"I thought we were going to get somewhere. All we got was silence.” – Aurora, Colorado shooting victim
By Tommy Hough
I would like to see elected officials remember they’re answerable to their constituents, instead of living in fear of the NRA.
I’d like to see leadership in this country, beyond platitudes, which endorses an agenda that eschews gun culture. I want to see guns go the way of cigarettes and handled with the kind of reverence and care other controlled substances are handled. They are not toys to be bandied about in public.
I want to see the end of automatic weapons in the hands of 20-year-old boys who aren’t otherwise soldiers and who haven’t been properly trained to understand the real effects of 600 rounds of ammunition on flesh and bone and lives.
I want to see leadership which places a greater importance on love and listening.
I want a moratorium on new gun sales in this country. Aren't there enough already?
Mostly, I want to see our leaders step up and begin leading on the failings of gun culture. We’ve got a lot of damaged DNA in the American psyche.
Canada comes from a similar frontier heritage of firearms, yet Canadians don't have weekly massacres by members of their own population. You want a world of the Hunger Games and a return to Wyatt Earp and the Old West? The NRA, Fox News, right-wing media and their minions in government are leading us there as fast as they can. We don’t deserve to be hunted like deer and murdered like lambs.
Despite what you see in the movies, gunshot wounds don’t magically heal. There’s hundreds of thousands of dollars in physical therapy that would bankrupt even most insured families who don’t have the last name of Romney. But one thing better than Obamacare coming through to cover a portion of a gunshot victim’s care is not being been shot at all.
A 15-year-old girl who was shot at a mall not far from where we live in Portland is fighting for her life with a bullet in her chest. She was Christmas shopping. This is not Afghanistan. Murder at the mall is not a reasonable expectation, a freedom from fear, or a component in the pursuit of happiness.
The pathological decadence of our firearms fetish is the epitome of a fundamentally flawed national personality. We didn’t have these sorts of events 40, 50 years ago, in part because public officials never would have stood for it, and because people didn’t have as great an access to the volume, caliber and abundance of weapons and hand-held killing machines as they do today.
And make no mistake, access to firearms enables behavior, whether that behavior is sane, crazy – or utterly devoid of conscience or humanity.
A former San Diego broadcaster and media personality, Tommy Hough is a wilderness and conservation advocate, communications professional, California Democratic Party delegate, and the co-founder and former president of San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action.