No Country for Children

Yesterday as I watched the news about yet another school shooting, I tried to feel something other than anger. I know that anger is not the healthiest emotion. It raises the heart rate, spikes the stress hormones, produces a flood of negative reactions from brain to gut, but anger is my default with these shootings now. What else am I supposed to feel?

I’m angry with the shooter, sure, because I wish he’d found some other way to express his own anger, but my anger with the shooter is nothing compared to my anger at a society that keeps allowing this to happen. The shooter may have delivered the bullets, but he was aided by the lawmakers and politicians and lobbyists who work so hard to make the guns and the bullets accessible to anyone with a passing fancy to shoot something or someone. It’s despicable.

America is one of the most dangerous places in the developed world to raise a child. American children are more likely to die before reaching adulthood than children in almost any other wealthy nation. Some of that is due to our crappy health care system, but plenty of the blame lies with the easy access to guns.

What’s really rich is that people who clutch their pearls and wail about the sanctity of life are the same people taking obscene amounts of money from the NRA and refusing to pass even the most basic gun control legislation. You cannot be both pro-life and pro-NRA. The NRA produces nothing except dead bodies. It is a murderous organization that exists to put deadly weapons in the hands of killers. It trains children to love guns and to use them. It brainwashes adults into believing guns will make them safer. It provides cover for unscrupulous gun merchants and it provides blood money to politicians. It is an evil force and if you stand with the NRA, you stand against the sanctity of life.

I’ve written here before about guns and if you’ve read those posts, you know I am not clamoring to take away every gun in America. But we cannot talk about making America great or national pride or saluting the flag, when everything we stand for is being trampled by low-life scum like Wayne LaPierre, whose organization retweeted this yesterday just hours before 17 people were killed at a Florida high school.

Guns are deadly weapons, not objects of affection. But you wouldn’t know it by listening to the NRA promote its numerous programs to get guns in the hands of children. They’ve even got a cute cartoon mascot to get your children as excited about guns as they are about over processed sugar-coated cereal. 

Note the words “fun” and “safe” in this recruitment website designed to get your children psyched about shooting stuff. When gang members and drug dealers stand on the street corner and recruit children into a life of violence, we wring our hands and cry about it. But we let a multi-billion dollar lobbying group run by wealthy white men do exactly the same thing and, worse, we help them by making sure our nation’s laws support their recruitment efforts.

Here are the members of Congress that take the most money from the NRA, according to a 2017 report. John McCain may be fighting for his own life right now, but he’s happy to accept money that will result in the death of innocent American children.

I am sick of hearing people say that there is nothing we can do, that someone with an intent to kill will find a way, that the problem isn’t guns but people. It’s bullshit. No other civilized country in the world has the level of gun violence we have in America. Other countries have introduced commonsense laws to keep military style weapons out of the hands of people like the Florida teenager who killed 17 people yesterday. If we can’t do as well as other nations, then there is nothing great about America.

The rabid pro-gun lobbyists that pour money into political coffers and brainwash otherwise good people into stockpiling their homes with weapons, are beyond evil. They are a scourge on our nation. They are killing children in record numbers. They are a threat to our democracy and to our way of life. The NRA is the enemy—not the only one, but the biggest and most vile. We should not give one penny or one vote to any politician who accepts money from the NRA. I don’t care if you vote Democrat or Republican, but if you vote NRA you are standing with the violent killers and you are destroying America.

Tiffany Quay Tyson
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Tiffany Quay Tyson