Reader’s views: How many shootings will it take for us to stop gun violence?

Readers have been up in arms – both for and against – Colorado Independent columnist Mike Littwin’s Friday story: “How many shootings will it take for us to stop gun violence.”

Here is a sample of the comments.

Why do you so-called Progressives refuse to “politicize” the Christian bigotry perpetrated by this criminal? — Cliff Anderson

The “typical” mass shooter is a young, white, male, so at first I thought this might be a racial issue. But this guy, who is mixed race, doesn’t easily fit into that mold.

Race might still be a factor, but the real problem seems to be that it is too damned easy for young, mentally unstable MEN to get access to guns.

And I did mean to say “MEN.” We have to own this guys. When was the last time you heard about a mass shooting committed by a woman? — Steve Justino

Around 10,228 people per year are killed by drunk drivers. That averages out to 28 people per day, or twice the number of the latest mass shooting. We can say that deaths by drunk drivers equate to TWO mass shootings PER DAY.

So using the logic that some advance, we should BAN cars. That would absolutely solve that problem.

So if some people really, truly care about how people lose their lives, then you would be on the forefront of the anti drunk driving causes.

Cancer kills around 700,000 per year or averages 1900 people per day, or the equivalent of many, many, many mass shootings.

Car accidents kill 35,600 people per year or an average of 97 people per day, equivalent to 7 mass shootings a day.

The point is while people are laser focused on guns, death by many other causes on a far greater scale have been happening for a long time.

I really don’t understand why people only focus on guns, while ignoring far greater causes of death. — Robert Gates

Q: Do you know the difference between Mr. Littwin and the drunk sitting at the end of the bar screaming at the TV?

A: The bar stool.

Amazingly, Mr. Littwin has managed to write a column about the tragic deaths of nine students at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon without once mentioning that the gunman had singled out Christians.

You can’t make this stuff up!!

This from The New York Times: “Are you a Christian?’ (the gunman) would ask them,” Stacy Boylan, father of Anastasia Boylan, 18, told CNN: “‘And if you’re a Christian, stand up.’ And they would stand up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second.’ And then he shot and killed them, and then he kept going down the line doing this to people.”

What, you might ask, is the difference between killing people because of the color of their skin or killing people because of their religious beliefs? Of course there is none which may explain why Mr. Littwin chose to intentionally ignore the reason for the slaughter, opting, instead, to devote the majority of the column to President Obama’s angry reaction.

After the tragedy at the Emanuel AME church, in Charleston, South Carolina, Mr. Littwin went to great lengths to make readers aware of not only the racial aspects of the story (white shooter, black victims) but the hate aspect of the crime. For example: “a young white man filled with racist hatred“ and “Police and the FBI are investigating the murders as hate crimes.” and “How does this level of racist hatred still exist?” and “But adding the racist component to the piece makes this one different.” and “You don’t have to agree that crimes should be separated by their level of hate to agree that this is a particularly hateful crime, one more hate-filled mass-murder.”

In writing about the Oregon shootings Mr. Littwin never mentioned–not even once–the role hate played, although it is patently obvious that religious hatred played an immense part in this tragedy.

How, you might ask, could a serious journalist miss such an important aspect of the story? Well, a serious journalist couldn’t. But one, like Mr. Littwin, who consistently ignores inconvenient facts could!

A bigger question is why The Colorado Independent chose to publish the column at all when its mission statement reads, in part, “The only bias we have is for good journalism. We take the role of good journalism as a public trust seriously.”

So is Mr. Littwin’s column an example of what the CI considers to be “good journalism”? Really? Because it reads more like junk journalism.

Mr. Littwin also fails to mention that “A CNN/ORC poll conducted in September showed 59 percent of those surveyed believe current gun laws are “about right” or “too strict,” and 59 percent disapproved of Obama’s push for more gun laws.”

And here’s another interesting fact Mr. Littwin ignored: This from The Washington Post:
“ Gun control was not a hot topic in the 2012 presidential campaign. (That’s nothing new; the last time guns were a regular topic of debate in a presidential campaign was in the mid-1990s.) As a result, neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney spent much time talking about how they might deal with the spate of violent acts being committed with guns in the U.S. (President Obama’s speech following the Aurora movie theater shootings drew lots of attention but had no specifics as to what — if anything — the government should do to stop future incidents from happening.)”

Today, with absolutely nothing to lose politically our feckless president has suddenly transformed into an angry paladin of gun control. And what he lacks in courage he also lacks in specifics.

According to the left-leaning Brookings Institute there are approximately 300 (3-0-0) different state laws involving gun control. Does Mr. Littwin or President Obama believe a 301st would make a difference? If so, what is it?

New York’s Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo, like President Obama, believes gun control should be politicized and has suggested that Congressional Democrats shutdown the government if the gun control issue is not resolved.

What does the risk-averse Mr. Littwin think about that?

Finally, what does Mr. Littwin consider more important – electing Democrats or controlling guns since few believe both can be done simultaneously? — Don Lopez

No such thing as gun violence. Guns are inanimate objects. They cannot commit violent acts. It’s not what is in a murderer’s hands that’s the problem (gun or some other weapon). It’s what is in their heart that’s the problem. — Scott Evans

And que the ‘no such thing as gun violence’ bizarro nonsense again. Guns are manufactured for one reason: to poke holes in things until they die. That’s it. They are manufactured to kill things. Put a gun in anyone’s hand and the first thing they want to do with it is poke a hole in something. Most, in a living thing. No other manufactured item is created to kill. And only a delusional, paranoid, imbecile believes guns are not a problem. Those nuts need to get their heads out of their propaganda and actually read some statistics and facts. Hell, I don’t trust 99 percent of the people driving cars on the road, and those things are not manufactured to kill. Why in the world would I trust anyone with a gun?!? The utter stupidity in this country is off the charts. — Kevin Doyle

This headline is pure stupidity. Dude got the gun illegally anyway. He was underage — Timothy Aaron Venator

Do you think that after a bunch of kids got killed a while back and we did nothing that the country will take action? Nope.

We cherish a hunk of formed metal more than life . . . unless it is an inborn fetus that is. Pretty sick. But quit lying. That is our country. Disgusting, but reality sucks sometimes. — Andy Meng


Photo credit: Eric Chan, Creative Commons, Flickr

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