Everywhere across the country, groups are aggressively asserting their rights to carry arms and trying to overturn or roll back existing gun laws. Is it a coordinated movement generously funded by special interests? Or is it a sudden upwelling of collective fear that a Democratic or African-American president may somehow impose stricter gun control?
But it sure seems as if a small but very well-funded group of people want to turn American streets into Dodge City shooting galleries. And wherever they go, the right-wing media applauds them and our so-called mainstream media gives them extensive coverage, which merely serves to make their voices seem more plentiful than they really are.
Here are some examples of recent aggressive pro-gun activity, with one article per example:
- A group has been actively carrying unconcealed weapons into Starbucks, which has said it won’t ban guns in its cafes. Article
- As I mentioned in my blog entry of February 24, Students for Concealed Carry on campus has held protests at various colleges and universities which ban guns on campus. One example
- This group is now planning a series of protests in early April. Article
- Some one with deep-pockets backing is challenging the Washington, D.C. law that forbids carrying firearms in public. Article
- The Supreme Court is considering another lawsuit that would overturn the ban on carrying guns in Chicago. Article
- A proposed law would overturn the Virginia law that allows people to buy no more than one gun a month! That’s 60 guns every five years, and supporters of the law don’t think that small arsenal is enough for law-abiding citizens! Article
- In the current Arizona legislative session, state lawmakers have proposed more than a dozen bills to expand rights to carry and use guns and knives. The proposed laws would allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit, end requirements that guns manufactured and kept in Arizona be registered, and allow university professors to carry guns on school grounds. Article
To tell you the truth, I’m getting scared to walk around in public, and I’m definitely not stepping foot into Starbucks until it changes its policy and bans guns in the stores.
I see so many situations everywhere I go in which people get momentarily angry or are arguing in public. Road rage. Disputes over parking spaces. Cutting ahead of someone in a checkout line. Looking at some young fellow’s girlfriend with a little too friendly of a smile. A dispute over a restaurant bill. Admonishing a thin-skinned employee. Welshing on a bet. Overcharging for something in a store. A cultural difference is misunderstood as threatening or racist. Any one of these common occurrences could flare into bloody violence if people routinely carried guns in public. This admittedly emotional reaction is, sadly, backed up by the facts, which in most years show that more people are killed by “friendly fire” than by criminals shooting guns.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is one of the best places to go to find out the facts that dispute all of the claims of pro-gun advocates. The most poignant numbers are featured on the webpage that introduces the many pages of facts and figures on the Brady Campaign website: 354 people killed by guns on average a year in Austria, Australia, England & Wales, Spain, Canada and Germany combined. In the United States, it’s 10,177, almost 29 times as many!
The Brady Campaign has started a campaign to influence Starbucks to ban guns in their cafes. The website has a sample letter and a place to sign a petition. I recommend to my readers that with or without the help of the Brady Campaign that everyone contact Starbucks and tell it you want it to ban guns in its cafes and that you won’t be buying anything in any Starbucks until it announces a ban.