back a shotgun and more people died at the shootout in Bee Springs than died at the OK Corral, six or seven if I remember correctly. Yet, men in our county did not openly carry firearms. Today they could all show up with guns in holsters like the Lone Ranger and Tonto.
Under today’s laws, you do not need to hide your weapons of mass destruction, but thanks to the NRA you can carry ammunition packs of 30, 40 deadly rounds in a rifle and walk into a church and start killing anyone who stands up against you. This has got to stop if we are going to prevent massacres like those in Las Vegas and Texas.
How do we stop them? First, we must reject the NRA ideal regarding the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment, which protects what I am writing here, does not allow me to say “fire” in a closed theater to see how people will react. Even the Republican-leaning U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that we can adopt certain laws regarding gun control.
I have never read anywhere that the Second Amendment allows a madman to go into a church or a crowded group of people and start firing a semi-automatic rifle with a 40-round clip into the first bunch of unarmed people he sees. Yet, the NRA and its political supporters, including, most probably, your local congressman or legislator, show less concern for protecting the unarmed victims than for guarding the madman’s access to weapons of war.
Where is our goodness, our response to unleashed violence, if we cannot respond to the worst violence a deadly semi-automatic can bring?
So far as I know, even Nazis did not hunt deer with machine guns. We do not protect our homes with a 40-round clip. These are guns that were machined to kill people, and to deny it is to fall to the most basic deadly instincts of the NRA.
The NRA is in this to make money, not to save innocent lives. And if voters do not like it, let them carry the next 40 or 50 coffins to the pretty little church nearest them and bury their hearts in the yard.
Frank Ashley of Lexington, a former Courier-Journal reporter, served as press secretary for two governors. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.