I don't feel any more personal or horrified by the recent mass shootings in Santa Monica that left five dead, just because it happened about three miles from me -- or about half a mile (or to put it another way, 900 yards) from where I had planned to go that day but got too busy and so put it off. I was under no threat, and my reaction is the same wherever it would have occurred.
My reaction is -- okay, is it not "too soon" to talk about the tragedy yet? And by "the tragedy," I mean the mass shooting at Newtown. Or, maybe I mean Aurora, Colorado. Or perhaps Virginia Tech. Or...
The point is that I lose track. It's always "too soon" to talk about these mass gun tragedies for the gun manufacturer-owned NRA far-right fringe group. So, we've built up a big backlog of these mass gun tragedies.
Having read yesterday that the gunman had 1,300 rounds of ammunition, it would seem like a perfectly fine time to start talking about this mass gun-killing in Santa Monica, too. But hey, that's just me. Me, I think a killing with one round is appropriate to start talking about and 1,300 rounds would demand it. After all, imagine if the gunman has been able to use all 1,300 rounds, which one has to figure was the point. That we lucked out that he didn't get that far is what makes it all the more palatable that we can talk about it. Otherwise, the world would probably be speechless.
Having read today that a teacher once spotted the killer surfing the Internet about assault weapons, and that the police were informed and he was admitted to a psych ward, it would seem reasonable to assume that even when measures are taken properly with someone who has mental problems, that guns can still get in their hands. But hey, that's just me, too. Me, I just think that when someone with psychiatric problem can get his hands on so much guns and ammunition, it's an appropriate time to be taking about better controls.
I keep thinking of the late-Charlton Heston's infamous line, when he was the president of the gun manufacturer-owned NRA, about us having to pry his guns from his "cold, dead hands." What tends to get lost in the chest-thumping bravado of the statement is that while the mass-murdering gunman was able to keep his gun in his warm, live hands, it was the innocent victims whose hands ended up very cold and even more dead.
Though it's another quote from Mr. Heston -- who apropos of nothing, went to my high school, and whose sister Lila taught at Northwestern University in the School of Speech when I got my BS-Speech degree there -- that also comes to mind. That's when he said on Meet the Press in 1997, "Any gun in the hands of a decent person is no threat to anybody — except bad people"
Since "any" is pretty much all-inclusive, I would assume that in the Mr. Heston's all-continuing universe that would include the 4-year-old boy who just over the weekend accidentally shot and killed his father .
On the other cold, dead hand, I'm sure that that father thought his four-year-old son was wonderfully decent. Even with the gun in his hands posing a tragic threat.
By the way, it was a year after saying this that Mr. Heston was elected president of the gun manufacturer-owned NRA, so it would seem that the far-right outlier fringe group didn't have a problem with the sentiment.
Which is why they have so much blood on those cold-dead hands.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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