Why Are You So “Stunned and Shocked” About Aurora? We Have Three A Day!

Ed Raymond

Millions of words have been written and spoken about the murders of innocents in an Aurora, Colorado, theater. Thousands of pictures were taken and thousands of hours of video were filmed. “Stunned,” “shocked,” and other powerful adjectives were used to describe the deaths of twelve souls and the wounding of 58 others. Why in hell are you surprised, stunned, and shocked? We average three Aurora theater massacres a day in the United States in total.  No big deal. Unless the individual victims are celebrities, they hardly make page 15. But when they come in bunches... To some it’s routine, a shrug of the shoulders, a big profit for funeral homes, and the wounded are a bonanza for hospitals trying to fill rooms. All taxpayers pay for the physical and mental carnage in the end.
   The Congressional Budget Office should estimate the total cost of the Aurora affair for the edification of members of Congress and the public. Let’s see. Twelve funerals at an average of $6,000 per. That’s only $72,000. How much is it going to cost us for the injuries to 58 people? A few had superficial injuries. Perhaps a few stitches, some antibiotics, a few band-aids, a few plaster casts. But some injuries will take years of therapy and rehab. Bullets cause horrible wounds to guts, bones, and brains. Some young adults will spend 50 to 60 years thinking about “what could have been” because of those bullets that shred and blast flesh and bone. That is, if they will be able to think at all. If they can’t think, that’s priceless. Would it be out of line to estimate that the average cost per patient for the 58 wounded could be around $500,000? Now we are talking real money, say $29 million. You are at liberty to come up with your own estimates.

The National Rifle
Association And Its
Boss Gunslinger,
Wayne LaPierre

   All gangs, such as the Italian and American mafias, have chains of command just like military units. Wayne LaPierre has the title of executive-vice-president of the blood-soaked National Rifle Association, but he is certainly the chief gunslinger, the godfather who is the face and voice of the NRA. The NRA has several consiglieries in its imposing Washington office running its departments, and occasionally has celebrity presidents such as Charlton “Moses”  Heston. If LaPierre looked like Heston instead of bookkeeper Uriah Heep or an investment banker, he could become godfather of the World Rifle Association. Heston, when he had some sense, was a supporter of gun control legislation. But then his ego overwhelmed that sense when he was elected president of the NRA in his declining years. He brought his god-like profile into focus while holding a rifle above his head at an NRA convention and proclaiming, “You can have my guns when you take them from my dead, cold hands.” This was right in line with LaPierre’s statement to a right-wing political group: “Our Founding Fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the rules.”

The Congressional
Soldiers Of The NRA

  Like any good boss, LaPierre has his consiglieries constantly lobby and intimidate his lowly soldiers in the Senate and the House of Representatives in D.C. And like any powerful godfather, has bought a majority of Congress with campaign contributions gleaned from an advertised 4.3 million members he has frightened with the bizarre idea that gun control advocates are constantly working to take all their guns away. They are ready whenever he calls to go to the mattresses at any time to “keep their guns.” It has proven to be a vicious, murderous cycle of death of 33-round magazines and 100-round drums, which can be demonstrated by facts.
   I see that Terry Richardson, the commander of the umbrella group for veteran’s organizations in the F-M area, has questioned the half-staffing of flags in some situations. I agree with him to some extent. Why not make a half-staff display really meaningful? Why not keep the flags at half-staff until we have gun control laws that bring our firearm deaths down to 150 percent of the average of all industrialized nations?

Guns–From The Oregon
Trail To Tombstone
To The Streets Of Chicago

  Did we need guns to win the West? Probably, but diaries and other records indicate that more settlers died on the Oregon Trail from gun accidents and self-inflicted gunshots than from Indian attacks. More Americans have died from firearms in domestic situations than in all our wars. A very cool million just in modern times. We now average 30,000 deaths and 300,000 assaults a year from firearms. We average about 12,000 firearm murders per year and about the same number of deaths in firearm accidents—“empty” magazines and chambers, kids killing kids with guns left in nightstands by adults, hunting accidents (Cheney was lucky), guns falling out of pockets and hitting floors, safeties “on”—there are thousands of stupid accidents. How many millions of dollars have we spent because of 30-cent bullets? The next president will register 48,000 firearm murders in his four-year term and another 50,000 from “accidents.”  In his term, over 12,000 children will die from firearms. For the “conceal and carry” crowd, FBI records indicate that for every “justifiable homicide” by gun, there are 50 murders by firearms.
   One might think that Congress would investigate why we have 80 percent of the firearm deaths in the top 23 industrialized countries, but LaPierre has silenced them.
   While we lose about 30,000 to firearms each year, Japan averages 20. In 2006, Japan had two firearm deaths. Great Britain loses only 40 to firearm murders each year. Germany, the nation that essentially caused two world wars and the deaths of untold millions, has 200 firearm murders per year. Switzerland requires each male adult to possess a rifle in their national defense plan. Their murder rate is among the lowest in Europe. Canada has millions of hunting rifles in homes but only 200 Canadians are murdered by them.

A Gun For
Every American,
Including Babies

   The last estimate from the 2010 Census indicated we have about 312 million people. We also have the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world. A 2009 estimate said we had about 106 million handguns, 105 million rifles, and 83 million shotguns in civilian hands. So we have one firearm for each American. Yemen is in second place in rate of ownership at 50 percent. In the U.S., gun ownership is highest among older whites in rural areas. Illinois is the only state that does not allow a person to carry a concealed weapon outside the home.
   Actually, our homicide rate has been cut in half in the last 20 years to 5 per 100,000. But there has been no decline in mass murders. Between 1976 and 2010, we have had 645 mass murder events involving the killing of four or more victims. The total body count for just these murders is 2,949, averaging out to about two events and 8 bodies a month. Remember that we average about 1,000 firearm murders a month. It’s very difficult to get an accurate count of categories of murders such as school massacres, “postal” killings, hate crimes, or family mass murders. No agency has that responsibility.
   I also found a list of “rampage” killers, or those who just kill indiscriminately without thought of workplace, schools, or relationships. In the last 34 years, we have had 116 rampage events, killing 559 and wounding 1,254. These killings seem to fill out the month. The Aurora theater #9 murders are a splendid example of rampage killings.

Why Can’t A Man
Be More Like A Woman?

   Remember the song “Why Can’t A Woman Be More Like A Man?” from the musical “My Fair Lady”? When it comes to mass murders, why can’t a man be more like a woman? Mass-murdering women can be counted on one hand. In order to count male rampage and mass murderers, one would have to use practically all the male hands at an NRA convention. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, six percent of the adult population has serious mental illnesses. In that there are about 120 million men over 20 years of age in our population, we could have over eight million males mentally capable of committing rampage and mass murders. We will not have a shortage of killers in our current gun culture. And evidently we will not soon have a shortage of rapid-fire weapons for mass killings.

The Gun Culture Versus Civilization

   Over 55,000 Mexicans have been killed in the last five years, primarily by assault rifles sold in the 12,000 gun stores and at gun shows in Texas and Arizona and then smuggled across the border. Mexico has tough gun laws, so even the drug cartels have to buy their weapons in the U.S. In the last five years, 68,000 illegal weapons have been recovered in Mexico and traced back to this country. Killing Mexicans is good business for NRA gun shops.
   Our gun markets are open to the world. We imported over a million firearms from European countries last year. Anders Brevik, the Norwegian mass killer of 77 (69 of them teenagers), paid $550 for 30-round magazines to an American supplier over the Internet because Norwegian laws prevented such a purchase. We are proving to be a constant embarrassment to ourselves and the civilized world with our gun culture. Of course, the embarrassment has been certified by a right-wing Supreme Court that lives in some kind of Lake Wobegonish la-la land where everybody is rich, way above average, good-looking, and obeys all gun laws.

What The Well-Equipped
Rampage And Mass
Killer Should Have

  He needs a semi-automatic rifle with 100-round drums or 33-round magazines that can fire as fast as he can pull the trigger. A good shooter can get off 100 rounds in a minute from a drum. He needs semi-automatic pistols that can use 17- or 33-round magazines. 100 rounds take a little more than a minute because he has to change magazines. A shotgun is a terrific weapon to use on a crowd. Models called “street sweepers” are available in gun stores and on the Internet. James Holmes had purchased 6,300 rounds of ammo for his weapons, 3,000 for the AR-15, 3,000 for Glock pistols, and 300 rounds of buckshot for a Remington 12-gauge. If a mass killer needs to stop a car, he can buy a 50 cal. sniper and spotting rifle that with an armor-piercing round can destroy an engine block.

“More Time For Shooting As Fast As You Can”

   He needs a complete Kevlar uniform composed of helmet, vest, pants, throat, and groin protectors and a gas mask if he plans to use tear gas or other canisters to confuse his victims. He can also buy huge fireworks canisters filled with smokeless powders, or he can buy 1-pound jugs of smokeless powder with no restrictions on numbers purchased. Or he can buy tons of farm fertilizer without traces to manufacture his own weapon of mass destruction. An online ad for 100-round drum magazines (“A Steal at $99.95!”) adds some perspective to our gun culture: “JUST THE TICKET, SHOULD THINGS REALLY HEAT UP AND THE LEAD NEEDS TO FLY. OF COURSE, THIS MEANS LESS TIME SPENT RELOADING, AND MORE TIME FOR SHOOTING AS FAST AS YOU CAN PULL THE TRIGGER!” All legal, all available in gun stores or on the Internet, and all very deadly. And there are dozens more Auroras waiting to be exploded by such insanity.
   An Aurora of suicides in the military? The NRA even controls the Pentagon and military commanders. NRA-passed legislation prohibits military commanders from asking suicide-prone soldiers whether they have firearms off-post. If a soldier denies he is thinking about suicide off-base with a firearm, the commander cannot by law ask further questions.  LaPierre’s blood-soaked hands are all over this one.