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jueves, 26 de mayo de 2022

GUNS IN CRIMINAL HANDS: THE UGLY FACE OF THE AMERICAN DREAM

 

                  This ad says that possesing this gun will make you a man..... I disagree

As a Venezuelan born senior citizen, close to my 89th birthday and naturalized U.S. citizen since 2011, I am grateful every day for all the happiness and stability that this wonderful country has brought to my life. I have lived in the U.S., off and on, for about 34 years, first as a geology student in Tulsa, Oklahoma; as a member of Harvard’s fellows program; as an employee of the Interamerican Development Bank in Washington and of an oil company in the Gulf of Mexico, finally, as an immigrant in 2003 to this date. Most, if not all, of my years in the U.S. have been truly idyllic. I can say I have fulfilled my American dream, living modestly, quietly, secure and surrounded by friends, in a beautiful corner of Virginia.

As a naturalized citizen I have always been conscious of my limitations to understand fully all the complex social situations taking place in the country, lacking the benefit of being native born and the historical legacy that would allow me to participate with confidence in the discussion of the great national issues.

Legally, of course, I have a right to do so but I still feel hesitant, believing that I cannot see the issues as clearly as the U.S. born and raised could. As a result, my blog has thousands of entries dealing with every conceivable topic but very few have been dedicated to U.S. national issues, other than those in the energy field plus a few on general politics.  

But I think is time for me to exercise my right to an opinion on a national issue of the gravest importance, such as gun violence and what can and should be done about it.

Gun violence is a horrible U.S. reality and it has progressed under the umbrella of the U.S. constitution, specifically its second amendment:

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”.

This constitutional amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

This amendment was passed in 1791, 246 years ago. The social environment of the country is quite different today. There are sophisticated systems of civic protection run by the governments of the states as well as by the federal government. Families are no longer living in the frontier without defense other than their own rifle. And yet, about 42% of all American homes have at least one gun, a percentage that has remained steady for the last 50 years. One in every three guns in the world is in the hands of an American. Obviously, the second amendment has become deeply entrenched in the minds of millions as a civic right and has become part of a “religious” set of beliefs that have made the U.S. different to any other civilized society.

The massive ownership of guns and the low level of gun control existing in the country have made the United States the developed country where deaths by fire arms are, by far, the worst: see https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/gun-deaths-by-country, 2019.

1.                Brazil (49436)

2.                United States (37038)

3.               Venezuela (28515)

4.               Mexico (22116)

5.               India (14710)

6.               Colombia (13169)

7.                Philippines (9267)

8.               Guatemala (5980)

 There are U.S. 23 states where there is no need to carry a license to bear arms. Congress has been remarkably lax in considering stricter controls of gun ownership. As a result anyone who is not an obvious mental case can buy a gun like the one used by the 18-year old in Texas, who killed 17 children and two adults before being shot down himself.

The U.S. has surpassed 200 mass shootings this year

Last year there were 693 mass shootings in the U.S.

This year The Gun Violence Archive, an independent data collection organization, has counted 212 mass shootings that have occurred. It defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people were shot or killed, excluding the shooter, see: https://www.npr.org/2022/05/24/1101050970/2022-school-shootings-so-far

Gun violence is almost certainly the cruelest and the most unexpected social disease in what is, in many other ways, one of the most civilized societies in the world.

AND NO POLITICAL WILL EXISTS TO SOLVE IT

In congress most attempts at increasing gun control have failed due to lack of political will among its members.  Just a few days ago, Senator Ted Cruz said, when asked about increasing background checks to buy guns: background checks chip away at gun rights and, ultimately, will take away guns…. You see Democrats and a lot of folks in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens”, see: https://twitter.com/i/status/1529222385236611072

The so-called gun lobby, made up of arms manufacturers and distributors, is very powerful and has distributed significant amounts of money to congressmen to recruit them to their side.

See table below, source: https://www.opensecrets.org/news/issues/guns/

TABLE: Top 20 recipients of funds from gun rights interests among members of Congress, 1989-2020

 

 

Member

Party

Office

State

Total from Gun Rights

Outside Spending Gun Control Opposed

Outside Spending Gun Rights Support

Ted Cruz

R

S

TXS2

$442,333

$8,011

$154,504

Steve Scalise

R

H

LA01

$248,058

$861

$2,988

John Cornyn

R

S

TXS1

$238,875

$861

$263,275

Don Young

R

H

AK01

$223,138

$861

$163,876

Pete Sessions

R

H

TX17

$202,926

$12,861

$30,827

Ron Johnson

R

S

WIS2

$197,993

$21,354

$1,044,306

John Thune

R

S

SDS1

$186,260

$861

$579,134

Mitch McConnell

R

S

KYS1

$179,557

$30,621

$827,616

Ken Calvert

R

H

CA42

$166,116

$861

$2,781

Pat Toomey

R

S

PAS1

$162,676

$152,102

$956,630

Marco Rubio

R

S

FLS2

$161,044

$861

$1,008,030

Kevin McCarthy

R

H

CA23

$159,400

$861

$12,546

Roy Blunt

R

S

MOS1

$154,543

$861

$1,410,401

Marsha Blackburn

R

S

TNS1

$136,718

$861

$642,427

Devin Nunes

R

H

CA22

$133,543

$861

$340

James M Inhofe

R

S

OKS2

$132,050

$861

$14,595

Richard Burr

R

S

NCS2

$123,700

$861

$1,404,945

Lindsey Graham

R

S

SCS2

$123,266

$861

$186,245

Rand Paul

R

S

KYS2

$116,730

$861

$99,955

Steven Daines

R

S

MTS2

$112,180

$861

$453,920

Rob Portman

R

S

OHS2

$110,006

 

 The gun lobby

The National Rifle Association is the symbol of the U.S. gun-driven culture. We all remember the photo of the great Charlton Heston with a rifle in his hands, shouting that they will only take the gun away from “His cold dead hands”, in a pose so different from the Moses or the Ben Hur we associate him with.

  


The NRA will hold its national convention next week in Houston, not far from where the latest gun generated carnage took place, the town of Uvalde. In a dramatic move the company that builds the firearm used by the 18 year-old to kill the children and adults, Daniel Defense, has abruptly withdrawn from participating in the meeting, fearing they could become the target of severe retaliation. One of the main speakers announced is former president Donald Trump, one of the most influential political supporters of the organization.

 This horrible social cancer that is eroding the national soul of the United States has no cure in sight because it has become part of a collection of ideological fetishes, a macabre political voodoo that represents a perverted /inverted version of American exceptionalism.    


25 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

You’re probably right that perhaps as a non-born US citizen may have a hard time understanding our Constitution, but regardless, what I certainly know is that I don’t want to be in a situation where the only one with a weapon is the evil doer, shooting and exterminating innocent lives, as in many of those countries you cited, e.g., Venezuela, India, Brazil, Mexico, etc.; the inhabitants in those countries are considered subjects and not citizens, without a right to defend themselves against evil. As we say in my country: when seconds count, the police is just minutes away ...

Gustavo Coronel dijo...

I think I made this clear in my entry. This is why I say that being in such company is so uncharacteristic of the U.S. and stands out like a sore thumb.

Anónimo dijo...

There is no comparison whatsoever between the U.S. and those other countries where their inhabitants are just subjects and not citizens; those countries are ruled by elites that are protected by security details armed with weapons of all kind, e.g., Maduro and his Cubans bosses, while their inhabitants are being savaged exterminated by evildoers and are unable to defend themselves.

In the U.S. the ones against the 2nd amendment and for disarming the citizenry are the ruling liberal classes and the elites, which happen to be themselves protected by security details as well, e.g., Biden, Harris, Pelosi, Schumer, Congress, Hollywood elites, etc.

Personally, whenever those elites decide to get rid of their personal protection, then I'll be willing to have a conversation about weapons and what other options I'll have to protect myself and my family.

Anónimo dijo...

Mas leyes que no funcionan no hacen mucho cuando hay siempre mas locos que encontraran un camino. (En Venezuela hay una ley contra la inflacion-que exito! Llueve demasiado! Haga ilegal la lluvia! ) Un fusil es un objeto sin cerebro, inanimado. Debemos hacer algo si, pero que? Nada funciona 100% en este asunto. Si prohibimos fusiles de asalto, hay siempre escopetas, pistolas, rifles de caza. Si prohibimos y confiscamos todas las armas de fuego (que orgasmo para la izquierda!), hay cuchillos para la carne, bates de beisbol, espadas de samurai, incendio premeditado, Kool-Aid con veneno, bombas, los pedos toxicos de Whoopi Goldberg, y millones de armas ilegales escondidas. Decir que este tipo de ataque como hemos visto recientemente nunca habria sido si habiamos prohibido rifles de asalto es falso, sin logica. Los mas muertos en un ataque contra una escuela en EEUU fue en 1927-45 muertos con DINAMITA! Puedo matarte con un sarten si quiero! Estos atacantes, por lo general, dan indicios antes de atacar, pero estos indicios son ignorados hasta que es demasiado tarde. La policia es reactivo, no proactivo. En China, donde no hay armas de fuego en manos de la gente, los apunalamientos en masa llegan casi a diario. En Gran Bretana, si orgullosa de sus leyes anti-armas de fuego, se reportaba un incidente de cuchillo CADA ONCE MINUTOS en el ano 2020 y siempre hay homocidios con armas de fuego! Repito-Debemos hacer algo, pero que?

Anónimo dijo...

La peor solución es permitir que el gobierno le quite el derecho a sus ciudadanos de poseer las armas para defenderse de la delincuencia o la tiranía, como ocurre acá en Venezuela. Solo Maduro y sus acólitos de la milicia son los que tienen las armas, así que va a ser difícil sino imposible quitarnos de encima a esta tiranía.
En EEUU los que claman por eliminar ese derecho a sus ciudadanos son los primeros que tienen guardaespaldas para que los protejan.
Una solución, por lo menos para proteger las escuelas, es poner un guardia para que vigilen y limitar la entrada, como lo hacen con los bancos.

Anónimo dijo...

218 muertos en Chicago de enero hasta abril en 2022, la mayoria jovenes matados por armas de fuego. Donde hay Black Lives Matter? Donde hay los populachos de furia de la izquierda gritando en las calles? No hay, pero lamentan a los ninos de Texas. Por que? Porque es una ciudad controlada despues de mucho tiempo por el partido democrata (como Cuba o Venezuela-un solo partido con poder absoluto) y no podemos criticar o atraer la atencion a estos datos. Hypocresia flagrante! Y los politicos hacen discursos, echan la culpa a otros, y no hacen nada sino hacerse mas rico y vivir en casonas protegidos por guardios armados!

Anónimo dijo...

After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military. - William Burroughs

One man with a gun can control 100 without one. Make mass searches and hold executions for found arms. - Lenin (obvious fear of counter-revolution)

A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie. - Lenin

Why should freedom of speech and freedom of press be allowed? Why should a government which is doing what it believes to be right allow itself to be criticized? It would not allow opposition by lethal weapons. Ideas are much more fatal things than guns. Why should any man be allowed to buy a printing press and disseminate pernicious opinions calculated to embarrass the government? - Lenin (echoes of Robespierre here)

Governments that disarm their people always say it's for the greater good. Moreover, the day that the people do not want us we shall leave (Are you going to Miami? LOL!). As soon as possible I will take the rifles off the streets. - Castro

Anónimo dijo...

Damn, that translation software into English works good!

Anónimo dijo...

Biden y sus acólitos del partido demócrata quieren hacer de los EEUU otro pais de segunda categoria y que se parezca a uno como Venezuela. A fin de lograr sus objetivos aprovechan entonces cualquier tragedia para asi inmediatamente politizar los hechos causados por algún demente que tirotea y va acabando con vidas de inocentes; enseguida vociferan para eliminar ese derecho que tienen los ciudadanos de ejercer sus valores constitucionales de defenderse por las vías de las armas.
Ese derecho es una característica y tradición del pueblo estadounidense y de allí que se les va a hacer bastante difícil que se lo arrebaten.
Lo interesante es que los que claman y gritan estruendosamente para eliminar ese derecho de la Constitución, son los mismos que andan protejidos por guardaespaldas, como es el caso de Biden, la vicepresidenta, Hilary Clinton y el esposo Bill Clinton, Obama a y su mujer, etc, etc,; son todos ellos una cuerda de miserables e hipócritas ya que mientras ellos están protejidos, a la vez están llamando a eliminar las armas que tienen los ciudadanos para defenderse.

Anónimo dijo...

Never let a crisis go to waste - Saul Alinsky

Debemos salvar el mundo al destruir los EEUU y su economia. Es la sola manera. El enemigo de la humanidad es los EEUU. Nuestros lideres son "hippies" viejos que protestaban la guerra en Vietnam y que aun suenan con los anos 60s cuando ellos odiaban a su pais y se creian heroes salvando a la raza humana con un porro de marihuana. Amor, flores en el cabello, la paz, tolerancia, drogas como majia, valores cristianos robados sin Jesus, y "mata a tus padres para la revolucion crios" cuando los comunistas consiguieron infiltrarse en el movimiento anti-guerra hippie para ayudar a sus companeros de la jungla asiatica. Lo esencial, segun CHER, es de ser "menos blanco!" Una mezcla de complejo de culpa racial, ingenuidad inocente y idealismo de juventud, marxismo disfrazado como liberalidad y buena voluntad y el santurron neurotico fue creado. Estos heroes credulos fueron tan vacios de valores razonables que siguieron ciegamente a un manipulador malvado como Charles Manson en asesinar a inocentes con un amor sangriento digno de Pol Pot. El solo verdadero valor fue de rechazar todo la cultura occidental y de la reemplazar con fantasias izquierdistas como Jane Fonda apuntando un canon contra sus conciudadanos.

Gustavo Coronel dijo...

Most of the comments above reveal the depth of the tragedy. The main issue is put aside in favor of ideology-driven arguments.
A featured speaker at the NRA conference went as far as saying that what was needed was to arm the teachers and build school class rooms so they become impregnable to shooters.
This amounts to a dystopia where every body is armed, the opposite of civilization. What a sad perspective!

Anónimo dijo...

Yeah sure, what a shallow logic that while banks are built to become impregnable to shooters and with armed guards to deter robbers while applying same logic to schools to protect children from evil doers is considered a "dystopia" ... what a sad perspective that shows the depth of the tragedy!

Gustavo Coronel dijo...

A school is a place for human beings, a bank is a place to keep money. To equate one with the other shows your character.
If you want schools to become fortress you are not far from wanting your home to become a fortress, armed to the teth. Zero neighbors, zero social interaction. Why talk to each other? They might shoot you if they doint agree with you..
Why not comment with your name? Are you in danger? Giving yoiur name would be a sign of respect for the person you are debating with.

I am not armed!

Anónimo dijo...

.. So, in your view you place more value to the money in the bank than to the children in the schools? Don't they deserve protection at all cost as well? The only way to deal with evil is to eliminate it.
Good for you that you're not armed, .. how do you protect your family from evil? if someone breaks into your house with the intention to kill you, are you going just to wait for the police to arrive once you and yours are all dead?

Anónimo dijo...

It’s difficult to comprehend why the right of a 18 years-old to buy an AR-15 firearm is more precious than the right of 19 law-abiding children and 2 law-abiding teachers to live.

Anónimo dijo...

It's difficult to comprehend why equate a demented 18 year-old and poisoned by social media activity without parental supervision to 21 law abiding human beings. This demented animal could have used any king of tool, explosives, his truck, pistols, poison, shotguns, rifles, etc., to commit his atrocious masacre. Banning cars, explosives, pistols, poison, rifles, etc., will not stop evil.

Anónimo dijo...

Por ahi lei hoy que ese desgraciado asesino de niños en Tejas y que intentó primero matar a su abuela y que la tiroteó y después se fué a la escuela donde mató a los 19 niños y los 2 maestros.
Menos mal que la policía lo eliminó, pero se tardaron mucho ya que parece que el asesino anduvo merodeando en la escuela por casi una hora antes que lo mataran. La policía como siempre es muy lenta y solo llegan al lugar de los acontecimientos para hacer reportes y levantar los cadáveres.
Deberían poner un guardia armado en cada escuela para protegerla, así como lo hacen con los bancos, para que por lo menos los asesinos vean que va haber resistencia si es que se atreven.

Anónimo dijo...

Let's assume that dementia is the root cause of the massacres. In your opinion, where Governor Greg Abbott should invest the money?
- Create a free and universal mental health care program, to detect and cure potential killers.
- Transform any single public space (schools, universities, farmer’s markets, golf tournaments,..) into something like former Bagram airbase.
- Both

Anónimo dijo...

Las autoridades en EEUU lo que deben hacer es hacer cumplir las leyes y no inventar nuevas:
1. Es un crimen matar a una persona, lo cual debe ser penalizado hasta con la pena de muerte
2. Es criminal que menores de edad compren y tengan posesión de armas, y los responsables deberán pagar las consecuencias
3. Personas con problemas mentales tienen prohibido poseer armas
4. La policía debe evitar a toda costa que los malhechores cometan crímenes y si los comenten entonces que se atengan a las consecuencias
5. Las autoridades deberán proteger a los ciudadanos de los criminales, etc, etc,.
6. Las personas con problemas mentales deberán ser tratadas en instituciones apropiadas, o si comenten crímenes los padres o los custodios deberán responder por esos crímenes que ellos cometan, etc., etc.
7. Las escuelas y otras organizaciones de interés publico como bancos, teatros, comercios, tiendas, etc., deberán incluir en sus presupuestos partidas para protección del personal, como guardianes con armas para detener criminales que se atrevan a asaltarlas, etc., etc.
Al parecer el asesino en Tejas hasta había escrito que iba a tirotear una escuela y como que nadie lo tomo en serio. También se ha sabido que tanto sus padres o abuelos como que hasta tienen antecedentes criminales y ni siquiera le prestaban atención o supervision al asesino.
Mientras tanto el gobierno demócrata de Biden y sus acólitos, gritan para que se limite el derecho de los ciudadanos a que se protejan con sus armas, mientras ellos están rodeados y protegidos por guardaespaldas.

Anónimo dijo...

De acuerdo!
Por que inventar mas leyes cuando no podemos hacer cumplir las leyes que ya tenemos? Para que sirve? Para placer a los votantes? Para jugar al heroe?
Por que echar la culpa a un objeto inerte y no al idiota que apreta el gatillo?
Fue este rifle de asalto que mato a estos ninos!!!! Todos que poseen estas armas son culpables!! Arrestenlos! Ponganlos en la carcel a estos asesinos de nuestros ninos! Tomen estos rifles y no seran mas asaltos! Que pendejadas sin logica!
Un SUV mato a seis personas a un desfile en diciembre. Segun la prensa, quien fue el responsable en los resumenes de noticias? EL COCHE FUERA DE CONTROL!!

Anónimo dijo...

What they call assault rifles are in effect not truly assault rifles because they do not fire auto (unless illegally modified) and do not have some other military trappings. They are basically hunting rifles that look cool. They are, of course, deadly as hell and the weapon of choice for mass shooters ever since the Columbine HS attack because they look cool and have a large magazine capacity. If you ban these weapons, there are still pistols, shotguns, hunting rifles (30.06 with a sighted-in scope?) and God knows what all else that a nutjob can use. If you try to confiscate all guns, there are still millions of illegal ones that will create a lucrative black market for nuts and criminals and you won't be able to defend yourself. By the time the police get there, you'll be a statistic. If you eliminate public handgun ownership like in China or Great Britain, you'll find that mass stabbings and knife incidents are RAMPANT and you will find such Youtube videos as of loonies chasing Chinese children at school with a meat cleaver. We need to keep guns away from evil people and that is where we are failing.

Anónimo dijo...

Criminals will never obey laws; so, should the democrats and their government succeed in confiscating guns from law-abiding US citizens, which I doubt will ever happen, the criminals will never give up their guns; thus we'll end up like in Venezuela, that only Maduro, his army and milicianos, and of course the criminals are the only ones with the guns, so everyone else is stuck being ruled by a miserable dictator, or killed by gangs of malandros without a chance to get rid of them.

Anónimo dijo...

OMG, I forgot hospitals and medical buildings..!

Anónimo dijo...

Parece que en el último tiroteo en EEUU que ocurrió en Oklahoma y que sale por las noticias es que fue cometido por un paciente que tenia muchos dolores y entonces mató a los doctores que lo operaron ya que no podia aguantar mas y culpaba de ello a sus medicos.
Al parecer este loco y que usó una pistola. Entonces irán a prohibir que todos tengan pistolas también ademas de los rifles que quieren sacar de circulación?

Anónimo dijo...

Los chinos al parecer se burlan de los EEUU por las leyes tan absurdas que tienen. Eso de permitir que el pueblo tenga libertad de tener armas o de insultar a los gobernantes por las redes sociales sin ningún control, no son signos de ningún pais civilizado.
Ellos dicen que el gobierno se debe hacer respetar por su gente y que hasta que no tengan mas control de su población como lo hacen en China no podrán evitar que se cometan tantos abusos.