To the NRA: When is enough enough?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

When the subject of gun control last raised its head here, it was to suggest the NRA, which has long fought any sort of dialogue on the topic, much less any legislation or research, needed to regulate itself, to take on the task of self-determination before someone else did it for them.

Since then, we've seen how that's gone. Surprisingly, to the na*ve editorial writer, it hasn't gone far.

This week, three people were injured in a shooting between two people at Lone Star College campus in Houston, Texas.

On Jan. 10, 16-year-old Bryan Oliver opened fire on classmates with a 12-gauge shotgun at Taft Union High School in the town of Taft about 30 miles west of Bakersfield, Calif. He is being charged as an adult on two counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

On. Jan. 15, 34-year-old Sean Johnson, a student at the small for-profit school in St. Louis, Stevens Institute of Business & Arts, shot the school's financial aid director, Greg Elsenrath. Johnson used a Kel-Tec 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol with its serial number filed off. He was found by police in a stairwell with a chest wound and three live rounds of ammunition in the gun. Johnson had reportedly become "angry but not threatening" after meeting with Elsenrath on Jan. 14 and returned the next day with the firearm.

On the same day as the shooting in St. Louis, two others were shot dead in a parking lot at Hazard Community and Technical College in eastern Kentucky; 20-year-old Caitlin Cornett, who was a student at the college, and her uncle, 53-year-old Jackie Cornett, were killed. His 12-year-old daughter Taylor Cornett was also shot and died the next day from her injuries. Police recovered a semi-automatic, .40-caliber Glock pistol at the scene.

Dalton Stidham, 21, turned himself into police afterwards and has admitted to the killings. He has been charged with two counts of murder, one related to domestic violence and with one count of attempted murder.

In a speech last week, President Obama mentioned other recent cases. "Since Friday morning, a police officer was gunned down in Memphis, leaving four children without their mother," he said. "Two officers were killed outside a grocery store in Topeka. A woman was shot and killed inside a Las Vegas casino. Three people were shot inside an Alabama hospital. A four-year-old was caught in a drive-by in Missouri and taken off life support just yesterday."

As of Monday, 900 gun deaths have taken place in the United States since the Newtown shootings.

And lest we forget, there is our own 21-year-old Laura Acevez, who was found dying in a pool of blood from a gunshot wound to the head in her Eureka Springs apartment on New Year's Eve.

The NRA's pathetic response, in addition to attacking President Obama's children for having the protection required of the children of the President, is to arm teachers and put security guards in all schools, and to have Congress foot the bill.

Not only is the NRA determined to do nothing real to stop the violence, it's as if suddenly all the wackos in the country are determined to go out in a "blaze of glory" have decided to move their projects forward before gun legislation makes it harder for them to get the job done.

The only way for this sickness to be slowed down is for regular citizens to come forward and make it happen. Supposedly the membership of the NRA has soared by a quarter million members since the shootings at Sandy Hook, which we find to be a sickening response to the tragedy.

Surely to God that number is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of people wanting safer gun legislation enacted before more and more and more people get mowed down by weaponry nobody needs anyway, outside the military.

One popular sentiment is that the government wants to take away all the big guns so all we have to defend ourselves with when the Hammer Falls is our little handguns and .22s.

If that is your response to this wave of misery and death, you are wrong. Every other item on the Bill of Rights is subject to common sense regulation, and the 2nd Amendment should be also.