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The enabler of death

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This undated photo circulated by law enforcement and provided by NBC News, shows Adam Lanza. Authorities say Lanza killed his mother at their home and then opened fire inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, killing 26 people, including 20 children, before taking his own life, on Friday. AP

If the Mayan calendar prediction is right and the world ends on December 21, 2012 (5125 in the Mayan calendar), then this will be my farewell article. Of course, if the Mayan Doomsday turns out to be slightly exaggerated, then people will have to pay for their maxed out credit cards after all.

I wish I could write about something cheerful and positive for this holiday season, but mightily as I tried, I could not erase the nightmarish image of the 20 murdered children in Newtown, Connecticut, their bodies riddled with multiple bullets, their bright futures snuffed out just when they were beginning to blossom.

I just cannot fathom what possessed 20-year old Adam Lanza to kill his mother and then enter an elementary school, armed with her three licensed firearms – a Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle, a Glock and a Sighauser – and proceed to kill 26 people in cold blood.

 

Cause of the rampage

There is widespread speculation that Lanza’s rampage was caused by his mental illness – a neurodevelopmental disorder called Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism. Others attribute his action to the influence of the violent video games he played regularly like WarCraft with foreboding titles like Tides of Darkness and Reign of Chaos and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 which sold $1 billion in record worldwide sales in its first 15 days. Still others blame it on the pervasive Hollywood culture of violence in movies like the Expendables and Inglorious Basterds.

But the mental illness, the violent video games and the movies spreading the culture of violence are a global reality, they are everywhere. And yet mass murders do not break out anywhere else in the world.

The Newtown massacre was the 7th mass killing in the US this year, the 30th in the last five years. Outside of war zones in Syria, Afghanistan and Central Africa, this is more than the rest of the world combined.

 

More guns than people in the US

What easily distinguishes the US from the rest of the world is the overwhelming availability of firearms. There are more than 300 million of them in the US, half of all privately-owned in the world. Even though the US comprises less than 5% of the world’s population, it accounts for 80% of all the gun deaths in the 23 richest countries of the world. More Americans have been casualties of domestic gunfire in the US than have died in all US wars combined.

Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee denied that the December 14 mass murder of 20 children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School was caused by the easy availability of firearms, maintaining instead that it was because “we have systematically removed God from our schools.”

But God was in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin on August 5 this year when Wade Page opened fire and killed 6 devout Sikh members who were in prayer. God was also in a Korean Christian College in Oakland, California on April 2 this year when One L. Goh killed 7 people including a Filipina immigrant working as a receptionist. Have we removed God from a Sikh temple and a Christian college?

Tragedies must end

In his speech at Newtown, Connecticut two days after the massacre, Pres. Obama pledged to end the epidemic of gun violence plaguing the nation. “We can’t tolerate this anymore,” he said. “These tragedies must end, and to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and it is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this….Because what choice do we have?”

“We can’t accept events like this as routine,” he said. “Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage? That the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that the violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?”

Pres. Obama was clearly referring to the “freedom” embodied in the Second Amendment “right to bear arms” – the most sacred right in the US Constitution according to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and its faithful allies in the Republican Party. Other freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights – like freedom of speech and freedom of peaceable assembly – are subject to limitations but not the Second Amendment.

Expanded ‘freedom’

In fact, in the last four years, this “freedom” has been greatly expanded in 37 states where Republicans control the legislatures, passing 99 laws making guns “easier to own, easier to carry in public, and harder for the government to track.”

Eight states now allow firearms in bars. Missouri allows citizens to carry guns even while intoxicated and even to fire it if “acting in self-defense.” Kansas allows permit holders to carry concealed weapons inside K-12 schools. Five states allow citizens to carry concealed weapons on college campuses. Most of these states now recognize handgun permits from at least some other states. The NRA is pushing for a federal reciprocity bill – backed by GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan – that would make any state’s gun permits valid nationwide.

There was a time in the 1980s when Republicans could safely vote for “gun control” bills like those that banned the manufacture of plastic guns that could pass through metal detectors or the manufacture of armor piercing bullets that were called “cop killers”.

End of assault weapons ban

Voting in the minority against both “gun control” bills was Rep. Dick Cheney (R-Wyoming), who received the highest rating of the NRA. When the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) came up for renewal in 2004, after it passed in 1994, Vice-President Dick Cheney made sure that it was dead and buried.

After the AWB bill expired, gun makers resumed the large-scale manufacture and sale of semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity gun magazines, the kind used by Norwegian gunman Anders Breivik in the mass killing of 69 teenagers in Utoya, Norway on July 22, 2011. The same 30-round magazine clip was used by Jared Loughner when he shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in the head, killed 6 and wounded several others in Tucson, Arizona in January, 2011.

The mantra the Republicans and the NRA have used repeatedly to oppose gun control is “guns don’t kill people, people do.” But New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff argues “many auto deaths are caused by people who break laws or behave irresponsibly. But we don’t shrug and say, “Cars don’t kill people, drunks do.” He asks: “Why can’t we regulate guns as seriously as we do cars?”

 

Easier to buy guns than adopt pets

Kristoff points out that the US regulates ladders (there are 5 pages of federal regulations about it) but unsafe ladders lead to the deaths of only 300 people a year in the US, just 1% of those caused by gun deaths. As one reader noted, it is more difficult in the US to adopt a pet than to own a gun.

It is so easy to purchase a gun in the US that Adam Gadahn, the American-born al Qaeda operative, posted a youtube video encouraging terrorists to carry out attacks on the United States. He said “America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle without a background check, and most likely, without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?”

Al Qaeda can thank the NRA and its 4 million members for making the streets safe for criminals and terrorists. But actually, NRA members shouldn’t be blamed. A poll of NRA members conducted recently by Republican pollster Frank Luntz revealed broad support for gun control.

NRA members support gun control

The poll showed that 74% of NRA members voiced support for background checks, 68% of them believe that individuals who have been arrested for domestic violence should not be eligible for gun permits, and 75% agree that concealed weapon permits should not be available to people who have committed violent misdemeanors.

But the NRA leadership is not guided by the opinions of its members. What counts more are the opinions of gun manufacturers like Smith& Wesson which have contributed up to $38.9 million to the NRA, a figure based on publicly listed “sponsorship” levels on NRA fundraising pamphlets. The actual figures are much higher.

As Bill Moyers wrote, “the NRA is the enabler of death — paranoid, delusional and as venomous as a scorpion. With the weak-kneed acquiescence of our politicians, the National Rifle Association has turned the Second Amendment of the Constitution into a cruel and deadly hoax.”

Adam Lanza was the killer of the children of Newtown but the NRA was the enabler.

(Send comments to Rodel50@gmail.com or mail them to the Law Offices of Rodel Rodis at 2429 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94127 or call 415.334.7800).


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Tags: Connecticut massacre , Crime , Features , Global Nation , gun control , NRA

  • GMGUERRERO

    Ha, Ha, Ha,  What a Dick, Cheney can’t even shoot straight.  He shot his lawyer’s face full of buckshot during a duck hunt outing. George W. said, he would always raise both arms up in the air every time he passes by Dick in the hallway, yelling, “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot.  Dick represents the cream of the NRA membership.  

    • 7Rodel77

       The lawyer even apologized to Cheney for getting in the way of his aim.

      Cheney will go down in history as the man primarily responsible for getting Bush to invade Iraq at a cost of trillions of dollars.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VPSXDLCQEZGZDJSX32G7PYHNCI Noel

        Why was Cheney never get penalized for his gross negligence in that accidental shooting?  At the very least, his gun license should be revoked or suspended.  As for his and Bush’s war crime against Iraq, if Bush was not penalized for that cruel invasion, why would Cheney?

  • tra6Gpeche

    US President Obama might be one of the
    most powerful man on earth but when it comes to guns, the National
    Rifle Association in America is the mightiest. Sensible gun control
    will not succeed because the NRA and the Republican Party in Congress
    will not agree to it. It is sad to say that the horrifying killing
    in Newtown, CT will not be the last.

  • Diepor

    I really like Black ops 2 and Battlefield 3 but I know it is only games.It does not make me go out and kill. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VPSXDLCQEZGZDJSX32G7PYHNCI Noel

    Without offense to the Jehova’s Witnesses, they predicted that the world would end but did not happen.  Many faithful members sold and disposed of all their properties.  The Bible is very clear that the world will certainly end.  But it does not mention when.  In fact, no one knows Christ’s second coming except God.

    • anu12345

       So Christ’s second coming means judgment day and total destruction? And god will totally destroy ‘all’ living things and creatures the second time?  And only the faithfuls will be saved should that happen. It’s discrimination.

      • Baruk1

        God is a Loving God and keep His words. He promised not to do the same one like Noah’s time.
         
        This time it will be as preached by Jesus Christ, in the Gospel of the Coming Kingdom of God. He will be coming as Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
         
        The end of the age, is the end of this evil world. We can expect disasters but for the elect sake it will be shortened.
         
        In the millennial rule of Christ, the Saints who will be in the First Resurrection will be with Him as King and Priest and rule on the earth. They will teach and live in the Ideal Wonderful World without Satan. All who died without knowledge of the truth will be given a chance to understand (the book will be open and another book open which is the book of life, as written in Revelation).
         
        Towards the end of the millennium, Satan will be released for a short time before his final judgment. Those who will survived on the final encounter of God together with those following the Truth against Satan and his deceived follower (Book of Revelation), will be with God in the Wonderful World Tomorrow as written in the Book of Prophets Isaiah, Daniel, etc.
         
        No discrimination. Every one will be given the chance.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VPSXDLCQEZGZDJSX32G7PYHNCI Noel

        And the chance is NOW while still alive.

      • Baruk1

        The chance is now as it is Blessed and holy to be in the First Resurrection where all present day Christians should aimed to be with.
         
        “And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” (Rev 20:4-6).
         
        The rest who have no way of understanding the Truth will be given a chance when they live again. The Saints with Christ will teach them.
         
        “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books”. (Rev 20:12)
         
        After all those chances given to us and we still don’t believed and don’t follow Jesus Christ, that is it, judgment then will be given.

        The God of the Bible is a Loving God

      • anu12345

         I always ask this question about loving and forgiving god and evil satan – Can you cite bibilical instances when god actually showed love and forgiven anyone and satan doing evil deeds? I want to compare which one was more evil. Chapter and verses will help.

      • Baruk1

        In Reply to Anu12345

        Some of the verses that shows the Love of God.

        Romans 8:37-39; Eph 2:4-10; 1 John 2:5-7; Heb 6:10-12; 1 John 4:7-11 1 John 3:10-13; 1 John 4:16-20; 1 John 5:3-4
        God save righteous Lot and family when Satan influence sinner of Sodom and Gomorrah and turn into ashes.

        “then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,” 2 Peter 2:6-9

        David set his army officer to die in war so he can marry the wife, later become the mother of Solomon. David recognized what he did and repented so much to God. David will be given important position in the coming kingdom.

        “He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ (Acts 13:22)

        Saul was killing the disciples of Christ and was blinded. Later become Apostle Paul after getting special training from Christ and wrote the most number of books in the new Testament.

        “And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.” (Acts 22:7-8)

        Satan the devil, liar from the beginning, deceived and still deceiving the whole world causing great chaos.

        “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever”. Rev 20:10

        God of the Bible is a loving God and is fair. No comparison. Satan was only created by God.

      • anu12345

        “God save righteous Lot and family” – I thought god killed Lot’s wife when she turned back.

        But you did not mention anything specifics about the loving and forgiving god and evil satan who according to you was a god’s creation. Don’t know why god created satan.

        You loving god instructed Abraham to kill his own son. God also wanted to kill Moses because the latter failed to circumcise his son. God also let a bear kill the children who teased a bald man.

        Great Flood, Sodom & Gomorrah, 10 Plagues of Egypt were not actions of love and forgiveness either

      • Baruk1

        In reply to your last comment after this:

        Jesus Christ preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Try to study this subject, especially those written in the red letters (spoken by Jesus Christ Himself) and you will get a much better understanding about your questions.
         
        The family was save because Lot is righteous. Later, on their way the wife turned her back against the order and became a pillar of salt.
         
        All thing created through Jesus Christ (John 1:1-5). Lucifer, perfect in beauty when created, rebels with the third of the angel against God and sent down to earth. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12.
         
        God tested Abraham to know what is in his hearth. God actually stop him and he was blessed with many more children. Read the rest of the story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, later became Israel who father the 12 tribes.
         
        That is how God works. He will blessed you if you follow His Statutes and Commandments. God will give you proper judgment needed if you disobey Him.
         
         
        “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome”. (1 John 5:3)
         
        Satan the devil, the god of this evil world is presently allowed to deceived human being until Jesus Christ come back to establish the Kingdom of God. Satan will get his Judgement together with the false prophets.
         
        “the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever”. (Rev 20:10)

    • Baruk1

      There were signs given by Jesus Christ Himself.

      Those signs must be in place first and the end will come.

      It is very soon.

      He commanded us to watch and pray.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VPSXDLCQEZGZDJSX32G7PYHNCI Noel

    Here’s the question:  December 21, 2012 is Saturday in Asia.  Does it mean that the end of the world ends in two different places?  Dec. 21 in the West and Dec. 22 in Asia?

  • farmerpo

    Cars and tobacco kills more people than all the guns in the world combined if the logic that instruments are the killers, not the people behind the instrument, is true. People kill people. Herod killed children without guns.. and by the way, I don’t have guns neither do I like guns. We seem to like to blame what people do on what they use not on what they think or plan and not the people per se. Guns are not the only instrument of death used in such incidents. See Columbine shooting, the beginning of all school shootings in the US of A . It just happens that guns are the most convenient and effective weapon to use. It is sad but it is a fact. Guns are as useful as they are lethal. Even governments, if allowed by the people, will abuse guns, e.g. Kmer Rouge  and Idi Amin. It is more important to look at the whys of the incidents than on the how and by what it was done.

    • GMGUERRERO

      That’s the NRA script, “Guns don’t kill, people kill.”  Nuclear bombs don’t kill,  People kill.
      Got that?



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