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Curb the madness

As if almost prescient this piece on truthdig, yesterday, sees the Americans, today, witness another multiple shooting, this time at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin.    When will the gun-madness of America cease?   And when will the public wake up to itself and curb the gun lobby?   This piece suggests a modern way to take on the NRA.

"If social networks helped mobilize Egyptians to confront Hosni Mubarak’s tanks and men, shouldn’t they also be able to take on a PAC, even one as powerful as that belonging to the National Rifle Association?

Armed to the teeth as NRA members may be, they don’t have tanks, although it may be only a matter of time before the constitutional protection to bear assault rifles is expanded to armored vehicles.

In an age in which highway construction is problematic, the political process can’t deal with the issue. The media mentions it only when it’s obligatory—after massacres.

If this is really a new day—and about now, we could use one—what’s to stop the world’s most socially networked nation from adapting the Arab Spring to our own Aurora Summer?

To this point, all we’ve had is the usual ritual exercise with everyone in their accustomed roles. On ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” George Will resisted the notion of legislation and social science attempts to understand James Holmes. Two of the usual suspects, Ed Rendell and Joe Klein, endorsed assault weapons bans—an argument pointedly ducked by the mainstream, as represented by both presidential candidates.

In Aurora to provide consolation, if not solutions, President Obama didn’t touch the issue. Mitt Romney said the answer was showing “our fellow citizens the good heart of the America we know and love,” signing off with “God bless you for being here and God bless the United States of America.”
Stephanopoulos, as moderator, raised the issue in a world-weary preface, noting the “all-too-familiar ritual of mourning and remembrance ... [with] the policy debates about guns and violence that inevitably follow a rampage like this.”

Americans are so resigned, polls show support for gun control, which rose to 65 percent of Americans in favor after Columbine in 1999, dropping to or below 50 percent in recent years.

Shootings now must claim multiple victims to be national news. Counting incidents in which people are only wounded—like the 17 in a Tuscaloosa, Ala., bar last month—the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence listed 21 this year (before Aurora), almost one a week."


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