[Editor’s Note: The average citizen here in Mexico not owning firearms has not stopped the heartbreaking statistic that while Latin America accounts for just 8% of the world population, it has a 33% homicide rate with firearms. Much of such violence goes unreported in the Mexican press. This is not so in the US. There, the massacres of adults and children alike are openly reported. Although we live in Mexico, most of us are deeply interested in and affected by the activities, good and bad, in our home country. If only the victims’ voices could be heard, perhaps our legislators would enact legislation that protects the safety and the rights of all citizens. Following is June’s guest editorial that presents one side of this thorny problem]
God, Guns, Guns! Praise the Lord!
By Fred Mittag
God has been surprisingly silent, but America’s guns speak with a loud boom! – and politicians are effusive in their defense of guns, guns, and guns.
David Doyle, 58, of Calcasieu Parish in Louisiana, was charged with aggravated assault and battery yesterday. He shot at some children playing hide and seek when he saw their running shadows in his yard. He hit one young girl in the back of the head. She is expected to survive.
Parents! Grandparents! Don’t let your children play outside, don’t let them go to school, and don’t take them to church or to a shopping area. Keep them imprisoned inside your house and only allow them to play video games. No playing outside the home. They might play chase, run into a neighbor’s yard, and be shot.
On second thought, not even the home is safe. Several young children have been shot by bullets aimed at their house from the street. A six-year-old was killed in his bed a few days ago in Lynchburg, Virginia.
OK, then, stoicism is the only answer. If you’re a parent, just accept that your child may be shot. Call it God’s will. God giveth and He taketh away. Or move to any other industrialized country in the world if you want safety.
Republicans are heroic in defending guns, even after 19 children and two teachers were killed in Uvalde, Texas. Governor Abbott is more than ready to resort to the effective weapon of lying to defend guns in Texas. He gets away with it because most Texans cannot think critically. For example, after nine people died from gunfire this weekend in Allen, Texas, Governor Abbott said stricter gun laws are not the answer. He said the problem was untreated mental illness. As proof, he cited California: “. . . the state in which the largest number of victims have occurred this year is in California, where they have very tough gun laws.”
California’s Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, responded. He said Abbott “conveniently leaves out the fact that Texas’ gun death rate is 73% higher than California’s. Newsom said Abbott’s falsehood “accidentally points to exactly why we need federal gun safety laws.” Governor Newsom also mentioned that Abbott had taken $211 million from Texas’s mental health budget to pay for his crusade against undocumented immigrants – even though it’s not a state responsibility and may even be illegal. How could Abbott take $211 million from mental health care in Texas if he believes gun massacres are caused by mental health problems?
The answer is simple. Abbott depends on a rabid base of gun nuts for his political success. And Texans have been brainwashed to have more fear of the border than of gun deaths. So a school massacre is OK, but an illegal border crossing by somebody seeking a better life is . . . oh, horror of horrors!
The defense of falsehoods necessarily requires the use of logical fallacies. In Abbott’s case, he commits the logical fallacy of a red herring when he consistently – after every mass killing – makes people believe bullets don’t kill; it’s mental illness that kills. He committed the logical fallacy of gaslighting when he said California’s gun deaths are among the highest in the nation. That’s a polite way to say Governor Greg Abbott is a shameless liar.
Democratic Governor Newsom responded to Republican Governor Abbott’s claim that gun ownership is one of our precious freedoms. Newsom asked, “This is freedom? To be shot at a mall? Shot at a school? Shot at church? Shot at the movies? Shot at an outdoor concert? We have become a nation that is more focused on the right to kill than the right to live. . . . Do your damn job, Congress.”
Congressman Andrew Clyde (R-Georgia) passes out AR-15 assault rifle lapel pins on the House floor to fellow Republicans. He says in a video, “If I missed you, stop by my office for yours. I have plenty more to give out.” Republicans wear these lapel pins to celebrate our Second Amendment freedoms, even after a mass killing by an AR-15 assault rifle. Free to kill, indeed.
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