Yes I am, in my state’s political sense (Maryland), but more in the heart sense. Here we are in the midst of another massacre and like most of the others, over the past 12 years, it has struck in a Red state. Some others have happened in Blue states (southern Delaware; Binghamton, NY; Alger, Washington and Brookfield, WI, rural areas all) but common to these is “A predominate “Gun Culture.”
We of the so called Blue states now recognize the danger in unregulated fire arms, but actually, in the beginning (1880 thru 1920) it was the rural areas now called “Red” that fought hard to lock down guns because the “Wild West” was killing them. Only later did the cities of the east and west join the south and center to regulate guns. The result until the Rightwing Revolt (1985): A safer more peaceful America.
Indeed, when I was a child the great stories on TV and the silver screen were the tales of hero sheriffs and dedicated leaders (Lash Larue and Gene Autry etc.) who rid America’s streets of the gun menace.
But alas no more. An entire political ideology based on inciting FEAR, mostly in the White establishment, began the drum beat to make “us” afraid. We became frightened of the new Latino immigrants (1965+), the second freeing of the slaves (1964), the big city slickers and of course the Russians (Iraqis, Al-Qaida, Arabs, Iranians, North Koreans and Grenada). Sounds like EVERYBODY’S out to get us – so “GRAB YOUR GUNS, now! And vote for us.” Equally important: “Support the NRA so they can buy your legislators (rewarding “YES” gun votes and punish those who dare to vote “NO” on guns.” Note the call to FEAR and VIOLENCE!!
The result is: Since “WE” now carry guns; WE, and our children, are shooting – “US!”
As a consequence of the NRA payoffs our government has become riff with corruption (“corruption” simply means “BUYING” an official’s service). The real irony: the Red states, who suffer the most, continually block well meaning people everywhere trying to get reasonable regulation on the killing machines. This frontier mentality of “dawn the guns and full speed ahead” is immature, nation killing and just damn deadly.
Today’s gun laws are now so weak, people on the “terrorist watch list” can buy weapons.
The problem isn’t just the NRA; the problem is “US.” No politician including the President will try to halt the maddening proliferation of guns because YOU will toss them out of office.
NOTE: to all gun fans: “NOBODY is trying to get your guns.” The sole goal of responsible Americans is to get reasonable regulations as to (1) who gets guns (you are approved), (2) when and where they can be carried and (3) to limit the most deadly mass killers of the lot (ASK “do you really want a grenade launcher in your basement or worse yet in you kid’s school?” – PLEASE answer that question).
Please, speak out. Help you legislators have the courage to do the correct thing, especially in the Red States (the NRA’s homeland) to be good citizens and STOP defeating ALL gun reforms. Let’s again do what our grand parents did so well.
Perhaps most important: STOP LIVING IN FEAR of people different than you. Here is a well proven Truth: “Internal threats are far more numerous to you than external threats.” If you are ever shot, the shooter will probably look just like you, perhaps be related to you and he/she will most likely shoot you with your own gun – For God’s Sake!
Dr. Britt Minshall is an author of several books and a speaker on societal behaviors impacting politics, religion and wealth. He travels and ministers extensively in Haiti. He is a Pastor Emeritus in The United Church of Christ, a Minister in the Full Gospel Fellowship and a regular contributor on Fox Television Network, Public Radio, and National media. He is also a former Security Agency operator and INTERPOL Officer. His police career was compromised when he became a Freedom Rider in the mid- sixties.
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