The Radicalization of Guns

Hillary in Cleveland today spoke about the Orlando mass murders with a passion she has been curing for a time now. Eloquent. Angry. Determined. Strong. In a few minutes she took on ISIS, she took on the business of guns and the radicalization of our youth. She explained her foreign policies against ISIS that involves continuing to back Iraq and Syrians as they fight ISIS while pumping up air strikes. A policy that I suspect has grown from Obama’s slow move on ISIS. I imagined her kicking and screaming to get him to see how serious the situation would get. As much as I love our president, he really dropped the ball on that one.

Now we pay for it – not because of him necessarily or his promise to keep out of war – but the hatred and fierce viciousness this group of radical Islamic groups have been capable of. But she is different. She is determined to make certain they are stopped. Taking on in this speech those Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to stop funding the radical Islamic groups. And her choice and willingness to use the terms of radical Islamism and Islamic terrorism when describing groups like ISIS, is an about face from Obama. She is willing to use these labels in spite of making these groups angry. Frankly, how much angrier can they get?

Besides, they are radical Islamic groups. Their barbarism is born from their “radical” and painfully wrong interpretation of Islam. Using their botched version of a peaceful religion to terrorize, threaten, and murder innocent and faithful Muslims: they are radical Islamic terrorists. Hillary is not taunting when using these labels. Unlike Trump who, with just his tone, concludes that all Muslims are radicalized, which is a dangerous and vigorously untrue assumption.

When she took on the need for more resources to investigate and keep watch over potential radicals in our country, she mentioned, “There is a no fly list, why isn’t there a no gun list?” Why was this man twice investigated for his radical and homophobic views able to purchase guns legally? Why are semi-automatic weapons not banned in our country? Wolf Blitzer asked this to Senator Johnson of Wisconsin (GOP) in response to Hillary’s speech, “Why are semi-automatic guns not banned? They were used in Sandy Hook. They can kill many people.” Senator Johnson replied agitated, “So do bombs!” And on and on about law abiding citizens, their right to bear arms – blah blah blah.

What is wrong with this view – out of so many – is that bombs are illegal. And guns are not. Obviously background checks are useless against those who want to kill being able to kill. As Hillary said, there online guns sales and all those back alley gun shows. If a red flag or any other warnings surfaced when he went to buy military grade body armor, would that have stopped him? We very well might have been able to.

In these past years, Hillary appears to be the only Politician to respond to these mass shootings with vigor and rage. Sure they all say how terrible this was, what a tragedy that was, but bring up the guns used to massacre children in their classroom and they turn on a dime. The right to own a gun will always be morally, socially and legally more crucial to our country’s constitutional interpretation than the loss of a life. Of 20 first graders simply looking to learn to read and be alive.

So while we work on ways to keep our Muslim youth from radicalization – or being on the fringe – of feeling they do not belong, thus looking for love in the gut of atrocity – let us not drop the ball on all of the other mass shooters able to purchase guns willy-nilly and murder Americans. Can’t look away from these guys.

Because far before there was ISIS and radicalization of our youth, there was our youth – home grown white American guys on the fringes, not belonging and mass murdering their own people. Timothy McVeigh, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, James Holmes, Jared Lee Loughner, Adam Lanza, Dylann Roof – on and on and sadly, having to research all the names bares the fact that there have been that many shootings. Mass murders by guns in theaters, political gatherings, schools, malls, and churches.

Hillary at least and at last is going after guns. While Bernie Sanders voted against citizens being able to sue the gun industry (the only protected business in our country) saying that these billion dollar businesses will stop producing guns – like that is a bad thing. The truth is when we have a culture of guns as we do, of holding God given rights of Tom, Dick and Zimmerman to keep guns in their cars, on their persons, in the nightstand drawer, over the God given right to live, then we will continue – as we have – to have mass shootings that will grow in volume as well as deaths.

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