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Bowling for Newtown

Seriously, what can I say or type that I haven’t already said or typed? One of my friends told me, “I know what you’ll be posting on Facebook tonight.” I said I don’t think so. I have talked about gun violence until I have nothing left to say. But there is something special about this shooting in Connecticut. Children. 27 people died; 20 of them children. Bowling for Newtown. Before Michael Moore’s documentary, Bowling for Columbine, I was a trauma surgeon in Shreveport, Louisiana. Before I was a trauma surgeon, I was a resident in Shreveport. Almost every night, we would admit one or two, sometimes five or 10, victims of violence. The majority of the Americans whom we admitted were young men between the ages of 16 and 30. Back then, I went to schools, churches, old folks homes. I talked to anyone who would listen, extolling the terrible price of gun violence in the United States. The majority of the time I was preaching to the choir.

Bowling for Newtown. Back in 2002, Michael Moore released his documentary, Bowling for Columbine. In his documentary, which was, I grant you, over the top, he clearly and accurately pointed out that Americans are in love with guns. Growing up in Dallas, you would figure I would completely understand America’s love affair with guns. But no. I was clueless. It wasn’t until I went to Monroe, Louisiana in the late 1980s that I truly understood the passion that many Americans have for guns. A number of the physicians in Monroe would arrange their call schedule so that they could be off the first weekend of deer season. I’m not talking about one or two physicians. I’m talking about 20 – 30% of the physicians. A nurse, whose boyfriend gave her a gun for her birthday, actually broke down into tears because she was so happy. Yep, I checked. She was actually happy that her boyfriend cared enough to give her a gun for her birthday.

When I started my blog about six years ago, I was amazed and appalled at the Virginia Tech shooting. I had this blog and I was able to post my thoughts, day after day. I even have a category on my blog which is still titled Virginia Tech Shooting. Soon, it dawned on me that I couldn’t keep starting a new category every time there was a mass shooting. Let’s just take a moment and think about the mass shootings you can remember, just over the last couple of years – there was that Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin. There was that shooting in the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. (Oh, don’t forget the previous mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado.) There was that Army base shooting at Fort Bragg. There was that other Army base shooting at Fort Hood. There was that biology professor in Huntsville, Alabama (Amy Bishop). There was that mall shooting in Portland, Oregon. There was that other mall shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina. There was yet another mall shooting which left three dead in Northwest Indiana. There was a mall shooting in Richmond. I was recently thinking about the mall shooting in Missouri. The bottom line is that if you Google something generic like mall shootings you can get over 237 million results. Mass shootings have become commonplace in United States. (Mother Jones has put together a guide to all mass shootings in the last 30 years. According to Mother Jones, there have been 62 mass shootings over that time.) Whether it is a US Congresswoman who was shot by a man with a mental illness (don’t forget that a little nine-year-old girl, Christina Taylor Green, was shot dead during this shooting spree) or a deranged NFL football star who shot his fiancée and then himself. Gun violence is a part of the United States.

All the arguments for and against gun control have been made. They been made by people who are smarter and dumber than me. The bottom line is nothing that I can say or do is going to change this problem. Change in this country is going to have to come from gun owners. It’s gonna have to come from an organization like the NRA. I wish that people like me could make a difference in this terrible situation, but we can’t. It is my understanding that peace activists are gathering at the White House trying to urge President Barack Obama to do something. Unfortunately, they are gathering in the wrong place. They need to be gathering at the house of The Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Because, in the end, it doesn’t matter what legislation President Barack Obama proposes, the vast majority of the Democrats are in favor of some sort of legislation to control gun violence. It is the Republicans who’ve embraced the laissez-faire attitude towards guns and gun violence. (Let me be clear. Republicans don’t mind putting you in jail after you’ve killed people. They simply don’t want to restrict your right to own a gun before you’ve killed anybody.)

So sad. 20 children dead. Bowling for Newtown.

By |2013-11-03T18:19:33-04:00December 14th, 2012|Domestic Issues, Mass Shooting|3 Comments

Michael Moore talks about the Aurora shootings and gun violence with Piers Morgan

Michael Moore (director of Bowling for Columbine) admits that gun violence is worse today than it was 10 years ago when his movie came out. He also points out that there was another mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado when four people were killed at a Chuck E Cheese.

The gun control debate is an excellent example of gridlock in this country. We’ve been arguing over guns and the role of guns in our society for over 50 years. We will continue to argue until we decide to do something. We have to admit that conservatives are correct when they point out that people kill people. We also have to admit that liberals are correct when they say that some restriction on gun ownership is reasonable. Finally, there must be another piece to the puzzle. Although people get shot in other countries, it is not like it is here in the United States. People in Canada, Great Britain, Australia and other Western countries watched Dirty Harry, The Wild Bunch (criticized for being too violent in its day), Scarface, Pulp Fiction and other movies known for gratuitous violence. Yet, they don’t have the constant mass killings that we have here.

By |2012-07-27T00:24:14-04:00July 26th, 2012|Mass Shooting|2 Comments
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