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To the editor:
Another mass shooting, this one in Indianapolis, number eight since March 13, in all 48 people dead, killed by a fellow American with a legally purchased gun. Northwestern University mass killing data base has tracked a dozen mass killings in 2021 that have left 68 people dead and 15 people injured.
The scene in Indianapolis Thursday night is all too familiar—a gunman, 19 year old Brandon Scott Hole, opened fire at a FedEx facility, killing eight people before killing himself. On Friday, the FBI searched his home for clues that would lead to a motive. As in the case of Sandy Hook, Parkland, Columbine, Aurora, Boulder, Las Vegas and many many others authorities are still searching for a motive.
I would like to suggest a motive that goes to the heart of America’s mind set. Each of these shooters [most are nutjobs with real or imagined grievances], are simply exercising their Second Amendment right to purchase any variety of gun from a handgun to an assault rifle to massacre their fellow Americans.
When the Founding Fathers added the Second Amendment to the Constitution, they wrote of the need “for a well regulated militia,” giving citizens “the right to keep and bear arms.” I don’t know about you but I am not seeing Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the Columbine shooters, Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, Nicholas Cruz, the Parkland shooter, or finally, [and it’s not finally as the next Brandon Scott Hole is well armed and waiting for his opportunity], as part of a well regulated militia.
Today, on Smerconish, the survey question asked, “Can America control gun violence?” Most who responded to the survey question said, “no.” But recent polls indicate that two in three Americans said, “they support great restrictions on gun ownership.” Expanding background checks to all gun sales and preventing people flagged by health providers as mentally unstable from owning guns were the most popular gun ownership restrictions, pollsters found, with each supported by 83% of responders.”
So, why can’t we enact these restrictions? The answer is money–the sale of guns in this country is worth more $63 billion dollars each year. Wayne LaPierre, the leader of the NRA is worth 12 million dollars and that is not chicken feed. The gun lobby rewards those politicians, Republicans and Democrats alike, who vote against any attempt at regulation.
Iowa’s own Joni Ernest is among the top ten recipients of donations from the gun lobby, with three million in donations and spending to benefit her.
In this current climate, how do we protect ourselves against random and senseless violence? We don’t. People have been killed attending an outdoor concert, in church, in a movie theater, in a grocery store, in school, that is, by simply going about their daily lives.
Mary Kathryn Gepner