An image of a worried couple elephant in the room.

Elephant in The Room

This morning’s news coverage in both local newspapers was dominated by the shooting on South Claiborne of 10 people, three of whom died. Gang members were chasing someone they had a beef with (intending to shoot him to death). The guy ran into a crowd of people waiting outside a South Claiborne restaurant, obviously thinking that crowd would give him protection. The gang members shot into the crowd, killing three people and injuring seven more.

I am so weary of no one seriously decrying the ownership of guns in this country. We have to do something about one of the most serious American issues, one affects every citizen: gun violence.

Violence and crime are usually related to poverty, said my son-in-law, who’s visiting us from Britain. “There are obviously certain places where everyone knows that are unsafe where we live,” he said. “They are places where people are poor. Poverty and violence are aligned. But you would never hear about something like this in London. The most violent weapon anyone in the UK has is a knife,” he said. And, truth be told, stabbings in London are way up. Imagine what would happen there if everyone had guns like they do in the US? Some world statistics here.

Innocent people, women, children are being killed and maimed, and families and neighborhoods are being torn apart because our culture has become so enmeshed with the desire and “right” to own a gun. This is an opinion that has burgeoned in the past three decades due, in my opinion, to political and marketing efforts on the part of gun lobbying organizations.

I couldn’t believe the wacky suggestion that our Lieut. Gov. Billy Nungesser recently put forth about converting the French Quarter into a state park. His idea is to make it more “family friendly,” (strip clubs, bars and all) and enable it—as a state park—to have a greater law enforcement presence. And, according to the feature in, “Nungesser, a Republican and gun rights supporter, did not mention weapons restrictions when discussing how the French Quarter would benefit from becoming a state park. Louisiana law allows people to carry licensed firearms in state parks, though there is a ban on ‘weapon-like’ toys such as paintball guns.”

Read that quote again. Do you see how ludicrous this is? Paintball guns are banned in state parks, but licensed firearms are not. What?

Gun-rights advocates need to get a grip, and I don’t mean of their Glocks.

We are never, ever going to be free of this slaughter until we are convinced to quell our lust for guns. One of the most pervasive and manipulative tactics of gun lobbying organizations is to tie the possession of firearms to “patriotism” via references with the Second Amendment.

We also cannot underestimate the influence that video games and media have had on gun lust, and American proclivity towards violence.

Guns and the havoc they wreak are the elephant in the room. We have to talk about it. We have to solve this problem, and stop sweeping it under the rug with platitudes because there are so many politicians who are deathly afraid of not being re-elected if they take a stand against gun control. We have to stop gun and weapon lobbyists from supporting political campaigns. No more innocents should die.