Enough is Enough!

On his 18th birthday, a kid walks into a gun store in Texas and legally buys two assault weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition… a full three years before the state figures he’s responsible enough to buy himself a Bud Lite.

3 kids died from lawn darts. Lawn darts were banned.

We ban books and we ban lawn darts but not assault weapons.

There have been 27 school shootings in the US so far in 2022 — by far the most of any country on the planet. The second highest number is Mexico with 8. South Africa’s had 6, India 5, Nigeria 4, Canada 2, Brazil 2, Germany 1, Australia 0, Great Britain 0, Spain 0, Italy 0….

All of these countries have violent video games and people with mental illnesses, btw.

You say arming teachers is the solution. And you’re concerned about the teacher shortage now?

Does any of this make sense to anyone?

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I’m so tired of hearing the talking points Republican politicians use in the wake of every school shooting in the US.

You’ll hear about needing to arm more citizens with weapons to keep us all safe.

We now have over 400 million firearms in this country (up from 380 million just a couple of years ago), more guns than people. Those are the legal, traceable ones. Who knows how many are really out there, exponentially more than any other nation in the world. How many more guns do we need to make us safe?

The truth is MORE guns won’t make us safer. But it will make more money for gun manufacturers and sellers — the sole purpose of the gun lobby to which every Republican trying to get that NRA A-rating is beholden.

You’ll hear about the need for more mental health services when the GOP has been slashing mental health funding since Reagan. In fact, Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott slashed $211 Million from his state’s mental health budget just last month.

You’ll hear how Chicago is an example of why stricter gun laws don’t work when, in actuality, Chicago is the perfect example of why FEDERAL LAWS are needed. Of course Chicago’s laws are less effective when you can make a quick roundtrip trek to Gary, Indiana or Kenosha, Wisconsin, which have much weaker gun laws, to get your AK-47. Also, it’s a myth that Chicago has the toughest gun laws in the country anyway, a lie started by Donald Trump, discredited, but perpetuated by Republicans.

The truth is there is NO REASON for assault-style high-velocity weapons of mass destruction in the marketplace.

And there’s NO REASON an 18-year-old (barely old enough to drive and shave and way too young to buy a White Claw) should be able to buy one.

There’s NO REASON not to close gun show loopholes, or not have universal background checks, or not have robust red flag laws, or not have stiff penalties for traffickers of ghost guns….

And there’s NO REASON to expect anything will change after Uvalde any more than it did after Columbine or after Sandy Hook or after Parkland.

Republicans will offer up their thoughts and prayers and sure sound sincere and grab some TV time at whatever vigil they can hit and they’ll fall back on their talking points and wait until the next distraction captures the attention of the public (where’s Johnny Depp when you need him?) and do NOTHING.

And you’ll hear it all again the next time we have a school shooting, which, at this pace, should be one day next week.

Stop expecting Republicans to do something they have no intention of doing. VOTE THEM OUT!

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Politicians: your moments of silence are meaningless, your thoughts and prayers nothing but noise you make to comfort yourself, your tweeted deepest condolences just manipulation… unless you actually intend to do something this time, finally.

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday during a press conference that the Uvalde school shooter had a “mental health challenge” and the state needed to “do a better job with mental health” — yet in April he slashed $211 million from the department that oversees mental health programs.

In addition, Texas ranked last out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia for overall access to mental health care, according to the 2021 State of Mental Health in America report. VOTE HIM OUT, Texas.

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Of course, banning particular types of weapons won’t have an immediate impact. But arming authorities with the ability to confiscate and prosecute and seize and disrupt production and sales will eventually result in fewer of those goods on the streets, which would certainly be noticeable already if common-sense laws were passed after Columbine. Or Sandy Hook.

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Any politician who receives campaign contributions from the NRA is complicit. Period.

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Stephen Raburn is a writer, daydreamer, activist, and father of two amazing daughters. He lives in Durham, NC.

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Stephen Raburn

Stephen Raburn is a writer, daydreamer, activist, and father of two amazing daughters. He lives in Durham, NC.