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National headlines on the evening of May 24.

Voices / Viewpoint

Yet again

‘Nowhere else in the developed world has there been an increasing amount of such events where a person walks into a public place and kills as many people as possible. I am so fed up with the powerlessness of the majority of us in what is supposed to be a democracy.’

Robert Fritz (robertfritz.com) works as an author, composer, filmmaker, and management consultant.

Newfane

While the majority of Americans — over 90 percent, including most gun owners — want actual gun control so we don’t have what now is called a “mass casualty event,” we are frozen in place by the gun lobby, and, it must be said, by most Republicans.

Greg Abbott, governor of Texas, is going to talk about how sad he is about the massacre that took place on Tuesday in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where, at this point, at least 19 children and two teachers were shot to death.

But he will spend no time reflecting on his part in the event.

This is what is meant to be pro-gun now.

Of course, the gun lobby and their bought-off politicians will claim that it is only a factor of mental health.

Not the fact that there are more guns in the United States than there are people.

Not the fact that the laws make it easy for people with mental illnesses to get them.

Not the fact that nowhere else in the developed world has there been an increasing amount of such events where a person walks into a public place and kills as many people as possible.

* * *

What is wrong with this country?

Two factors are essential in a democracy: freedom and order.

Radicalized people talk a lot about freedom but never about order. That is because they are anti-government. They don’t want government to support order while supporting the freedom of the individual. Their notion of freedom is that anyone can carry a gun anywhere so as to pose a threat to order, and you’d better not say anything, which might make the gunslingers mad.

Think about the parents who on May 24 brought their kids to Robb Elementary School, the parents who have just suffered the worst thing that can ever happen to a parent.

They don’t want to hear how Abbott is pretending he cares. He is part cause of it, and I think he knows that.

But he will get his friends at the NRA to tell him it could have happened anywhere, and a bad 19-year-old with a gun can be stopped by a good guy with a gun. Does the gun lobby still try that one on as if it were a serious thought, or just more propaganda to sell as many guns as possible?

* * *

If you get my anger, you are right. I am so fed up with the powerlessness of the majority of us in what is supposed to be a democracy.

This is not complicated: Get the guns off the streets. That’s what they did in Australia when they had such an incident.

The underlying structure of anything will determine its behavior.

The structure of U.S. election laws prevents majority rule, so we have the best politicians money can buy.

* * *

They will put on a good face for the moment, saying how difficult it is, how the problem is mental illness, which, if they were serious about that, they would do something about it.

They will say that their hearts and prayers are with the victims, and then do nothing about the next set of victims they will directly cause by their inaction.

* * *

As we come into election time, we have a chance to rid ourselves of those who stand by as casualty event after casualty event becomes a tragic American cultural norm. Because of their inaction, they are the foundation for the mass killings of innocent victims which are on a dramatic increase.

They feel no shame. They lust for power. They want to, in the name of freedom, force their dogma on the general population against the will of the majority of the people.

Without a change of underlying structure, more Americans will die, and the gun lobby politicians will pray, and pay lip service to the dead and their families while trying to raise the most money possible as they ignore reality.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #665 (Wednesday, May 25, 2022). This story appeared on page C1.

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