Friday, April 26, 2013

Another Typical Day in These United States of the Gun

Trey Smith

Five people, including two small boys, were shot to death in their home early on Wednesday in Manchester, Illinois, before the suspect was killed in a shootout with police, state police said.

Illinois State Police also said that a 6-year-old girl was critically injured in the shooting and taken to a hospital. State officials identified the suspect as Rick Smith, 43, who had a criminal history including for reckless homicide.

State police did not discuss any motive but told a news conference that the victims were related and included an infant boy, another male child, two women and a man. Officials did not expect to release names until Thursday.
~ from Five People Murdered in Illinois Town, Suspect Dead by Mary Wisniewski ~
I am not sharing this news article because there is anything specific to it. It merely is the first such story on this topic that I came upon. It is sad that there is nothing unremarkable about it. You can find news reports of this nature almost EVERY week of the year -- year AFTER year.

So many lives senselessly lost. So many psyches tarnished and torn. So many dead parents, siblings, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends and colleagues. It tears at my heart that, in these United States of the Gun, there just isn't much we can do about it. Any suggestions of even mild deterrents are met with a chorus of "You are restricting the rights of law abiding gun owners."

You know, Food Stamp fraud is a problem. The feds and state governments have worked to develop strategies to lessen it. A good deal of these strategies makes things a lot more difficult for all the folks who utilize their Food Stamps properly. But that's okay, we're told, a little inconvenience for you good folks is a small price to pay to keep the bad folks from committing fraud. So, why doesn't this sort of argument work with guns?

Yes, I am aware that many will say this is like comparing apples and oranges. Gun ownership is a constitutional right; receiving food stamps is a privilege. Nowhere in the US Constitution does it say that people have the basic right to eat.

Be that as it may, I still don't understand why deterrents to Food Stamp fraud are widely embraced, but not deterrents for the ubiquitousness of gun violence. As far as I know, Food Stamp fraud never killed or maimed anyone!

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