Guns Are Big $$$ – What Can We Do?
After they met, Sonny Melton became an RN and worked alongside his wife Heather, an orthopedic surgeon. They devoted their professional lives towards improving the lives of others. Last Sunday, they were running from the ambush in Las Vegas. They were gripping each other’s hands when the bullet hit Sonny in the back. Heather felt Sonny’s life end in an instant.
Last night ABC News and CNN gave special coverage to the shooting victims from the Route 91 Country Music Festival. We all know the number 59. That’s what our country does – we put out numbers. I encourage everyone to watch these specials because they gave each number a face, a life, and the impact on all the loved ones from having that life snuffed out in a moment. The ideals of America are strong and powerful. We have created a country filled with talent and abundance. But, make no mistake, guns are about money. Corrupt money has bastardized the intent of the second amendment of our Constitution. The right to bear arms was developed at a time when we were so vulnerable to other countries that communities could form militias to protect themselves from invasion. Since 1968, more than 1.5 million Americans have been killed on our soil from gun-related homicide. That number is more than all of the Americans killed in wars since we were founded.
Every day, members of the gun lobby enter the offices of our politicians and they help buy elections, snuff out resistance and make sure we just don’t think about it. We have a President, who on the day after the shooting responds to a question about gun control with, “We are not going to talk about that now,” as if it were a sign of respect.
The corruption of money in government hits a population rather numbed out. We are the only civilized country that doesn’t outlaw pharmaceutical advertising on TV. The drug lobby makes sure the drug pusher enters every home in our country.
So what can we do?
Encourage other countries to issue travel advisories against the United States. If it isn’t safe for our own citizens to live here why would other countries encourage their citizens to come? See how quickly things change.
Encourage journalists to investigate the relationships between our political leaders and the gun lobby. We live in the age of transparency, let’s open the country’s eyes to the corrupt money that causes many of our leaders to practice a blind eye.
When incidents like this happen, publish and inform the public of the victim’s lives, how the loss impacted their families and the communities where they lived. Show the real loss and heartbreak. If any of us look the other way we have participated in sweeping our country’s cancer under the rug.
There are opportunities here politically. Since Donald Trump is loyal to nobody but himself, this is an opportunity to create at least one legacy. Follow Australia’s lead and issue a ban on automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Flood the White House with letters encouraging him to create a positive legacy.
And, come on Democrats and Republicans. In your quest to raise funds, many of you have become the most corrupt of all. It is time to shine a very bright light on who is ready to change or subvert change. Our legacy on this topic has become so distorted that the rest of the world looks at us with shock, with pity, with scorn, and with fear. It is no longer time to send more letters asking. It is time to make it clear that being bought by an industry whose only purpose is to kill stuff; that time is over.
Writing about the circumstances that fueled this horrific event is not central to my brand. I write about work and I facilitate positive change in people’s careers. However, I realize this is no longer a political issue. It is moral and how we as a country go from here determines who we are in the world and who we are to each other.