PERRY: Gilroy shooting apathy emboldens those who choose guns over lives


This is a time for national outrage, not apathy.

Despite the nation’s most recent shooting taking on all the customs of the other habitual mass shootings, people from Aurora and across the nation have a new reason to be infuriated. 

Demand that lawmakers in Congress, state legislators and even local governments quit conspiring with gun-industry zealots to perpetuate mass shootings like the one that killed children and others at a food festival.

“Today, I met with a 12-year-old who was shot while in a bounce house. A grandmother mourning the loss of her 6-year-old grandson,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a tweet Monday. “This is America today — the shootings continue. Loved ones are buried. Children are gunned down. And Congress does nothing.”

Worse than nothing. A cowardly Congress is held hostage by gun-rights fanatics. Lawmakers — mostly but not solely Republican — refuse to act responsibly and sensibly to create laws that eliminate what Gavin and others accurately dub as “weapons of mass destruction.”

We have allowed firearm fanatics to twist and corrupt the Second Amendment into something it was never intended to be. Framers of the Constitution, and anyone with a lick of sense, would agree that any sustainable nation can’t allow sick and depraved citizens to easily get access to deadly weapons of war and terrorize the public with endless shooting sprees.

Americans can’t just move on to the next repugnant and ridiculous distraction that President Donald Trump tweets. Instead, voters must direct their anger at lawmakers who buckle to the misguided or corrupt demands of gun extremists.

The nation can almost write the story of this mass murder before it spills into the media. A young, mentally ill man drives not too far from home, across state lines, to buy a type of gun that stimulates and satisfies some perverse psychological anomaly he was either born with or developed. This 19-year-old quiet guy would have been far more inconvenienced in getting a license to drive a car.

The public cannot realistically protect itself from sick and vile people armed to the teeth with guns. Gilroy required festival goers to pass through metal detectors and have their bags searched, according to AP stories about the shooting. “Police, paramedics and firefighters were stationed throughout the festival.”

The gunman easily cut through a chain-link fence to begin his shooting spree. 

The nation can do more than just give in to gun-extremist hokum about everyone shooting their way out of mass shootings.

This year, Colorado lawmakers stood up to the state’s gun bullies and cowards. Risking what has become a predictable threat of recall by Colorado Republicans, state legislators pushed a red-flag bill into law. 

The new law allows police or family members to ask a court to take guns from someone having dangerous mental problems. Reasonable Colorado residents are shocked to find out that about half of the county sheriffs in the state have said they will refuse to abide by the law. They elected sheriffs say they’re allegiant to gun-rights zealotry and not the rule of law.

That’s the warped mentality Colorado and the nation are up against. It’s an outrage that some elected officials in Colorado and in Congress invite the next mass murder and pass it off as the price of firearm freedom children and others must pay for with their lives.

Convert your outrage to a vote against local, state and federal officials who choose guns over lives. Reject their twisted and absurd rationalizations for why kids must die at the hands of mass shooters.

Support candidates who will ban the civilian possession of military firearms. Back candidates who will license gun owners, and test them in the same way we test anyone wanting to drive a car. Choose candidates who want to track all guns the same way we track automobiles with Vehicle Identification Numbers. Vote for candidates who support a federal red-flag law. And then, using proceeds from a tax on gun sales and ammunition, educate the nation about how to recognize dangerous behavior and act on concerns so that potential gunmen can be disarmed.

Other free democracies in the world live with gun rights and recreation — without prolific mass shootings — and we can, too.

When voters make it clear they’re choosing political candidates based on their willingness to enact common-sense gun control, change will come fast. Just watch how incumbents and challengers alike move to the front of the parade instead of cowering behind a corrupt gun-rights regime.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]