A look back at my useless anguished posts about mass shootings, dead children and gun violence in America
by Bob Schwartz
I’m not going to write a post about the shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 14 children dead. Instead, a look back at some of my previous posts. It was a painful review.
If Not Now When: Today Is the Day to Talk About Guns
Dec 14, 2012
“The dead can’t vote, and in the case of the children killed today at Sandy Hook Elementary School, they weren’t old enough anyway. So we have to speak for them and vote for them.”
God Does Not Like Guns
Dec 17, 2012
“God does not like guns, but as his instruments, we are bound to do the worldly work of reducing their number and universal availability. If we claim to be faithful, that is more than just a good deed. It is a divine mission. God, it appears, will be more disappointed than ever if we fail.”
Fish and Assault Weapons
Jan 15, 2013
“There is a fair amount of discussion about whether people hunt with assault weapons, and if they do, whether they should. It’s a good question, but not nearly as fascinating as the eccentric question of whether people fish with assault weapons. The short answer is that up until a few years ago, two states did allow fishing with guns. New York State has since repealed its law, leaving Vermont as the only state where you can legally shoot fish.”
Assault Weapons: The Art of the Art of the Possible
Jan 25, 2013
Watching Joe Biden back off the primacy of an assault weapons ban in the curbing of gun violence—following Senator Diane Feinstein’s introduction of exactly that legislation—is discouraging….Politics is said to be the art of the possible. The motto is roughly “we fight the fights we can win.” Very pragmatic, and there is something to commend pragmatism. That won’t be much comfort, though, when well-meaning politicians have to show up at the next inevitable massacre and solemnly announce that they aimed at the possible, and even then settled for half.”
If We Could See the Children of Sandy Hook
Jan 30, 2013
“The images of the children killed at Sandy Hook School in Newtown are blocked from us. This choice is almost beyond argument…. And so instead we have pictures of those children as they are remembered, beautiful angels, joy and potential, and we have the testimony and imploring of their parents. But somehow, this doesn’t seem to be quite enough to stop abstract arguments about the essential value of the Second Amendment, how it must continue unconditioned even by sensible restrictions that meet moral, practical and constitutional muster. First they come for my AR-15, this line goes, and next the deer and the police will be hunting me.”
Who Killed the Assault Weapons Ban?
Mar 20, 2013
“A ban on assault weapons is dead, at least for this session of Congress. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that the Democratic gun bill moving forward will not include it….Maybe we should be asking our politicians whether they believe in ghosts. The kind of ghosts who visit all of us, in the moments before sleep, in sleep itself. Ghosts of things done or not done. For Senators, ghosts of bills passed, unpassed, and too many times, never voted on at all. Ghosts that aren’t abstract, but that take stark, all too real form. Ghosts that look like mangled, barely recognizable angels, just wanting somebody to speak—and vote—for them.”
TMFG: Too Many F***ing Guns
Sep 19, 2013
“People are dying from politeness about guns….Constitutional arguments and political realities have their place, but so does this: There are too many f***ing guns. That is why and how too many are killed and injured—in our homes, on our streets, in our schools, in our movie theaters, in our military facilities.”
Shoes Required and Guns Permitted in Stores
Jul 2, 2014
“Let’s talk about the fact that across the country, virtually all establishments reserve the right to refuse you service and ask you to leave if you show up without a shirt or shoes. Yet some of the biggest businesses in the country are having trouble telling some customers to leave if they show up with weapons. Now that is insane.”
Aug 26, 2015
“It is not about angry people, frustrated people, mentally ill people having guns. It is about the finality of guns. The way they are the period on the end of a life.”
WWJDAB: What Would Jesus Do About Guns?
Nov 29, 2015
“If Jesus returned, and found America flooded with guns, and saw so many people drowning in that flood, what would he do?… I have a guess, or maybe just a hope. Jesus would make the guns disappear.
“Almost immediately, Jesus would be criticized for taking away a God-given freedom. God blessed the world with America, God blessed America with a Constitution, and God blessed the Constitution with a Second Amendment. Jesus might reply that he had a better idea of what God blessed and what God had in mind. And that what God didn’t have in mind was millions of people running around with deadly weapons and often wantonly shooting thousands of others. God also isn’t keen on Kindergarten teachers packing heat while shepherding five-year-old children. Jesus would close by reminding folks that it is the peacemakers who are blessed, not the gun makers.”
Shootings Are Not Normal
Feb 14, 2018
“The mayhem from today’s shooting at a high school in Florida is being assessed. It is news and will be for a while. Republicans shilling for the NRA will explain the problem, which won’t involve guns. Soon, we will move on. The injured will more or less heal, the dead will still be dead, their loved ones will mourn.
“Guns are one of the ways that America is “exceptional” in the world. Despite the patriotic pride that some take in this exceptionalism, it is nothing to be proud of. Shootings are not normal.
“And the dead still can’t vote.”