The Nation Can’t Wait Any Longer
By Lorenzo Canizares
Somebody would have to be willfully blind not to see the crisis of inaction that we are living through. Today, another nationally reported massacre that luckily was smaller in numbers with just five people losing their lives including the gunman.
Living in America today is becoming a daily ordeal, a Russian roulette, your turn for heightened excitement or even death is ever so close. And all of this is happening because we have neglected to act against what we know needs to be done.
We know that semi-automatic weapons kill many people through rapid fire. There is much arguing about what happened in Uvalde, with people talking about the psychological status of the shooter, people talking who was at fault in the police chain of command, and so on. But what few are referring to is that the police didn’t want to barge in because maybe they were afraid about losing their lives.
We can certainly argue that they didn’t do their job and had the opportunity to maybe a save a few lives from the 21 that were lost by barging in as a group and taking out the shooter. 21 people were sacrificed to the altar of “Taking Care of #1”.
In nations that are not suffering from the collective moral crisis that we are suffering, such as New Zealand, Norway or Australia, when they experienced a massacre, they were able to revert their internal situation so these types of occurrences wouldn’t happen again. Notice that the nations I refer to are mainly white nations. Some of them also have had to deal with the perfidious white supremacy mindset but they have taken action to combat the damage that mindset can cause in their respective nations by placing strict control of the armaments that are allowed to be sold in the marketplace.
Our experience in the USA is that we have seen a marriage of the white supremacy mindset with unbridled greed. Rebecca Solnit in an article published 5/31/22 in the Guardian titled “US Mass Shootings Will Continue Until the Majority can Overrule the Minority,” says “One of the staggeringly disturbing things about the American right wing is that it is a cult manipulated by corporations and vested interests profiting mightily off its obsessions. In no respect is this more true than of guns. Less than two decades ago, the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers decided to shift from promoting the culture and equipment of hunting and rural life to hawking high-powered weapons of war and the armor and outfits that go with it, turning conservative white men into amateur commandos cosplaying war wherever they liked and the US into a war zone. Fear and hatred increase the profits, and so both crops are cultivated avidly, by the gun industry, the rightwing news organizations, the various pundits and demagogues and militia leaders and neo-Nazis.” Now that the marriage has been consummated is time to collect the dowry.
We can argue until the end of days about the in and out of this issue, and what was meant by the Founding Fathers when they wrote the Second Amendment but what should pass the eye test and is common sense is that civilians should not be allowed to possess weapons that were built for war. The European Union prohibits its 27 countries the private possession of fully automatic weapons. Switzerland that is not part of the European Union also bans them as it does Australia, Canada and New Zealand. But none of those countries, many of them labeled as socialists, have the mindset problem we have to deal with here.
Solnit has a refined way of highlighting the essence of the problem “American right-wing manipulated by corporations and vested interests profiting mightily off its obsessions” that simply said is Unbridled Greed manipulating white supremacists to maximize profits. Who cares how many people die? Didn’t Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick suggested that America’s senior population should be willing to sacrifice themselves so the United States can “get back to work” amid the pandemic. A clear example of the “Profits over People” mindset. We are full of that mindset in every aspect of our lives.
In June 11,” March for our Lives” will be having 300 rallies throughout the nation to demand action on this issue. If you remember “March for our Lives” was the organization started by students that survived the Parkland massacre. They put together a magnificent demonstration in Washington, DC in March of 2018 of 200,000 people. Their demands are: 1- Ban Assault Weapons. 2- Stop the sales of high-capacity magazines restricting the amount of ammunition. 3- Close loopholes in background checks and implement laws that will require background checks on every gun sale.
After what happened in Uvalde, the argument that the best antidote for a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun has been debunked. 19 good guys with a gun each didn’t feel they were a match for an 18-year-old with a recently purchased semi-automatic weapon. If Police Unions across the nation had any sense, they will be in the forefront demanding a ban on semi-automatic weapons. They know very well how deadly those weapons are.
We can’t continue living in Russian Roulette mode. We can’t continue fitting our kids with bullet-proofs backpacks and active shooting drills. We can’t wait any longer.
Labor-Community Alliance of South Florida Co-Coordinator
Asuntos Cubanos Facebook Group
The Nation Can’t Wait Any Longer