Earlier this week, on the eve of Passover, a well-known and well-documented racist anti-Semite opened fire on two Jewish centers in Kansas, killing three people. And this week, egged on by the “Patriots” at Faux News and hate talk radio, scores of gun nuts showed up, weapons in hand, to fight back against the gubmint officials who dared to try to collect the million dollars in fees owed by a crazy rancher in Nevada for 20+ years of allowing his cattle to graze federal lands and ignoring the fees.
Of course, all this comes when 2014 – only four months old- has already produced 64 mass shootings in the good ol’ USofA. They’re so commonplace these days that we don’t even hear about most of them unless you’re unlucky enough to live in a city where one has taken place – and then only if you watch the “if it bleeds, it leads” local “news” casts.
This morning, I spoke with Elliott Fineman, who founded of The National Gun Victims Action Council after his son was shot in killed while out to a peaceful dinner with his wife in San Diego by a paranoid schizophrenic who never should have had a gun. His group led the charge against Starbucks‘ former policy allowing concealed and open carry weapons in their stores. He’s now challenging the head of the Illinois State Rifle Association to answer the question, Does carrying a gun in public offer self-defense?(We know the answer to that one! If carrying a gun actually kept someone safe, no police officers would ever be killed.)
I came up with an idea some time ago – a way to get our elected representatives in Washington to do something to stop the gun insanity – hit them where it hurts, in the pocketbook!
I wrote this post last September, suggesting enlisting other nations with sensible gun regulations (Australia, England and many others ) issue a travel advisory, warning their citizens against traveling to the US because of the dangers posed by the epidemic of gun violence here.
WARNING: TRAVEL IN THE US AT YOUR OWN RISK
This graphic shows the Mass Shooting/Killing incidents since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009.
The shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., on Monday marks the 20th time since Barack Obama took office that there has been a mass killing incident. Using data compiled by Mother Jones magazine, we created an animated map to show, month-by-month, what that toll looks like.
According to that data, 174 people have lost their lives since January 2009 in such incidents. The incidents must meet several criteria: four or more killed, it must have been a solitary shooter, the killings must have happened in a public place or series of places.
I’ve come to the realization that nothing will be done to stop the madness. The mass killings by crazed gunmen with weapons that serve no purpose other than to kill will continue unabated.
After all, we’ve already witnessed the unthinkable:
- a congresswoman meeting with constituents outside of a grocery shot in the head. She was lucky enough to survive, but six people who went there to meet her were not.
- TWENTY 6 and 7 year-old children slaughtered in their classroom, along with 6 adults who did everything possible to protect the children in their charge.
On Monday, the crazy man with the guns killed twelve people. But they were just your everyday, run of the mill, normal folk who raged in age from 46 to 73. No, they weren’t babies. And no, they weren’t high ranking elected officials.
If our representatives in Washington weren’t moved by 20 babies’ bullet-ridden bodies, or by one of their own ambushed, they certainly won’t be motivated by the loss of another dozen or so mere citizens whose job it is to protect.
Obviously, the only thing that seems to matter to these politicians who are either against any sensible gun regulations, are afraid to cast the vote they know is needed, or simply haven’t read the entire Second Amendment to the Constitution (“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”) is money.
So, I say that we take it to their pocketbooks.
Although the murder of Australian baseball player and college student Christopher Lanelast month in Oklahoma by “three bored teenagers” isn’t on the map of mass killings above because only one person was killed. But it was enough to prompt Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer to warn
‘It is another example of murder mayhem on Main Street. People thinking of going to the U.S.A. for business or tourist trips should think carefully about it, given the statistical fact that you are 15 times more likely to be shot dead in the U.S.A. than in Australia, per capita.”
That doesn’t apply only to Australia. The Washington Post published this chart on the day after the Newtown massacre, which clearly shows that the United States is, by far, the gun killing capitol of the world!
The United States has by far the highest per capita rate of all developed countries. According to data compiled by the United Nations, the United States has four times as many gun-related homicides per capita as do Turkey and Switzerland, which are tied for third. The U.S. gun murder rate is about 20 times the average for all other countries on this chart. That means that Americans are 20 times as likely to be killed by a gun than is someone from another developed country.
That information makes the case that the US is not the best choice when citizens of other nations are planning their vacations. After all, why go somewhere where you are 20 more likely to be killed by a crazy person with a gun than to a country where you’re likely to be much safer?
Yes, that would hurt our pocketbook.
According to the International Business Times,
Travel and tourism in the U.S. is flourishing compared to the overall national economy, according to quarterly statistics released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on Monday.
Spending on U.S. travel and tourism rose by 6.8 percent in the first three months of 2013, compared to national gross domestic product growth of 2.4 percent in the same quarter.
Growth in tourism spending has mostly stayed higher than GDP growth since about mid-2010, according to bureau data. In early 2011, tourism spending rose by about 10 percent, while GDP growth stayed at 2 percent or lower.
And according to the World Travel & Tourism Council,
Travel & Tourism”s total contribution to GDP in the Americas was US$1.9trillion in 2011, or 8.6% of total GDP. This compares to 6% for automotive and mining and 7% for chemicals.
Hit ‘em where it hurts. If the politicians can just step over all the dead bodies in the road, let’s see how they react to the huge monetary losses their corporate benefactors will suffer. Once the US Chamber of Commerce steps in, maybe they’ll do something.
What are we waiting for?