Yesha Callahan

After the Virginia Shooting Will Lawmakers Finally Pass Gun Control?

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 10.31.07 AM

As our nation continues to grapple with yet another painfully public shooting tragedy, Alison Parker’s father and boyfriend have vowed to take on the issue of gun control.

“We’ve got to do something about crazy people getting guns,” Parker’s father Andy said. “You mark my words, my mission in life — and I talked to the governor today — I’m going to do something to get gun legislation, to shame people, to shame legislators into doing something to make sure that crazy people don’t get guns.”

President Obama also weighed in: “It breaks my heart every time you read about or hear about these kinds of incidents,” he said during an interview. “What we know is that the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism,”

Whenever things like this occur, victims’ families call on politicians to do something, anything, about guns. Many appeal to the media, become gun control advocates, and even pressure their members of Congress to take up the fight.

Still, nothing is done.

After the Sandy Hook massacre in which two dozen elementary school children were slaughtered, most people assumed lawmakers would finally institute common sense gun control measures, but it never happened. Instead, the National Rifle Association argued teachers should be armed and Congress failed to pass any new laws on background checks or limiting access to firearms.

One thing is clear: Americans are obsessed with guns.

According Mother Jones, there are approximately 300 firearms in America, nearly one for every person in the country. Even more troubling, almost 100,000 people are shot each year.

Guns and gun culture are deeply rooted in America, but is breaking our infatuation with firearms impossible?
What do you think? Will America ever break its addiction to guns to institute gun control? Sound off!

  1. August 27, 2015 - Reply

    No. They didn’t pass any when 20 little white children were murdered. This country doesn’t give a shit about any actual humans and will do not a damn thing about this; and quite frankly it serves them right. They sure as fuck didn’t care about the damage that guns were doing in places like Chicago other than to throw it in our faces when we demand that state actors not be allowed to kill us with impunity. Why bother now? You want to have a 2nd amendment that means any Tom, Dick, and Harry can grab a gun? You want laws that are lax as hell? You want your stand your ground fuckery? This is what you reap.

    The 2nd amendment is a holdover from slavery which needs to go away but the ability to shoot Black people is too important for them to give up and only apparently needs to be rethought if it turns out Black people can get guns and turn them on white people on occasion.

    They can miss me with this bleating.

    • August 27, 2015 - Reply

      @Reina Benoir

      ITA–and when Alison Parker’s father talked about gun control and mental illness this morning he made a comment about ‘how many Sandy Hooks, how many Alison Parkers will it take for us to do something about this’–This man is deep in his grief and any decent person can respect that; but not one freaking mention of the Charleston 9 which was what, just last month? And I don’t think omissions of our grief is deliberate, many White people just simply don’t regard suffering when it does not involve one of their own, and def not when one of them causes agony to Black people. And even their mourning is disrespected by gun nuts. When Joe the Plumber made that comment directly to one of the Sandy Hook fathers with re: ‘your dead kids don’t trump my rights’ and no prominent GOP officials, pundits, etc. challenged him;-I know White people can be some evil creatures but that floored me.

      As you have mentioned, when gun nuts realize violent Blacks can not only kill each other but get mad and shoot Whites too, MAYBE there will be a serious conversation about the 2nd amendment. But as you also stated, the ability to shoot and murder Black people is too crucial for them. But yeah, chickens are roosting.

      eta–I don’t think anyone will ask the families of these latest victims if they forgive this murderer.

      • August 27, 2015 - Reply

        @Vintage

        The media will never ask the families in Virginia to forgive this murderer. They know better, but they ask us to forgive murderers all day every day.

    • August 27, 2015 - Reply

      @Reina Benoir

      Spot on.

  2. August 27, 2015 - Reply

    I’m from Virginia, so the answer to that question is 2 words. We know what the 2 words are. The House state legislature will not pass gun control legislation at all. Nationally, it would be very difficult too. One thing that there is common ground is on mental health issues. There should be legislation on investments in helping people who have mental health problems and to ban people with severe mental illness (after adjudication) to own a firearm. That is just common sense. Dozens of people have died nationwide because of these incidents. It is truly a disgrace to see some say that nothing can be done, which is a lie.

    Tons of things can be done like programs of gun education, policies to invest in mental health, targeting the illegal gun trade, and use other methods to defend human lives. Stand Your Ground laws are outright advocating vigilantism. There is a difference between innocent people handling guns and gun fetishism. We have a serious problem of gun fetishism in our country. I don’t advocate banning guns from every citizen. We know that doing that is authoritarian and it’s anti-liberty (as gun bans existed during the 19th century against black people. There are laws in the South where innocent black people were heavily restricted in owning arms during the 17th to 19th centuries. Groups like the League of Defense and the Black Panther Party prove that trained people, who are innocent, have the right to own and bear guns). The vast majority of Americans support background checks prior to gun sales. There is massive support for closing the gun loophole. We’re talking about ending the status quo and not allowing any criminal (or anyone with severe mental illness after adjudication) to own a gun.

  3. August 27, 2015 - Reply

    Will America ever break its addiction to guns to institute gun control?

    This is a loaded question. Your use of the word “addiction” implies you’re not in favor of people owning guns. I also don’t know what you mean by control. Until you elaborate more, the answer to your question is no. I will continue to keep a gun in the glove department of my car. I never know when a criminal or a crazy cop wants to act a fool.

    I will continue to keep a gun in safe keeping in the house. I never know when a criminal or the police comes to my house acting a fool. The only people who shouldn’t own guns are criminals.

  4. August 27, 2015 - Reply

    I have a different take on this story. Yes, we need to more a lot more about the proliferation of guns and their easy access but in regards to this incident, it reads more like a case of workplace bullying and our sad sorry state of mental health in this country. I think all of us, no matter what your race, sex or sexual orientation should respect our fellow colleagues at work and refrain from any activities that contribute negatively to their emotional and psychological state. Also, we should find support systems for people who are undergoing stressful sisutations that might lead to the worst case scenario. Bullying especially in the context of race and or sexual orientation must end. Stop protecting these bullies and take their grievances seriously or we will see more cases like this in the future.

    • August 27, 2015 - Reply

      @ctrldwn

      That’s an interesting point. Any action to make a workplace environment safer and more progressive is always the right thing to do. Bullying has no place anywhere, especially in the workplace. Resources for those with mental health issues is always important. We all want solutions to prevent murders in our country and in our world.

    • August 27, 2015 - Reply

      @ctrldwn

      The only thing is, it appears this guy’s employer did take his colleagues’ complaints about him seriously and they have resources he refused to take advantage of. He was instructed to get help through their EAP program for his anger issues, and he was given several warnings about his job performance and that he should seek mental help. But I have no idea how a mental health professional would suggest going further with cases like this, we all have that ONE co-worker who seems apt to go off. It’s scary. And just last week around the corner from me, another disgruntled person walked into a federal building and shot the security guard to death. First question is always, how in the world did this person get a gun?! If not thru legal means, then how–the average person does not know how to buy a gun illegally.

      • August 28, 2015 - Reply

        @Vintage

        I had several co workers like that. The ones with mental health issues with the anger issues make me very nervous. This one guy in my former facility was ex military with PTS. He was very scary

        • August 28, 2015 - Reply

          @Mary Burrell

          Same here, Mary. I worked with an ex-military guy also with anger issues. Everyone–from the junior consultants to the senior partners, tip toed around him. I never knew if HR ever spoke to him, but odd thing was I was one of the two people in the office he got along with. I think he thought I was also crazy and saw a kindred spirit in me.

          • August 28, 2015 - Reply

            @Vintage

            ☺️

            • August 28, 2015 - Reply

              @Mary Burrell

              Cool graphic. 🙂

          • August 28, 2015 - Reply

            @Vintage

            I never met people like that in my work environment. Usually, I work with people either who are all in your business (by asking random questions) or people who are regular folks. Discernment is always important, especially during these days. Our intuition is always a great guide in our lives.

            • August 28, 2015 - Reply

              @truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

              That’s so sweet of you, truth! Thank you, I wish the best for you as well.

    • August 28, 2015 - Reply

      @ctrldwn

      Yours was the most eloquent that I hav taken the time to actually read in regards to this tragedy.

  5. August 27, 2015 - Reply

    White America did not budge when 20 children were murdered in a classroom. I don’t see anything changing. It’s apparent Mr. Flanagan was working in a hostile work environment and one wrong move can kill your career. His work related grievances as a gay black man were not addressed and dismissed. The anger festered.

  6. August 27, 2015 - Reply

    Every single time something like this takes place, it always circles around gun control. There are already gun controls on the books. How about they enforce those instead of trying to take guns away from law-abiding Americans.

  7. August 27, 2015 - Reply

    America causes problems and then attempts to solve them. We celebrate the Wild West with documentaries, on any given day, on Billy the Kid, Bonnie and Clyde, Jesse James, etc. There’s not a time on TV where there aren’t a plethora of documentaries on mobsters such as Bugs Moran, Baby Face Nelson, John Dillinger, etc. America took this nation by force using violence with the blessings of the government. America has always solved her problems using violence. There is a buffet of violent video games, TV shows, and movies, but NOW, we’re feverishly trying to un-reap what we’ve sown.

    • August 27, 2015 - Reply

      @Noirluv45

      That’s a great point.

      • August 28, 2015 - Reply

        @truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

        Thank you.

        • August 28, 2015 - Reply

          @Noirluv45

          You’re Welcome.

    • August 28, 2015 - Reply

      @Noirluv45

      When the white people die is when they want to talk about gun control. When our people die it’s crickets chirping. I am sad about this tragedy, but until something affects white people then they acknowledge their is an issue with guns. Any other time they are protesting about their 2nd Amendment rights being violated.

  8. August 27, 2015 - Reply

    Here’s my thing. He purchased his gun legally. What else are we expecting gun control to do in this type of situation? I haven’t heard anything about him having a violent past or anything beyond him just being disgruntled by his situation and stuff he heard in the news. That could describe any one of us on this comment board or in our lives. What law could’ve been passed that would’ve prevented him from killing these folks?

  9. August 28, 2015 - Reply

    This country was founded under the premise of violence and theft by the taking of Native American land and the enslavement of our African ancestors. Violence is woven into the fabric of society on every level and no BS gun control policy will change it. The Columbine shootings in 99′ sparked a deadly spree of mass killings throughout the new millennium. Somewhere down south gun shows are selling firearms and ammo like groceries. Any person with no criminal record can purchase a handgun or an assault rifle with great ease.
    IMO, there is no need to own an assault rifle. The lunatic that murdered the young children in Sandy Hook used an assault rifle. I’ve seen the damage this powerful weapon can cause. Thankfully, no photos were released of the young victims in the aftermath.
    There is no policy that will stop a person from going on a murderous rampage.
    Research reveals that most of the gunman that have committed mass murders had no criminal record. I’m certain that a mental evaluation would have revealed unsettling results.

  10. August 28, 2015 - Reply

    A 24-year-old woman died too early. A Shooter began to shoot in front of a camera.

  11. August 28, 2015 - Reply

    Okay, so I’m kind of wondering what kind of gun legislation people are looking for? I mean, lets talk real talk here. Number one, what is a “crazy person?” Someone with a diagnosed mental illness? Does this mean that you can’t have a weapon if you have ADHD? That’s a mental health issue. Or are we talking certain types of mental health issues? Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Depression, etc?
    And once you go down that road, you have to understand that you’re telling a person who has a diagnosed mental health disorder, who may be controlling it with medication, that they cannot defend themselves. So, if you’re a woman who has been diagnosed with Depression, which you keep under control by going to your doctor and taking your medication, if your crazy boyfriend (who has no mental heath diagnoses, but is just “crazy” in terms of being possessive, violent, etc), threatens you after you break up, and you’re scared out of your mind, you can’t get a concealed carry and a weapon to defend yourself? That’s taking a lot from a person.
    And in order to take that from a person, we need some statistics to back it up. These are high profile cases. But on average, how many people with specific mental health disorders are committing murders with firearms? Do we have numbers on that? If the numbers justify passing a law saying you can’t have a weapon, so be it. But what if they don’t? We probably wouldn’t want to have weapons in the hands of paranoid schizophrenics, but how many paranoid schizophrenics actually shoot people? It may be a surprisingly low number. Or actually, should we let the American Psychiatric Association make the call on who shouldn’t’ have a gun?
    And how do we put people on the no fly list? Have hospitals automatically report it? Make an acception to HIPPAA law? Then, your question becomes, would gun owners even bother to go to the hospital to seek treatment when they have a mental breakdown? If word gets out that they could lose their firearms, some might not, and this would prevent them from getting the help they need.
    TL;DR version: Everyone is saying that we need to pass legislation. But what does that legislation look like?

    • August 28, 2015 - Reply

      @LogicalLeopard

      “Okay, so I’m kind of wondering what kind of gun legislation people are looking for?”
      That’s my first thought whenever this topic comes up. Two things people overlook when discussing gun laws is 1) alot of gun related crimes are committed with guns that are purchased illegally so the strictest laws wouldn’t curtail that. 2) the proposed laws wouldn’t necessarily stop these people from buying guns. The perpetrators often have no previous criminal history and no previous signs of mental illness or showed signs to family but were never evaluated by a doctors. Also, how would a gun store know a person has a mental illness that could cause them to attack? Is someone going to create a database? You make a lot of good points. There are so many factors to consider that are rather difficult to decide. But, people act like everything is so simple. Create a law and the problem is magically solved. But what is the law and how is it implemented? Also, I’m not sure gun laws (even if we could create a perfect system) are the cure all for the issues we have in this country. Mental illness is not a new phenomenon and guns have always been apart of American culture. Maybe these experts should spend some time trying to figure out what is going on in our society that has people taking lives so freely. School and movie theater shootings are more recent than mental illness and guns so there has to have been a shift in the culture. I don’t know how anyone can figure this issue out. But there has to be a more well-rounded approach than just banning access to guns. The guy who attacked the Tennessee movie theater had a BB gun, an axe, and pepper spray. You could get an axe from a hardware store and pepper spray from Rite Aid.

      • August 28, 2015 - Reply

        @Ang

        Exactly! It’s really not simple, when you really look at it. Legislation doesn’t solve everything, and sometimes it creates problems of it’s own. Sometimes good things have bad intentions.
        And as far as American Culture goes…lets face it….at this point, you’re not going to rewrite American Culture. Sure, they don’t have a gun culture in some European countries, but y’know what? That’s not us. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle.

        • August 28, 2015 - Reply

          @LogicalLeopard

          Very true about the gun culture here. I read where there is a white church somewhere in the south they put a shooting range behind the church, and they have GUN SHOOTING CLASSES as part of their fellowship now. And they are proud of it. And they like to say it’s for protection from each other because they are in rural areas; if that’s the case then why do we never hear about all the white on white crime that happens in these areas.

          • August 31, 2015 - Reply

            @Vintage

            *LOL* Good point!

  12. August 28, 2015 - Reply

    History tells us that gun control was embraced in the 1960’s by conservative hero Ronald Reagan when the BPP rode around in public with shot guns. I am of the opinion that better gun control laws will return when either of these 2 things occur: members of a minority group begins to walk around with guns and/or someone shoots up one of these legislative sessions. Then there will be a mad rush to control who has access to firearms.

    • August 31, 2015 - Reply

      @Rastaman

      Who’s gonna be the martyr for that cause though?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: