Brooklyn Subway Shooting Latest Example Of Gun Crazy America

Mayor Eric Adams framed the Sunset Park subway shooting within the larger context of America's gun violence problems.
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Photos: Twitter\Screenshots\YouTube

Monday's mass shooting inside a Sunset Park, Brooklyn subway station (where 10 people were shot, and 29 people hurt) has thrust the spotlight again, temporarily, on the gun crazed nature of America.

Miraculously, and luckily, no one was killed during the incident, unlike in other mass shootings that we have become accustomed to seeing across America. It seems shooting suspect Frank James may have perpetrated this horrible act to attract attention—given his complains on social media about the mental health struggles he says he faced in New York.

On Tuesday evening, New York City Mayor Eric Adams framed the Sunset Park subway shooting within the larger context of America's gun violence problems. And he particularly targeted the topic of gun proliferation in the country.

Adams said, “We’re facing a problem that is hitting our entire nation right now and that is why this is a national response. We need a national response to this issue…As I stated over and over again, there are many rivers that feed the sea of violence in our city and in our country — let’s dam each one of them and some of that damming is going to come from assistance from the lawmakers throughout state and country.”

On this, Mayor Adams is correct.

America's current population stands at around 335 million people. At the same time, America has nearly 400 million guns floating around the country. Those two things combined underscore the mad fixation the nation has with this weapon of war and death.

What does it say about a nation when many citizens can more easily obtain a gun than get a job?

While this shooting will encourage speeches and calls for sensible gun legislation it will be short-lived, as happens habitually after every mass shooting. Moreover, because no one died in this Brooklyn subway attack, there can be no real expectation that it will move entrenched Congressional Republicans to finally pass sensible gun control laws.

As always, Republicans will hide behind their Second Amendment gun rights argument to cover up the real reason they are committed to doing nothing on gun legislation: protecting, at all costs, the gun sale profits of those merchants of death who line their political pockets.

The fact that the slaughter of 27 people—20  of whom were children—at the Sandy Hook Elementary School didn’t morally move these Republicans tells us all. Even dead white children must be sacrificed upon the altar of greed for corporate profits.

Let’s us remember these are supposed to be the “sanctity of life” Republicans who believe in national security.

What kind of people are willing to play for profit with human lives in this way?

Unfortunately, Democrats while calling for sensible gun-control measures continue to undercut their arguments by engaging in fictitious pronouncements regarding the Second Amendment. Many Democratic politicians like to proclaim that they believe in the Second Amendment and have guns for hunting. Why is hunting animals for sport somehow projected as being cool?

More importantly, why do Democrats conceded to the Republican lie that the Founding Fathers enacted the Second Amendment to give Americans the right to bear arms? Why are Democrats afraid to tell Americans that, until 2008—in the Heller decision—that it was widely understood that so-called gun rights were originally given for the express purpose of arming state militias? Why don’t they explain that that is why the words State, Militia, and Arms are the only words capitalize within the text of the Second Amendment—unlike the word people which is not capitalized?

By not effectively rebutting this myth, Democrats make it more difficult to win the argument to pass proper gun-control laws. But there are other problems as well.

America, on the world stage, is known for its gunboat and cowboy forms of diplomacy. Some, correctly, say many of our leaders are nothing more than bullies who are quick to use bullets to get their way. And, in fact, the same politicians who like to give lectures against violence at home usually have no problem unleashing destructive deadly wars abroad.

This is a serious contradiction that makes it hard to honestly address the issue of domestic American violence.

For too long, Americans, particularly white men, have been taught that “might makes right” and violence is the manly way to solve conflicts. As in the arena of foreign policy, those who argue for dialogue and diplomacy are labelled as weak, spineless, “soft on crime” and the like.

We see this in American policing where dialogue and de-escalation take a back seat to brute force brutality—especially, when police are dealing with Black people.

Shouldn’t the same politicians who are quick to denounce violence by civilian criminals also do so when unnecessary violence is being perpetrated by criminal state actors?

But our leaders like to have it both ways. So, they praise police, and military soldiers, who perpetrate unnecessary violence on our civilian populations and on people from those countries “over there.”

This hypocrisy must be challenged if we are to substantively deal with the problem of domestic American violence.

The violent subway attack is still being investigated, even though suspect Frank James is now in custody. A troubling picture of a mentally unhinged person is emerging though his social media postings where he talks about his mental health problems in New York.

This tells us something many articulated during the 2020 nationwwide police protests after George Floyd’s murder: that to have lasting public safety more resources must be placed into other important services—like mental health programs.

But our leaders only believe in flooding community streets with more police.

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