In one of America’s saddest tragedies, 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school are dead today because the country has refused to deal effectively with the gun culture that runs rampant in the United States.
Few leaders are actively doing anything about it. In fact, the only one I know who is putting his money where his mouth is has been New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire who has decided to try to change this culture.
Bloomberg recently put together a political organization pouring tens of millions of dollars into a campaign to defeat elected officials he believes are too soft on gun control and little more than wholly owned subsidiaries of the American Rifle Association, one of the most powerful lobby groups in the country.
Among those Bloomberg’s money helped defeat was seven-term incumbent Rep. Joe Baca in the 35th Congressional District in a battle of Democrats in the San Bernardino area. Baca was viewed by Bloomberg and others as little more than a shill for the NRA.
He was beaten by newly elected California Congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod, who probably stood no chance against the incumbent had Bloomberg’s political action committee not spent $3.3 million in campaigning against Baca.
For that, all Bloomberg has gotten is criticism for involving himself and his gun control crusade in campaigns far away from his New York home.
Similarly, sportscaster Bob Costas was recently harshly criticized for an on-air opinion condemning the gun culture in NFL player Jovan Belcher’s murder of his girlfriend and subsequent suicide.
America’s gun culture
“Handguns do not enhance our safety,” Costas said. “They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it.”
Costas also quoted these words from sports columnist Jason Whitlock: “Our current gun culture ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy.”
So true, and now comes this even greater tragedy in another domestic dispute – presumably between the Connecticut gunman and his mother, a kindergarten teacher at the school. Not only did the gunman settle—in his own warped manner—the dispute with his mother but he also killed 20 students and destroyed those families.
Say what the NRA or other gun advocates will, there is no denying that the easy availability of guns is responsible for a massacre that brings a chilling awakening to where America is today.