The tragic shootings in Aurora, Co.that left 12 innocent victims dead and 58 more wounded are a reminder of the senseless crimes perpetrated in Columbine.
Now, as then, the crime appears to be the act of a young man (a tandem at Columbine) dissociated from reality and alienated from civil society.
Now, as then, the mourning of the families and loved ones affected by this egregious act of domestic terrorism is circumscribed by the deafening silence of our political leaders on the ultimate cause of this senseless act - a horrendously inadequate understanding of and relationship to the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The so-called conservatives on the right, propped up by the massive NRA lobby, vehemently defend the ”right” of every citizen to purchase as many AK-47 assault rifles, handguns, and as much ammo without proper restrictions as one can afford. The inappropriately monikered liberals have chosen the politically expedient but reprehensible road of silence, neutered by the fear of losing votes amongst the blue collar, white electorate that alienated Al Gore in 2000.
What conservative politicians fail to understand, rather, have a financial stake in ignoring is that the increasing spectre of gun violence across the nation places them on the opposite pole of a desire by the vast majority of sane Americans for peace and prosperity in the homeland.
What liberal politicians have failed to recognize while hiding their heads in the sand is that those blue collar, white voters have been so thoroughly indoctrinated by the neo-conservative, bible thumping movement that they WILL NOT vote for a liberal under any circumstances, not matter how much you alienate the core values that FDR, JFK, RFK, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton laid down as the lode stone of liberal principles.
However, I see why so many people are dazed and confused, even perplexed by what exactly our two political parties stand for.
Republicans scream from the pulpits that America needs to return to her Judeo-Christian origins (a pretense that our deist Founding Fathers would decry with a mixture of bemusement and acrimony) while simultaneously endorsing the propagation of instruments of violence - a direct affront to that fundamental commandment that Moses brought down from Mt. Sonai....”Thou shalt not kill”.
Liberals passive aggressively, if at all, shout from state and national capitols that stricter gun control legislation needs to be enacted while simultaneously defending the ”right” of mothers to destroy life en utero and acting in concert with their conservative brethren to dismantle the social safety net of the most vulnerable segments of our society in the guise of Welfare Reform.
You may not like it but I will say it anyway. The blood that was shed in Aurora, CO. and Columbine before that is on the hands of all voting age Americans. We have sold our Republic to sociopaths in tailored suits and groomed coifs in return for buzz words, campaign slogans, and empty promises. We have failed to hold our elected officials to the oaths that they swear or affirm. Those of us who do not even bother to visit the polling station are the worst offenders because we have shirked the one duty that truly makes us worthy of citizenship with all of its benefits in tow.
The nation's founders knew from experience that, in the absence of free elections and a free press, that our only defense against the tyranny of a government drunk on the punch of absolute power would be the business end of a gun (IN A WELL REGULATED MILITIA). What they could not anticipate is that we would outsource our responsibility for oversight of the government to the government and then effective ask the fox to guard the hen house.
As we near yet another election cycle, it should be abundantly clear that our two choices are but differing shades of business as usual. One group will tell you that the other wants to take away your rights so you hurriedly give them away in return for protection.
In the end, power is consolidated into legislative bodies. The old divide and conquer strategy works to perfection again. We have a fundamental decision to make. Either we'll choose to be the stewards of our Republic the way it was intended to be or we'll continue to waltz right into a controlled existence.
When that happens, there won't be any number of amendments that will be able to pry our freedoms out of the hands that were all too eager to accept them.