We as a nation, have decided that tens of thousands of violent deaths and countless injuries every year is a reasonable price to pay to keep guns easily accessible to all. Each mass shooting brings out politicians to send thoughts and prayers to the bereaved and vow to work on preventing future slaughters. That maybe there’s too many guns that are too easy to get is not even considered.
The National Rifle Association’s newly installed president, Oliver North – the person who arranged arms sales to Iran and the subsequent money laundering – says it’s too many kids on Ritalin. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant-Governor Dan Patrick say it’s too many doors on school buildings.
(Fun fact about wheelchair-bound Abbott: In 1984, while jogging – and with no health insurance – a large tree limb fell on him, resulting in waist-down paralysis and a $10 million-plus insurance settlement. In his later political career, he advocated and helped pass legislation to make sure no one else will ever receive a seven-figure judgment.)
It’s failure to deal with mental-health issues.
It’s not enough religion in schools.
It’s violent video games.
Way back when “The Tonight Show” was more commonly known as “The Johnny Carson Show,” best-selling author and former policeman Joseph Wambaugh made one of his occasional guest appearances. The subject of violence on television came into the conversation. Violence – in movies and TV – was having one of its periodic appearances in the headlines, stirring up outrage and controversy. Wambaugh said that if violence was to be shown, then it should be depicted as it really is, not sanitized as the media portrayed. “Wouldn’t people be offended?” Johnny asked. “They’d be offended as hell,” Wambaugh responded. “That’s the point.”
Since massacres by firearms are and will be integral to our national life, it’s time for the various media to show the public in explicit detail. The network news cameras should be allowed to graphically record the carnage and blood and damaged bodies and broadcast it to the world. We should see the bloodshed and decide if we’re really okay with it.
(If you want to stay up-to-date on gun violence in the U.S., www.gunviolencearchive.org/ gives you a daily update.)