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Camille Granito Mancuso: Chatterbox

Camille Granito Mancuso: Chatterbox: Eye on the target

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Chatterbox often uses diversion to ignore the elephant in the room, but when the elephant started eating people, we’ve discussed the essentials.

We’ve also discussed too much of America’s former great productivity going out of country, but there’s something we make plenty of, and that’s guns. America’s firearms industry’s influence over our legislation and legislators is deep and far reaching. Every American must be discussing that, as well as who’s intensely influencing our government.

On April 16, 2020, Chatterbox featured a column called “When only a radical will do.” America was birthed by radicals. Though we don’t play with fire and hair spray daily, we do still need, today, radical change to save America, as we continue to struggle to become a true democracy and continue to need more independent leadership to tackle really tough issues; gun control is first.

With so many news celebrities paid to perpetuate fear, too many average Americans have lost their perspective, and vulnerable individuals are agitated to instability. No sane person can understand why anyone would go on a rampage, take target practice on panicked kindergartners, concert goers or worshipers in church, but that switch has been flipped in many assailants.

America has more than twice as many guns per capita as the nation in the No. 2 slot. Only eight American states ban assault weapons and only two others regulate them. That leaves 40 states with only minimum regulation, or none.

According to the BBC, “There were 1.5 million [gun violence victims] between 1968 and 2017 – that’s higher than the number of soldiers killed in every US conflict since the American [Revolution].

“In 2020 alone, more than 45,000 Americans died at the end of a barrel of a gun, whether by homicide or suicide, more than any other year on record. The figure represents a 25% increase from five years prior, and a 43% increase from 2010.”

New verbiage was unfortunately necessary for the crime of “mass shootings.” Legally, a mass shooting is a shooting wherein, not including the shooter, there are four or more victims whether injured or dead. To most Americans, in any shooting even one victim is massive, especially to that person’s loved ones. Gun advocates say that the guns aren’t the problem; let’s see if inserting those bullets by hand changes the outcomes.

It’s tragic and not to be believed that even these killing sprees don’t break the ties of the ingratiated Capitol Hill’ers as, sadly, many are kept tight in the holsters of the gun lobby. They who will not legislate with wisdom and real justice must reflect, several times every day, on the fear they felt on Jan. 6, 2021. Many have tried, since, to rewrite its documented history but, on that day, they cowered under chairs, ran for closets, phoned for help … and they are adults. Can they still not feel the fear of kindergartners, third graders, or young teens being hunted? Can they imagine the loss of one of their own children … maybe their engaged son, their pregnant daughter, their only grandchild perhaps a kindergartner? Jan. 6th proved they aren’t immune.

We’d hate to think where a shooting must take place to wake them up, legislating for people instead of their stock holdings, campaign financing, and gun manufacturers’ profits. What’s it really worth? In October of 2020 alone, Smith & Wesson singularly experienced a 100-million dollar month. There are no words …

We’re all becoming lulled by the attempt to normalize this havoc and loss of victims. The euphemistic verbiage is an attempt to minimize the carnage. These “shooters” are mass murderers; their “automatic weapons” are actually machine guns; and their “victims” are dead children, teens, beloved family members and residents of a country supposedly protecting their rights to life, liberty and justice; our leadership must protect those things.

It’s amazing to think that: tens of thousands dead doesn’t justify reeling in the gun conglomerate. Legislators’ hesitance is supplying killers with kindergarten targets and holding the lives of “victims” less valuable than their stock, campaign donations, or corporate profit.

If we can’t fire up our wealthy, self-serving, career politicians, then we must fire up anyone who will help. We must make our leadership hear us. We must work in words, actions, inspiration, and in voting booths across America, no matter what they do to make it hard for anyone to pull that lever.

And, we repeat: It is essential that Congress repeatedly revisit the fear they felt on Jan. 6, 2021.


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