Slaughterhouse USA

Two weeks ago I posted about the deaths of people at the hands of semi-automatic weapons. Since then in Youngstown 8-year old Bryce Linebaugh was murdered in his bed by a bullet fired from an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle. The suspected shooter Shawn Ramone Wilson was actually targeting a different apartment and sprayed bullets into the Linebaugh’s instead. I’m being told Wilson was a convicted felon and was not eligible to own a firearm. On the Northside three teenagers (none old enough to buy a gun) were pulled over and found to have drugs and two handguns and an assault rifle. In nearby Warren a woman accidentally discharged her handgun while showing it to her 11-year old nephew. The bullet went through her window and through her neighbor’s window. A Warren couple was awoken by their home being riddled with 17 bullets and their car set on fire. So we have felons and minors with guns and irresponsible owners now let’s move on to drunks with guns. In Warren Pamela Dial is listed in critical condition with a bullet in the head. A stray bullet entered her home from the parking lot of the Olympic Bar next door. Mrs. Dial had spoken to her councilman with her concerns about the bar on the afternoon prior to the shooting. Police reports show at least two arrests involving weapons in the bar’s parking lot this summer. The bar’s owner said, the bar will stay closed ”as a sign of our deepest sympathy and respect for Pamela and her family.”

Since my last post, Texas Governor Rick Perry said, “Our hearts and prayers go out to the families in this senseless tragedy.” He was referring to a Texas law enforcement officer who was shot and killed as he brought an eviction notice to a house near Texas A&M University. The officer, a 65 year-old man and the shooter were killed. Three other law enforcement officers and a 55-year-old woman were wounded, in the shootings. The shooter’s sister said, “Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and this is just a senseless tragedy.” The shooter had mental problems but was still able to obtain weapons. His Facebook page included photographs of rifles he had said he had acquired, including a Czech vz 58 assault rifle. Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin issued a statement calling the shooting a “sad day in the Bryan-College Station community.” After GOP Gov. Rick Perry mourned the dead and wounded he quickly spoke out against any increased gun control. He remembered that the NRA heavily butters his campaign bread. The republican presidential candidate Willard Mitt Romney wanted to keep his NRA bread fresh and buttered so he quickly chimed in at a Miami news conference that there should be no change to current gun laws. “This is not a matter of the weapon that’s used,” Romney told reporters. “It’s the matter of individuals and the choices they make. … I don’t think gun laws are the answer.”

None of these politicians will talk about the choices being made to do nothing but mourn the dead and wounded. Governors and other politicians will continue to fear the NRA. In doing this they will need to brush up on their skills saying, “My prayers are with those that have been killed or injured blah, blah blah…….” They can then follow the rest of the established drill by mourning the victims, putting up a plaque, setting up a bank account the public can contribute to for medical bills for the wounded and funeral expenses for families of the dead. Next the politicians can go back to business as usual and wait for it to happen again and again. Lather, rinse and repeat over and over, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

Meanwhile, the public buys more and more guns after every shooting. With all those gun purchases the gun corporations that own the NRA get richer and richer. Being richer the NRA now has more money to buy more politicians who will protect second amendment rights that are way beyond anything the Founding Fathers could have envisioned.  Speeches mourning the dead killed by shooters mean nothing until these same politicians get the balls to take on the NRA. The big growth jobs until someone stands up to the NRA will be grief counselors, undertakers and “Our hearts and prayers go out to the families in this senseless tragedy” speech writers.

Strangely enough as I sit here Friday typing this I get this message across my computer screen, “New York City police say at least four people have been shot outside the Empire State Building and that the gunman is dead. A witness says the shooter was firing indiscriminately.” It’s all just another day in Slaughterhouse USA.

Avett Brothers: Murder in the City

Live and Die

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” ~  a headstone in Ireland

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