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March 16, 2009

March Madness

I can't help being struck by the irony of American college students being warned by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to stay out of Mexico during Spring Break because of the danger of gun violence created by the assault weapons that are being trafficked south of the border from our own country. Authorities have confirmed that U.S. guns stores and gun shows are the source of more than 90% of Mexico’s crime guns. The American weapons of choice for Mexico’s drug cartels? 9mm pistols, .38 Super pistols, 5.7mm pistols, .45-caliber pistols, AR-15 type rifles, and AK-47 type rifles.

Just four days before the ATF travel alert, 22 Democrats joined Republicans in the U.S. Senate to approve a National Rifle Association-drafted amendment to the D.C. voting rights bill that would force the 600,000 residents of Washington, D.C. to legalize assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines in the city. The bill, which is supposed to stand for the principle of self-determination, has since been stalled in the House of Representatives because Democratic leaders cannot figure out a way to overcome their own party’s supplication to the gun lobby.

Then, last Tuesday—in what can no longer be called a coincidence in our gun-obsessed and violence-ridden nation—a man who had failed in his dreams to become a U.S. Marine and police officer went on an assault weapons shooting spree in the Alabama countryside. Discharging more than 200 rounds from two assault rifles with high-capacity magazines that were taped together, Michael McClendon killed 10 people and then himself.

The term "March Madness" is taking on new meaning this year.

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat. “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

1 comment:

  1. End the War on Drugs and you end the violence.