Wake up, America.
We are not the land of the brave or the home of the free. We are the land of the gun and the home of the free market.
Stephen Paddock’s killing spree last night in Las Vegas will not change anything – except the bottom line for numerous gun manufacturers. Ca-ching, people!
Scores of American companies are going to clean up over this!
That’s what happens every time we get a high profile mass shooting.
Not new gun regulation. Not additional services for the mentally ill. Not stricter guidelines against fake news on social media.
Any sane society that values human life would do something to stop things like this from happening again.
Just tons of money pouring into gun manufacturers pockets as firearm aficionados rush to buy as many additional pieces as they can in the fear that tomorrow the government will come for their guns.
You think this has anything to do with the Second Amendment or the right to bear arms? Wrong. It’s about putting business over humanity. It’s about our culture of death overtaking everything else.
Look at the facts. A 64-year-old retiree used a cache of almost 20 guns to spray bullets on a crowd of concertgoers. He killed at least 58 people and wounded more than 500 others.
To do so, police say he had at least one fully-automatic rifle, an AR-15-style and AK-47-style rifle, more than a dozen additional firearms, and a ton of ammunition.
Any sane society that values human life would do something to stop things like this from happening again. It is almost impossible to inflict this kind of death toll in such a short time without these types of firearms. It’s the guns, stupid!
Yeah, I know they didn’t pull their own triggers. That was done by a human being, but by all accounts so far there were no warnings that Paddock was unstable. He was just another privileged white male with a gambling habit and an armory full of guns.
We will never be able to accurately and adequately predict when someone will snap. I’m not saying there isn’t more we can do to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill, but it will never be enough.
No one should have the power to inflict this kind of death on others.
Does that mean all guns should be illegal? Maybe. Maybe not. Does it mean they should be highly regulated. Absolutely! But no matter what you’re preconceptions, it’s a discussion we should be having.
However, we never will because our government is owned by big business, and guns are one of the biggest businesses out there.
Gunmakers made millions of dollars after the mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut; San Bernardino, California; and Orlando, Florida. Profits also skyrocket under Democratic Presidents. I wonder how many sprawling estates and mega-yachts were bought off the backs of “Obama’s coming for your guns!”
But ever since Donald Trump took office, profits have tapered off. Everyone knows he’s not going to do anything about gun violence. No reason to rush out and buy that new Glock.
The market has noticed. Vista Outdoor’s stock dropped by 40 percent since the election, while Sturm, Ruger & Co.’s stock fell 20 percent and American Outdoor’s stock has fallen by a whooping 46 percent!
But now! Woo-wee! This Las Vegas shooting is just what the industry needed! And THAT’S why we aren’t ever going to do anything to prevent future massacres.
In America, the bottom line is all that matters. Anything for a buck: for-profit healthcare, privatized education, and gun sales over all.
But don’t worry. The right wing media machine will be all over this, distracting you with alternative motivations for the killing spree.
Since Paddock killed fans at a country music concert, they’ll say he must have been targeting conservatives. Or it’s a false flag operation to stop NRA-backed legislation easing regulations on silencers. And various other B.S. conspiracy theories Facebook and other social media platforms allow to jump from profile-to-profile without regard to facts or evidence.
It’ll all just be another distraction. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, people. It’s just big business getting richer off of your partisanship and credulity.
If only saving lives was where the money is. If only preventing death was as profitable as causing it. If only we cared more about each other than making a buck. But no – instead we are one nation, under God, with guns and ammo for all.
Steven Singer is a husband, father, teacher, blogger and education advocate. He often writes at his own blog: https://gadflyonthewallblog.wordpress.com.