Monday, December 24, 2012


I was born in 1929 which gives me a perspective on violence in America down through the years like few people in the media have ever witnessed or know anything about.

I have been following the news reports and pundits on cable TV talking about the Sandy Hook Elementary school slaughter when Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster assault rifle to kill at point blank range to shoot 18 students with between three and 11 bullets and wound two other kids who later died at the hospital. Lanza also used his Bushmaster assault rifle to kill six school administrators and teachers.

The Bushmaster assault rifle Lanza use was equipped to hold clips of 30 rounds of ammunition and police found almost 100 of the 30 round clips on Lanza's body after he committed suicide.

What has pissed off this old codger more than anything else is how the media, especially FOX NEWS and RUSH LIMBAUGH, has bought hook-line-and-sinker the BS WAYNE LaPIERRE, executive director of the NRA (National Rifle Association), has tried to pin the blame for LANZA's murderous killing spree on everything from mental illness to video games, violent movies and television show, but not guns.

So I've got a little history lesson for WAYNE LaPIERRE, the NRA and the media.

In the 1930s and 40s, I used to go to double-feature movies and between showing the movies the movie theaters would play cartoons and movie shorts.

The cartoons were filled with violence and the movie shorts also used violence as the underlying theme of the movie short.

The feature movies many times were filled with gun violence albeit not as graphic as the movies of today, however they depicted gangland violence as it was in that era and not like the movies of today which depict violence with all the special effects to jazz them up so they don't even come close to real life.

We didn't have video games, but we did have games that had a violence theme.

When World War II broke out, the movies that were among the most popular were movies with a violent war theme.

Mental illness was just as prevalent in the 30s and 40s as it is today, but the big difference is we had mental institutions that housed many of the more severe cases of mental illness because psychiatric drugs had not yet been introduced into our culture.

When Ronald Reagan was elected as President of the United States, he set out to shutdown all the mental hospitals and institutions all across the country. Hundreds of thousands of mentally ill people were tossed out into the streets and the homeless population in the country skyrocketed.

When television made its debut in the mid-40s, the TV fare was very tame, but then Hollywood started to come up with Western series, and series built around cops and robbers and in both cases guns and gun violence was a staple of every series.

All throughout the 30, 40s and 50s right up until today, cartoon series many times featured a violence theme.

The NRA started out as an organization which was interested in teaching gun safety, but then in the 1980s Wayne LaPierre and his NRA cohorts saw a chance to sell more guns and thus increase the NRA's membership by lobbying members of Congress and urging them to kill any legislation that would be introduced that would stifle the sale of high-powered assault guns and ammunition that would come in 30-round clips like the kind Andy Lanza used to carryout his slaughter at the Sandy Hook Elementary school just over a week ago.

The NRA came up with a slogan: "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." The NRA, of course, never edited their slogan to read: "Guns don't kill people, but people WITH GUNS kill people."

The NRA has also hidden behind the Second Amendment and have twisted the words around so much you would think the Founding Fathers had used the word "guns" in the amendment, but in reality the wording is "the right to bare arms."

In the eyes of the NRA, "the right to bare arms" can mean anything from a Bushmaster assault rifle to a nuclear bomb.

Remember Timmoth McVeigh used fertilizer and a rented truck to blow up the building in Oklahoma City killing close to 200 people including little kids who were attending a nursery school in the building. McVeigh was a card-carrying member of the NRA.

Wayne LaPierre's rant on "Meet the Press" this past Sunday was more like an infomercial for the NRA than offering any solution to the gun violence in America that has reached epidemic proportions.

LaPierre trotted out all the same defenses the NRA has used in the past. Blame mental illness, video games, movies and television, but never admit that Adam Lanza was able to get his hands on a Bushmaster assault rifle, two Glock rapid fire guns and even a shotgun which he left in his mother's car parked out in front of the Sandy Hook Elementary school.

Lanza was able to get the guns because his mother, who he shot four times in the face killing her from point blank range while she was asleep at home, had purchased them within the past year and she even used to take her son to gun ranges so he could learn to fire the weapons.

History plus personal experience is a great teacher. I grew up at a time when gun violence was just as much a part of the American landscape as it is today. The vast majority of us looked at the violence we saw in movies, movie shorts and cartoons as entertainment and not a study guide for the life style we should follow.

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who will head up the task force looking into what can be done about the explosion of gun violence, have their work cut out for them in bringing any meaningful gun legislation into existence.

Joe Boehner, Republican Speaker of the House, has already signaled he would probably not bring up any gun legislation for a vote in the House of Representatives.

Why should he? The House of Representatives is under the control of Republicans and most of them are the recipients of money funneled to them by NRA lobbyists in Washington with an unwritten note to vote "NAY" on any legislation that would put a halt to the sale of military-style assault rifles and ammunition that comes in 30-round clips and drums.

If history repeats itself, we are just days or weeks away from the next mass murder spree from a copycat gun nut only this time it could be at a shopping mall, a theater, a rock concert or a major sporting event---anywhere where innocent Americans gather.

BREAKING NEWS: Two firefighters were SHOT this morning, Christmas Eve day, when they responded to a fire in Rochester, New York.


Ringo said...

Would the rise of teenage bullyism be the "undiscussed" factor, Bill? Please check out the latest on the Steubenville, Ohio rape case. America's 16-year-old girls gaining an unhealthy fascination with modern military assault rifles could be the next tragic disaster on the horizon.

Bill Corcoran said...

Ringo...Thanks for the tip on the teenage girls. I'll look into it. Bill