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I've never begun a journalistic piece by saying, "A PERSONAL NOTE has been added at the end." I've never had to. I didn't know when I wrote this for publication this morning: last night’s theatre massacre included a family I know. So that changed the title you just read. Forgive me that I cannot re-write this to make that "the lead." I hope you understand.
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Lafayette Shooting

“What’s It Gonna Take?” Asks a Victim’s Family — Larry Wines

Guns. All over the landscape like dog shit and cigarette butts.

I don't want to hear, ever again, about a massacre on the same day as the funerals from the last massacre.

I don't want to hear about the constitutional right of some nutjob to own an arsenal and unlimited rounds of ammunition.

I don't want to hear about how politicians are scared into silence and inaction because the "gun lobby" might come after them.

Wait. Come after THEM?

What about the nutjobs with guns who have no restraints to coming after everyone else in this sick society that’s awash in guns, awash in bullshit that says gun ownership is THE only right that matters? That says all other rights pale alongside it? That indeed, says no other right stands alongside gun ownership, because it towers monolithically above all else, and all else must dwell in its shadow.

I don't want to be told that, in a free society, someone's "gun freedom" means my freedom must take cover in the shadows.

I don't want to be told that, in a free society, someone's "gun freedom" means my freedom must take cover in the shadows.

I don't want to be told that I need to live in the shadow of guns. Whether because the gun lobby blocks all the light and sucks the oxygen from the legislative chambers, or because I don't know what nutjob has bullets in his chambers.

Enough. Enough right now and forever. It went past enough a very long time ago. The Wild West is dead. It lies buried on Boot Hill, riddled with bullets. It's image of manly-man gun-totin' freedom-lovin' take-no-crap hombres is not true.

It never was. It is a myth perpetuated by Hollywood films and a modern-day civilian arms industry.

We are intimidated by the the most cynical barbarians of capitalism, the elite fear-mongers of the NRA and the gunmakers and ammomakers who finance the NRA's "dead bloody hands" rhetoric and obstruct even the same regulation of their industry's "products" as we require for our automobiles, our dogs, and our bicycles.

I don't want to hear about how their money buys special interpretations of their rights.

I don't want to hear about Charlton Heston's ghost screaming "from my dead bloody hands" echoed from ammosexual gun zealots demanding politicians "make no law."

I don't want to hear that because those gun zealots are not "a well-regulated militia," as the constitution requires—and they demand you forget.

I don't want to hear any more crap from these "open carry" morons, especially since one of them accidentally shot himself yesterday while "volunteering" to "guard" a military recruiting office where he was not wanted in the first place.

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I don't want to hear about yet another mass shooting in a movie theatre, like happened last night in Lafayette, Louisiana, because I don't want it to be within the wildest realm of possibility that some nutjob with a motel room full of wigs and disguises could also have that room full of ammunition.

Here's something simple that I do want.

I DO want everybody to hear about the Phillips family, whose daughter was murdered in the theatre massacre three years ago in Aurora, Colorado. I want everyone to know there is a law in that state which made her parents liable for the $200,000+ in legal fees of the ammunition maker who they sued for making a particularly lethal kind of ammunition for sale to the general public. The kind of ammunition that killed their daughter in THAT movie theatre massacre. The Phillips family lost their daughter. They lost their lawsuit. Now they will lose their home.

Think about that.

Then think about this:

It will, ALL of it, keep happening until we stop it. Until we vote OUT of office the pawns and lackeys of the gun lobby. Until we demand NEW laws that stop it.

Until we call bullshit to the echoed claim of the gun lobby that "We have enough laws, and we just need to enforce existing laws."

That was exactly what they said before they intimidated and campaign-contributed to prevent renewal of the now-gone Brady Bill Federal Law with its ban on assault weapons.

They're so blatantly lying when they claim that are all for " diligent enforcement of existing laws." Because they have proven they don't want "enforcement of existing laws." They want NO laws.

Think about that. And decide whether you want to do anything about it.

1) How to find and contact your member of the US Congress, your two US Senators, the President and Vice President:

2) How to find and contact your governor, members of both houses of your State Legislature, your Mayor, your elected County officials, and other elected and appointed local politicians:

Or you could go back to looking at cat pictures on social media and wait for shocking news of the next theater massacre or the next mass shooting in a school or a shopping mall.
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After I wrote the above this morning for publication, I received the following message from a musician friend, an old friend:

"About an hour ago we found out Norma's family has been touched by the shootings last night at the theater in Lafayette, LA -- her 2nd cousin, Morgan, whom she used to babysit when the woman was a small child, was one of the victims. Just a few minutes ago we learned she is out of surgery, awake, and remembers 'everything.' She was shot five times. She's far from out of the woods. Her friend was killed. I also see that Obama said today(?) that the gun control issue has been his primary frustration in his presidency. He certainly seems to have tried harder than any president to date. What's it gonna take? If you disagree, close friend or not, please have the courtesy of restraint of tongue and pen. This is not the day for it. Thank you."

The president said yesterday, in an interview with the BBC, what my friend indicated. Indeed, President Obama said it BEFORE the theatre shooting happened in Lafayette last night.

larry-wines-formal

As my friend asks, "What's it gonna take?"

Larry Wines