America was attacked by Japan on December 7, 1941. Just 32 hours later, President Franklin Roosevelt declared war in response.
The nation became instantly focused on the business of war. Industry turned on a dime and began producing armaments of all descriptions. Commerce quickly set up a war footing and became part of the massive effort. Young men and women signed up for military duty. Civilians of all stripes were either in uniform or became part of the campaign in hundreds of ways.
It was war! We won.
We are now under attack again. For those who are repulsed and sickened by the massacres flowing from guns in this country, we are at war again! War!
This is not something politicians can solve with new laws. Even if they had the backbone to write ‘em. We’ve already got more laws dealing with guns than we can prosecute. Laws aren’t the answer.
Think about Sandy Hook. El Paso. Dayton. Las Vegas. Orlando. Parkland. Columbine. Do you think for a second that the shooters in all these massacres loaded their long guns, stopped at the door and thought about laws they were about to break? Were any of them stopped by legislation?
Banning violent video games – ala Walmart – isn’t the answer. All developed nations on earth have violent video games. Are they having as many massacres per capita as us? Any?
Psychiatric or mental treatment won’t stop the shooting. As far as we know, only one shooter in all the tragedies listed above had any contact with mental health professionals – Sandy Hook. Medical professionals can’t find ‘em all before they kill.
We are at war! None of these “answers” being proffered can stop the killing and, taken together, they’ll still fail. In wars, there’s the battlefield and there’s the home front. Not now. We are currently living on the battlefield. Schools, hospitals, churches, mosques, temples, concerts, nightclubs, streets, stores. Where we live, shop, play, worship. We’re living on the battlefield.
It’s the guns, damn it. It’s the guns. You got unlimited and free access to guns? You got killers.
In our state, when arrested for DUI, the state takes the car. Period. That takes care of that. One by one. Separate the driver from the car.
When someone is convicted of a crime while on drugs, our state – and many others – not only locks ‘em up but also enters them into a program to separate ‘em from drugs. Separate.
But, also in our state, sorry to say, we have open carry laws. More than that, you can carry concealed without any classes, no permit, no training. You can carry in stores, libraries, restaurants, bars. Now, there’s a “great” idea. Bullets and booze. What could go wrong? It’s the guns, damn it!
We have a war on our hands. Nothing short of it. All these damned piecemeal approaches will not work if, somewhere out there, in this nation of 330-million souls, there are hundreds or even thousands of people with mass murder on their minds. They can’t be found before they kill. They don’t wear tags. They all look like the rest of us. There’s absolutely no way to cut ‘em out of the herd before they act.
Politicians don’t have the guts to take on the NRA. But, that’s one piece of the larger puzzle that has to be solved. The NRA is a cancer on our society that’s paid out more than 24-million-dollars to members of Congress in the last decade. It’s bought them and it’s bought their silence and inaction. We’re currently successfully bankrupting some hate groups by getting large, court-ordered civil damages for their wrongdoing. It’s time the NRA paid up. Seems New York State A.G. is working on that.
If we’re to stop the killing – stop the massacres – stop the killers – we have to look at this as a war. Nothing less. It requires us to temporarily turn from other issues and concentrate every resource we own directly on this one murderous problem. We have to go back to December, 1941, and put this nation on a war footing. Focus directly on what and who’s killing us and stop it. Nothing less will stop the tragedies that have ended so many innocent lives.
I don’t know all the answers, if answers there be. But, I do know this nation (1941-1945) waged massive wars on two fronts and won both. We dedicated ourselves to a single purpose – winning – and we did. If we could stop ‘em “over there,” we can damn-well stop ‘em here. America can still walk and chew gum at the same time.
We’ve got the money, the brains, the technology. But, so far, we’ve lacked the will to take this head on. We’re at war. Our streets and structures have become the battlefield. We are living in the midst of the killing. We are safe nowhere.
If that’s not war, what the hell is it?