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Joe Lapointe

Joe Lapointe has worked as a sports reporter with the New York Times and a segment producer for "Countdown With Keith Olbermann'' on Current TV

February 28th, 2012 1:43 AM

Lots of Blood on Lots of Hands

Guns don’t kill people.

Bullets kill people.

And bullets come from guns fired by people to kill other people.

And we saw this again Monday at a high school in Ohio when one student was killed and four others wounded (two critically) by a young man who fired away in the cafeteria.

The "right" to do this is supported by the National Rifle Association and by gun dealers, who make a lot of money selling these hand-held murder machines to just about anyone who wants one.

The executive vice-president and spokesman for the N.R.A. is Wayne LaPierre.  Like most gun profiteers and their cheerleaders, LaPierre and his organization justify their deadly politics by citing the ambiguously-worded Second Amendment to the Constitution regarding the "right to bear arms" to form a militia in the 18th Century when the typical firearm was a musket.

As was the case with the imposition of Prohibition, LaPierre and the N.R.A. use their one-issue agenda to intimidate lawmakers.  They force them to vote in favor of the firearms’ profiteers and the paranoids who believe King George or Barack Obama are going to take away their guns.  If politicians oppose guns, the N.R.A. will drive them out of office.  It’s that simple.

But it is unfair to cite only LaPierre and the N.R.A.  They also have popular culture behind them. Turn on your cable television during prime time (say, 10:10 p.m.) any night and use your remote to flip through the channels.  Watch every station for no more than five seconds and then move to the next one.

When you are done, count how many drawn guns you saw in your sampling.  You might be surprised.  You might be disturbed.  You might be inspired to tell your elected representative to fight back against the death-dealing politics of LaPierre and the N.R.A.

Or maybe not.  Tonight, one student is dead and at least two more fight for their lives because of the American culture of gun violence and the political cynicism of the N.R.A. and our politicians.

In a figurative sense, they’ve all got blood on their hands, but they’ve got money in their pockets and that’s fine with them.

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