ed note: These are the thoughts of the head editor and do not reflect all of SeedSing. We believe in giving everyone a voice and welcome any respectful dissent.
It is hard to come up with a coherent thought about the latest mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Instead of reacting in the moment I decided to sit back a few days and digest all of the news coming out of this latest tragic mass killing. We immediately learned the name of the killer, and then a few days later we started to get the names of the victims. Motives for the killer were immediately identified, even if these motives did not have a lot of facts to back them up. Many in the professional media, and non-professional social media universe, grabbed onto any excuse to describe why the United States once again had to deal with another horrible mass shooting. Since the tragic event, we all keep yelling about why this keeps happening. Do you want to know the number one reason this keeps happening? The answer is right in front of us after each mass killing. These horrible events keep happening in the United States because it is ridiculously easy for nearly anyone to get deadly firearms in this country. The express purpose of these easily obtained weapons is to kill. Guns kill people.
The right wing, the incompetent professional media, and the cowardly national government all want to find some other excuse for firearm deaths. These groups want to shift the blame away from the obvious culprit each and every time. Everyone is so afraid of hurting the feelings of a vocal, uninformed, and greedy group of people who worship the false idol that is the NRA. This is not about gun owners, it is about keeping a small group of rich white men in a position of influence. I am pretty damn tired of talking about the monsters in the NRA. These evil people will continue to use the deaths of innocents in order to push their dangerous agenda, and that will never change. What I am frustrated with is how as a society we constantly fall into the NRA's trap of defending guns over the lives of innocent Americans. We keep forgetting that guns kill people.
We have been conditioned to react to any horrible shooting by not talking about guns. This is the NRA's greatest victory. The media, and our elected officials, always look for another boogeyman.
The people were killed with a gun because of video games.
The people were killed with a gun because of social isolation.
The people were killed with a gun because of racism.
The people were killed with a gun because of mental illness.
The people were killed with a gun because of gun free zones.
Do you see the only common factor in these shootings? The reason to kill changes, the tool to kill is always the same. Yet somehow guns are the one thing that is off limits in our conversation. Monsters all have their own, largely unique, reasons to kill. All of the monsters use easily obtained firearms to do these killings. Why will we not talk about how guns kill people?
The latest mass killing in Oregon showed how the right wingers create victims out of guns. Almost immediately after the news broke, the right wing decided it was a war on Christians. Once again they screamed out about poor white christian victim-hood. When that story was still being debated, the right wingers took to social media and blamed the deaths on the fact the school was a gun free zone. This was once again proven as being a lie (guns are allowed on campus in Oregon, there was even a concealed carry holder on campus). This does not stop the right wing from perpetuating their gun free zone lie. Go ahead and google "Oregon shooting gun free zone" and you will see a long list of conservative commentators still pushing this lie. The national press was negligent in correcting this flat out lie, and the gunners got the misdirection they wanted. Like the many other shootings before, the Umpqua tragedy was being hijacked by flat out lies. The truth always destroy's the gunners narrative. Why can we not accept the truth? The lies have once again stopped us in talking about how guns kill people.
Why do we allow these lies? Why do we sacrifice our own safety so these rich white men can get even richer? Why do we choose to accept their lies and embrace our fear? Do we blame all the usual suspects? The press is a broken institution that only cares about wealth. The idea of journalism is long gone. In order to be fair and balanced, the professional media has decided that their wealth is more important than their integrity. They will not talk about how guns kill people. Our government has no interest in representing the nation. Democrats and Republicans alike only care about the money. The Republicans will never do anything to address gun violence, and the Democrats use these black swan events to look good at a press conference. Why did Nancy Pelosi not convene a special committee on gun violence when she was Speaker of the House? Cowardice, that is why. They will never talk about how guns kill people.
My biggest question is once again why do we as Americans accept the lies of the pro gun community? Sandy Hook is an elementary school, Columbine is a high school, Virginia Tech is a university, and Umpqua is a community college. These are not war zones, they are places every single one of us has been to. Our children are at these institutions right now. We cannot accept that places of education are dangerous. We cannot send our loved ones into harms way. Our institutions of education are off limits, our public gatherings are off limits, our military bases are off limits, our newscasts are off limits, our livelihoods are off limits. Guns make our lives more dangerous, we can not accept them in places we all live our regular lives. I want to be safe, I want my family to be safe. We can not accept the lies that a world of more guns makes us safe. I will not accept it. Guns kill people.
I myself rushed to judgement on this tragedy. The line of thinking present after all mass shootings is that "it is too early to politicize the event". Once President Obama says anything about gun control, self serving amoral beings like Mike Huckabee are quick to use this tired line. The right wing was giddy on twitter about the religious story of the shooting. Many people were already blaming islam. I started a little twitter conversation based on the idea that the right wing was allowing a discussion to be had, because they started the discussion. At one point I posted this tweet
Do you know what is wrong with that tweet? The response to the tweets inaccuracy was quite swift. I had many many people immediately correct me to say that the killer was mixed race. My part of the debate was invalid because I made a mistake, I did not tell the truth. That was the problem, I was wrong about the race of the killer. I was not wrong about the guns. The right wing used my mistake to once again redirect the conversation away from the guns. The one truth in my tweet was buried because the pro-gunners need to use others mistakes to redirect the conversation away from the gun. I accept my mistake, when will we accept that the problem is not race. The problem is that guns kill people.
Lucero Alcarez deserves the truth. Quinn Glen Cooper deserves the truth. Kim Saltmarsh Dietz deserves the truth. Lucas Eibel deserves the truth. Jason Dale Johnson deserves the truth. Lawerence Levine deserves the truth. Sarena Dawn Moore deserves the truth. Treven Taylor Anspach deserves the truth. Rebecka Ann Carnes deserves the truth. The injured deserve the truth. Stop accepting the lies and embrace the truth.
Guns kill people.
RD is the founder and head editor at SeedSing.