My immediate reaction to the call today by the National Rifle Association for the federal government to put or mandate there to be armed personnel in every school is that, well, if it is going to be that dangerous for kids in school, as our recent history suggests, then such may well be needed. But it seems strange that such a right-wing organization suddenly is for a federal mandate. Also it is the free flow and easy access to firearms, most notably the ones designed to kill people in mass, that the NRA has fought so hard to keep up, that in part has led to this situation.
The NRA also called for something to be done about all those video games that promote violence. I agree, freedom of speech notwithstanding. But again it seems strange a right-wing organization would want more government control.
But hopefully the powerful gun lobby has awoken to the fact that the current situation is intolerable and also that if it does not become part of the solution it will be nothing more than part of the problem (and really I doubt the NRA could ever be part of the solution).
I usually don’t combine topics in these posts, but lack of time (I have a real job) forces me to do so:
First: we are now at or almost at (as I write this) the one-week anniversary of the horrendous Sandy Hill school shooting — a whole class of first graders murdered with each victim sustaining multiple wounds from a military-style assault rifle and the shooter’s mother and several school staffers being killed and the shooter committing suicide.
President Obama and others are calling for action on at least controlling or eliminating the trade of these what some call weapons of mass destruction.
Meanwhile, I read that there is a run on gun sales — gun lovers fearing their whole supply will be cut off.
And then we have these people who claim that what we need to do is arm teachers and other school personnel. On that last one, I shudder to think what it would be like with everyone going around wild-west style with a six-shooter hanging from their hip.
(And I heard on the radio news that a man in Tillamook, Or. somehow lost track of his handgun in a movie theatre. It was said to be loaded and not on safety. Subsequently, two young boys discovered it when they went to sit down and it dropped onto the floor. Fortunately, there is a happy ending. They reported it to adults. No one was hurt. But think: it could have gone off when it dropped. One of the boys could have picked it up and shot himself or his friend or someone else. Everyone carrying around a gun in order to shoot back. No, maybe not such a good idea.)
Seriously, I know that many schools these days do have their own armed police. That makes some sense. But c’mon everyone carrying?
I can only hope that something good can come out of something so evil. A safer America.
I will allow, though, that if our leaders and our law enforcement personnel cannot do better in protecting us from gun-wielding crazies (and I realize you can never stop everything bad), people will come to feel they must take the law and their protection into their own hands. So hopefully those in power will do what is best and not bend to the will of the commercial interests who profit from fear and maybe a morbid fascination with deadly weapons.
And I suppose most gun lovers will sense from this that I am anti-gun. Not true, necessarily. But if what happened a week ago does not cause you to think something must be done to control the sale and availability of weapons, especially the availability to law breakers and the mentally unbalanced, then, well I just don’t know what to think of that.
Second, the fiscal cliff:
I have not really been following the drama of the fiscal cliff talks closely. Mostly I just read the headlines. But it seems to me it comes down to this: do we, the public as a whole, think we have to keep our nation’s finances in check and do we need to pay our bills and quit making our national debt expand exponentially (in part by borrowing money to pay interest on borrowed money) until we reach inevitable financial ruin?
If the answer is yes, then it would seem that on the question of taxes, we all have to pay our fair share. The problem is that many of us maybe want someone else to pay that fair share. And yes, the rich can afford to pay more, that is why they pay higher rates on their income (or are supposed to). I know it gets complicated and sometimes the super rich, such as Mitt Romney (remember him?), end up paying a lower rate than their income would suggest, due to loopholes.
I admit I would just as soon preserve the status quo for myself. So I would not go too far to push for change. But I can accept there might indeed be change. But I would only willingly go along with it (I actually would have no choice) if I thought everyone shared. I think that would mean closing one heck of a lot of tax loopholes, all of which were sold on the premise that they promoted something good, such as Romney’s investment income that is supposedly used to do great things for the economy, to include expanding the workforce, even though he is famous for firing people — you know, downsizing — in the name of making companies run more efficiently and making more money for their investors.
Certainly things such as Social Security and Medicare, which so many people depend upon, have to be preserved, but at the same time I imagine you can’t rightfully take them off the table if you are serious about deficit reduction.
There are many choices to be made. Many tough ones. But here is a choice:
Waging war primarily in the name of geopolitical strategy masquerading as self defense versus caring directly for our own population. Which would you choose?
And my time for writing has run out.
Here is a perspective on the right to keep and bear arms and the Second Amendment: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/18/gun-rights-advocates-should-fear-history-of-second-amendment.html