Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)- Weekend Contributor
It has happened again. A mass killing at the hands of a person armed with knives and three semi-automatic handguns and 400 rounds of ammunition. This time the alleged shooter stabbed three to death and then went on a shooting spree that ended with at least three more dead and a total of 8 injured/wounded people from gunshot wounds and 5 more injured by his knives or by being hit by his car.
The family of the alleged shooter requested a police intervention prior to the killings and the police did speak with the young man, but they did not have cause to search his apartment. The police had other interactions with Elliot Rodger, age 22 and he later expressed concern that they did not find his weapons.
“Deputies also encountered Rodger earlier this year when he accused a roommate of stealing three candles, and in another case in which he claimed to be beaten but deputies suspected he was the aggressor.
Rodger detailed his plans in an extensive 141-page manifesto released Saturday and said he narrowly missed being found out when the officers knocked on his door.
Rodger expressed relief that his apartment wasn’t searched because they would have found his weapons and his writings. When recounting his thinking about whether he should kill his father, Rodger expressed a sliver of acknowledgment that his plot, which included killing other family members, was wrong.
“I didn’t want it to come to this,” Rodger said. “I desperately wanted a way out.” He then immediately talks about his mother giving him a new car — a BMW coupe.” USA Today
This latest shooting spree is not the reason for this article. It is merely one more example of why common sense gun control measures that could save innocent lives are needed. When recent polls seem to indicate that a majority of Americans agree that common sense gun control regulations are needed, the NRA continually stands in the way of possibly life saving legislation. However, the NRA is not just working to prevent any gun control legislation from proceeding, it is also standing in the way of attempts to have the Center for Disease Control (CDC) do research on gun prevention measures.
“But this past week we’ve seen the other side of the coin. How the NRA works to suppress information that would lead to treating a public health catastrophe that claims over 30,000 lives per year and injures over 100,000 as that very thing, while fighting to ensure we have as little access to information as possible that might help save lives.
The simple fact is, much like with their friends on the right from the tobacco industry to the oil industry to the megachurch, science and information are the enemies of the NRA. They have proven they will do whatever it takes to make sure we have less of it, and more Santa Barbaras.
The clearest example, of course, is the NRA’s labeling a bill sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) to allow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to once again use its considerable expertise to research gun violence prevention, “unethical.” Yes, they actually said that.
Because anyone who does statistically significant research on a public health problem from the angle of helping people and not profiting from misery, and again and again finds obvious truths such as owning guns makes you more likely to get shot, is not someone the NRA and its allies will countenance without smearing. I debated one of these types from the Second Amendment Foundation on NPR recently regarding the CDC. It is amazing how tongue-tied they get when you present them with irrefutable information.” Reader Supported News
In what world is it “unethical” to research ways to prevent deaths? Would the NRA consider it unethical to study ways to prevent automotive deaths? Or deaths caused by contaminated food? In the NRA’s world, massacres like the ones that happened in Santa Barbara, Sandy Hook Elementary, Northern Illinois University, Virginia Tech, Columbine and countless others, can only be prevented by good guys carrying guns everywhere and anywhere.
When an organization like the NRA labels an attempt to investigate ways to reduce deaths as unethical, I have to wonder if this lobbyist organization has lost touch with reality. How can we as a country not look into ways that we could possibly prevent some of the 30,000 deaths and 100,000 injured from gun actions? How much longer can the United States of America go on allowing a company/lobbying organization to spend millions to block any and all reasonable actions that may save lives?
Shame on the NRA for blocking reasonable gun control legislation and for even trying to stop research into ways to reduce deaths from guns. Shame on us for allowing it to continue. How much longer will we, as a nation, stand by and watch innocents die? How much longer until we listen to our hearts and our heads and stand up and insist that something be done? Our lives and the lives of our children are at stake. Our moral standing as a nation is also at stake.
Richard Martinez, the father of one of the Santa Barbara victims may have said it best as he reacted to the death of his child. “Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, of Los Osos, California, was the last of six people killed by suspect Elliot Rodger before the gunman apparently shot and killed himself, authorities said.
Martinez choked back tears as he spoke, then grew angrier as he talked about gun laws and lobbyists.
“The talk about gun rights. What about Chris’ right to live?” Martinez said. “When will enough people say: ‘Stop this madness! We don’t have to live like this! Too many people have died!” MSN News
How much longer until we heed Mr. Martinez’ plea?
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