Guns Are America’s Weapons Of Mass Destruction

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[Fleming’s Views]

It happened again.

A scant 24 hours after Jiverly Wong, an Vietnamese immigrant flipped out after losing his job at a vacuum plant in Binghamton, N.Y. and calmly killed 13 people at an immigrant community center. Pittsburgh was in the news when a White male gunned down three police officers.

Wong was wearing body armor and had sufficient ammo for gun battle with the cops but decided to turn the weapon on himself.

Friends and relatives said he had problems adjusting to this country and his poor English made him a laughing stock at his job, they said. Nobody talks about how Americans treat foreigners of a different skin hue or culture or religion than those deemed acceptable from the white civilized world. They can make their lives hell; of course this is not to justify Wong’s cold-blooded murder of innocents.

In Pittsburgh it was Richard Poplawski, 23, who made front pages. When police responded to a call his own mother placed when they had a domestic dispute, he greeted two officers with bullets at the doorway.

Another officer who ran to their aid met a similar fate. The resulting firefight was fierce, lasting four hours, with more than 100 rounds fired by Poplawski and the SWAT teams. Poplawski, also wearing a bulletproof vest, had an assault rifle and two other guns.

In the end, he was wounded in both legs but was otherwise unharmed.

What was the motive for all this carnage? Poplawski feared that President Obama was going to "take away his guns" and he didn’t like his rights being infringed upon. Some of the right-wing bloggers suggested that an article running in The Pittsburgh Tribune three days before the killing spree triggered Popawski’s paranoia and sparked a run on guns at local shops.

Sounds familiar? As soon as the votes were counted in the last presidential election last November, white residents both from rural and urban areas across the country flocked to the gun shops, fearing the now-infamous Obama campaign remark about how some people "cling to guns or religion."

These citizens felt that he intended to abolish the Second Amendment, which guaranteed the right to bear arms, and take everyone’s guns away. Whipping up that gun frenzy, several conservative radio and television personalities have stressed that possibility, as well as there has been a flood of NRA publicity pumping up the volume of the rage.

The prime shares on Wall Street has been the gun stocks, rising higher and higher while the gun buffs continue to stock up on the latest and deadliest of tactical rifles and pistols. Shareholders are reaping huge profits from the ballooned fortunes of gun makers Smith &Wesson, Ruger, and the specialty retailer Cabela’s, which specializes in firearms and hunting gear. While the Big Board was off, continually down, Smith & Wesson shares went up 56%, Cabela’s up 35% and Rugers up 44%. All of the order backlogs exceed several millions, for they cannot make weapons fast enough.

Still, conservative pundits point the speech delivered by Obama the Democratic presidential candidate in Pennsylvania where he said he had a deep respect for "the traditions of gun ownership," but added he wanted protections in cities to keep guns out of the hands of "gang bangers and drug dealers," who already have them and "are shooting people."

Then Obama added: "If you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it. Even if I want to take them away, I don’t have the votes in Congress. This can’t be the reason not to vote for me. Can everyone hear me in the back? I see a couple of sportsmen back there. I’m not going to take away your guns."

But somebody should do some thing with these armed crackpots. On March 10, Michael K. McLendon, wearing a vest loaded with ammo, carried four guns as he went from town to town in rural southern Alabama. He never said a word while he killed his mother and set her on fire. Then he drove to his uncle’s home in another town and killed his uncle and four others. While driving away from the murder scene, he shot two more people, killing them both. His rage went past the boiling point as he fired upon people on the street and businesses from his car. One man was killed as he walked near a supply store. As the police closed in on him, he took his own life with a gunshot.

On March 29, 2009, Robert Stewart walked into a nursing home in Carthage, N.C. and shot and killed eight people. At least two people were slain in their wheelchairs, but nobody thought anything of it because Mr. Stewart had been acting strangely as of late.

There are an estimated over 250 million guns in this country. In some states, there is no waiting period or background check if you know the right person. And you can own a gun if you are a felon. In some parts, you can buy a gun or an assault rifle quicker than a carton of milk. The gun lobby is strong, well financed, and powerful. They say owning a gun is a God-given right and that if guns were banned; only criminals would have them.

However, as one prosecutor said after the carnage in North Carolina: "When can one look into the heart and mind of another person and truly know what they think?" And add a gun or guns to that mix. Think of all of the pain and grief that person can cause. People are losing their minds, getting guns and innocent citizens are getting killed.

Who has the answer to that question? Who can make the killings stop?

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