gun control laws

Blistering analysis of the GOP Legislature's failure to address school shootings

Talk about an exercise in futility:

Consider Recommendation 2, which urges a civics curriculum in each grade that focuses on citizenship, courtesy, and deference to school administrators. Of course, nothing is inherently objectionable about civic responsibility. But emphasizing it in a report ostensibly about school safety, in a year in which so many students died from gun violence, is a slap in the face to the teachers, students, and parents across the state who have demanded and deserve serious-minded solutions.

Most troubling of all is Recommendation 3, which urges legislation requiring that students receive first-aid instruction “on the immediate response to bleeding, how to recognize life threatening bleeding, and appropriate ways to stop the bleeding.” Tying tourniquets and applying quick clot bandages: no longer, apparently, the exclusive province of paramedics and other first responders, but tasks kindergartners must master.

What about triage? At least two (2) children in each class should be well-versed in what constitutes a fatal injury, so they can use a red Sharpie and put an "X" on the foreheads of any classmates that can't be saved. Yes, I'm being facetious, but that still shows a higher level of respect than this "report" deserves:

Students come together to oppose gun violence

When the most responsible adults in the room are also the youngest:

“The sad and terrifying reality is that another school shooting like Parkland will happen if we don’t take action now," said Sawyer Taylor-Arnold. “I hope that one day students won’t have to fear going to school because of gun violence. I hope that school becomes once again a place for education and promise instead of a terrifying gamble of safety. I hope that students in the future won’t know the pain and trauma that accompanies gun violence because we will have the regulation our country desperately needs.”

Taylor-Arnold is a junior at Asheville High School. She said she wanted to attend the Summit to learn more about gun violence and hear first-hand accounts of how it affected so many young people.

I am proud of these students, but also kind of angry. I'm angry that our lack of action on this issue made them feel the need to push for change. Angry that nothing of any substance has been done to limit the insanely easy access to deadly firearms, and that every (single) common-sense approach is viciously opposed by gun fetishists and the businesses that profit from them. Here are some of their ideas:

From the Governor on firearm regulations and school shootings

This is what responsible leadership sounds like:

In North Carolina, we also need to strengthen the background check system to make our communities safer and keep guns from violent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill. Right now, anyone buying a handgun in our state has to apply for a permit through the local sheriff’s office, a process that includes a federal background check and an OK from the sheriff. This system allows time for appropriate checks to take place before someone can legally buy a handgun. But our law has a glaring loophole since this background check and permit process isn’t required to buy an assault weapon like an AR-15, the weapon used in Parkland. It should be.

Honestly, this seems like a no-brainer. No matter how the right-wing gun-nutters twist, equating an AR-15 with a hunting rifle or shotgun is patently absurd. Hell, you can't even duck hunt unless your shotgun is plugged to only hold three shells, but thirty high-velocity rounds in each clip is "just fine"? Here's more, which will no doubt infuriate the Ammosexuals:

Paralyzed shooting victim speaks out on need for gun control

His life was changed forever in the blink of an eye:

I’m one of the 78,000 people a year who are lucky enough to survive a gun injury. Lucky is a relative term. I have a spinal cord injury. I struggle with relentless nerve pain. One gun, one bullet changes everything.

Little did I know that 4:29 pm, April 15, 2005 would be the last pain-free moment I’d ever spend in my lifetime. At 4:30 pm, I entered the outer lobby of a Detroit television station, and was shot at point blank range. There was no confrontation, no attempted robbery, no yelling and screaming. A young man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia quietly pulled a 33-caliber handgun out of his pocket and pulled the trigger. It’s amazing the pain one bullet can cause. It was a living nightmare, a nightmare I share with an estimated 309 people who are shot in America on any given day.

This is almost too horrible to write about. To be wheelchair-bound is bad enough; we take for granted the ability to get up off the couch and walk to the bathroom, or dash back into the house if we forgot our wallet or sunglasses. For somebody in a wheelchair, even the simplest of activities are a challenge. But to also be in constant pain from a spinal injury, a pain that never fades away, nor can it be "managed" with pain meds, is just incomprehensible to most of us. We can't imagine it. But we really need to try, if we are to hold our elected officials accountable and not allow the gun-nuts to dictate policy:

NC GOP wastes no time in attacking Roy Cooper

They'll use anything as fodder, but this time it's Obama's executive actions on gun sales:

NCGOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse said Tuesday Obama is not standing up for the constitutional rights of citizens. “Our question is if North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper will. Certainly there will be attorney generals across this country that will standup and fight these executive orders,” Woodhouse said.

“The president has done something here that he couldn’t get passed through the legislative process and that should concern all citizens,” Woodhouse said. “What the president has done here is assert authority we don’t think he has and what North Carolina citizens need is our state Attorney General Roy Cooper to do something about it.”

What the President has done is probably a far sight less than he should have, but you won't hear anything like that from the gun-nuts or GOP lawmakers and their political apparatchiks. Closing the gunshow loophole and cracking down on "private" sales is a critical step. Until that happens, it doesn't matter how accurate and up-to-date the federal database is, because somebody who would fail that test has a Plan B. And after all the harping about "mental illness" the gun lobby has used as a deflection, for them to condemn the very thing they've been promoting proves that was all just a sham. No logical ground to stand on.

Common sense needed in gun control debate

But needed reforms are being held hostage by extremists:

During the UNC lock down, I kept thinking, “I don’t want to be another breaking news story.” Little did I know, but just hours before our lock down, multiple shootings had occurred across North Carolina, and in another four hours, carnage would commence in San Bernardino, California.

We do not have to live this way. We can demand that our government legislate and strengthen background checks for gun sales at gun shows and those between private parties. We can tell our legislators that schools and college campuses – our classrooms and our dorm rooms – are no place for privately owned firearms.

The problem is, any sort of restriction proposed on obtaining a firearm, no matter how sensible it may be, is viewed as a "slippery slope" by gun rights extremists. The basic flaws in their logic; that you can't trust your government but you *can* trust random citizens, should be sufficient evidence their contribution to public policy is questionable at best. But politicians are so afraid of the gun lobby, that they will be labeled "Not a friend of the 2nd Amendment," they are driven to not just do nothing, but erode the restrictions we already have in place. And the body count continues.

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