After the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut in 2012, when 20 first graders and six adults were mowed down with a military assault weapon, over 400 boys, girls, men, and women have been shot in more than 200 attacks in schools across the country. And not a damn thing has been done about it- except for the irritatingly repetitious and stupidly meaningless statements by U.S. Congresspersons that “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.”
Ask one of those physically dead first graders whether “thoughts and prayers” helped him or her. Ask the same thing of his or her emotionally dead mommy and daddy. And then tell Congress as well as America and the National Rifle Association (NRA) to stop “thinking and praying” and start “working and changing.”
This past Wednesday, February 14, a 19-year-old walked into his former Florida high school and used a legally purchased AK-47 military assault weapon- given to him by America, the NRA, and Congress- to murder 17 innocent human beings.
I refuse to mention his name because he’s irrelevant. In fact, he’s totally meaningless because he could not have done what he did without American ideology, the NRA, and Congress handing him the murder weapon.
After committing one of the deadliest school shootings in modern American history, he simply exited the school while blending in with the traumatized students, walked to Walmart, stopped by a Subway, then went to a McDonald’s. He was arrested shortly thereafter while walking down a neighborhood street. And not only was he “arrested without incident” as the police report indicated, meaning he wasn’t shot by the cops, wasn’t beaten by the cops, wasn’t roughed up by the cops, and wasn’t even yelled at by the cops. In fact, one police officer stated, “He looked like a typical high school student, and for a quick moment I thought, ‘Could this be the person who I need to stop?’” Hell yeah it could- and was!
Oh, by the way, he was white. But you already knew that, didn’t you? After all, the clues were pretty obvious: he left the crime scene without being stopped, went shopping without being confronted, took a stroll without being chased, was arrested without being brutalized, and was presumed innocent when arrested. Can you imagine what would have happened to him if he had been a young Black male (or any Black person)?
Speaking of being Black, did you know there’s a way to get anti-assault weapon legislation passed immediately? It’s very simple. Just get Black folks to start buying up and legally carrying guns. Not only would Congress pass laws restricting all gun ownership but the NRA would support what it would otherwise yell and scream about as a blatant attack on citizens’ inviolate Second Amendment rights. You don’t believe me? Check out what happened in California when Black people exercised their rights to bear arms.
On May 2, 1967, thirty legally armed Black Panther Party (BPP) members and supporters marched to the State Capitol in Sacramento where co-founder Bobby Seale read a prepared statement opposing an anti-gun bill proposed by Republican Assemblyman Don Mulford, a supposedly diehard pro-gun politician. That bill, which was later signed into law by Republican Governor (and then President) Ronald Reagan, another supposedly diehard pro-gun politician, criminalized the carrying of loaded firearms in public- and did so only because BPP members had finally decided to assertively exercise their constitutional rights in the form of lawful self-defense and lawful community defense, just like whites had always done. But for the first time in its existence, the NRA supported an anti-gun bill. Hmm.... I wonder why.
Let’s get back to the recent mass murder at the Florida school and why I say America, the NRA, and Congress are guilty as conspirators.
Let’s start with America. In 1835, Samuel Colt invented the first assembly line, multi-shot, revolving firearm. This country’s history books will tell you that this gun was popularized by America’s brave frontiersmen. But they were really nothing more than cowardly white genocidal psychopaths who used Colt revolvers to slaughter Red people and steal their land for white people. By the way, in connection with America’s sick love affair with all kinds of firearms, it’s interesting to note that this country has been at war 93 percent of its existence, meaning 222 of 239 years since 1776.
The NRA, founded in 1871, began lobbying Congress in 1934 to oppose that year’s National Firearms Act. It later fought the Gun Control Act of 1968. In 1975, it formed the Institute for Legislative Action, which was designed to create and implement Congressional policy. Two years afterward, it put its big pro-gun money where its big pro-gun mouth was by creating a Political Action Committee. It now spends a quarter of a billion dollars each year in local, state, and especially federal elections. That, along with its more than five million members, makes it one of the most powerful lobbyist groups in U.S. history.
During the 2016 election cycle, the three top recipients of NRA funding were the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Almost all of those contributions went to victorious Congressional candidates. In terms of career contributions from the NRA in the Senate, John McCain of Arizona leads the pack with $7,740,521. In the House, it’s French Hill of Arkansas with $1,089,477.
Since the beginning of this year alone, there have been 18 high school shootings in the U.S. There have been 290 during the past five years. Although America has only five percent of the world’s population, it has more than 31 percent of the world’s mass shootings. Let’s send out our “thoughts and prayers” to finally end this carnage.
On second thought, let’s not. Just organize Black folks to legally carry guns. That will put an immediate end to the lawful purchase and possession of all types of guns to all Americans.