When you live in Kansas (the state that brought us not only “Open Carry” but “Open Carry and no requirement for gun safety training” among other insanely stupid and dangerous gun laws – though, honestly, I don’t see how concealed carry is significantly better) and you receive this envelope in the mail…
Imagine my surprise, then, when this is what I found on the inside:
A survey and request for support from an organization that is working to (figuratively) surgically remove the cancer in this country that is the National Rifle Association from the stranglehold it has on our lawmakers.
Founded by former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2014, Everytown for Gun Safety has the following mission:
“To support efforts to educate policy makers, as well as the press and the public, about the consequences of gun violence and promote efforts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.”***
Not sure how I got on a mailing list for this organization. Somewhere in the literature it states that I was “chosen to represent the city of Overland Park.” That’s very gratifying, but I’m going to take a wild guess that it had something to do with my belonging to a couple of other progressive organizations.
However it happened, it pretty much made my day. I’ll do this survey. I’ll send money. I’ll even sign up to do some volunteer work. Because I am sick to death of the fear-mongering and lies so pervasive in our culture, which lead so many people to fancy themselves the Dirty Harry of their neighborhood.
Here’s a perfect example of the sickness surrounding the issue of guns in the U.S:
This person is a member of a group called “Oath Keepers.” Google it. They’re terrifying in their love for firearms and their fantasy that they’re going to be the “good guy with a gun” who will take out the next “bad guy with a gun.”
Because the state of Missouri has gun laws almost as horrific as the state of Kansas (meaning it’s perfectly legal there to tote your firearms around in full view, in public), these fools are now strutting through the streets of Ferguson, Missouri toting automatic weapons, doing their macho posturing, and dreaming of the glorious day when they can prove just how tough they are. And Missouri police officers can do absolutely nothing about it.
Yeah, I’m sure if I lived in Ferguson, I’d sleep better knowing these Rambo wannabes were running around, itching for a gun fight.
I declared recently to The Husband my despair that this gun-crazy culture can ever be defeated. That we’ll just continue to read stories in the paper about children, entire families, movie theaters full of citizens being shot to death. Every. Single. Day. Literally. Until the day when we’re all lying on the ground, toes up, dead from gunshot wounds.
He had some small comfort to offer. The Husband reminded me that there was a time when we despaired of the all-powerful tobacco lobby ever losing its grip on our society. Tobacco interests used many of the same tactics the NRA is famous for today – fake science, false statistics, shitloads of money to pay off and intimidate lawmakers, playing the “freedom” card. But today, even Kansas has clean air laws. All public buildings are free of stinking, cancer-producing cigarette smoke. A handful of communities around here have even outlawed smoking in outdoor public spaces.
I’m trying to hang onto that thought, and keep hoping that gun fanatics will one day be defeated.
And I’ll take a tiny step toward this shining vision of sanity by joining Everytown for Gun Safety.
***I think it’s important to note that Everytown realizes that in order to make any headway, they have to mollify the people who go around screaming “Second Amendment.” Therefore, they have focus on keeping “criminals” from having access to guns. I’d be a lot happier if they could extend their focus to keeping “delusional gun lovers” like the so-called Oath Keepers from having access to guns.