Gun Violence - 2022

Gun Violence - 2022

© David Burton 2021

Gun Violence in America

     Once more, the headlines on TV, on the radio and in the newspapers scream: “gun violence”, “mass shooting”, “horrific attack”, etc. This time, the mass shooting occurred on a subway train in Brooklyn, New York. One news story read:

     “Police in New York are continuing to search for a gunman who opened fire on a crowded subway train in Brooklyn during rush hour Tuesday morning. The gunman fired 33 shots after throwing two smoke grenades on the floor of the train. Ten people were shot, and another 13 were injured. The New York Times described it as the worst attack in the history of the city’s subway system. The shooting occurred in the working-class neighborhood of Sunset Park, which has a large Latinx and Asian immigrant population. Police have identified a 62-year-old man named Frank James as a person of interest in the mass shooting. Investigators say the gunman left behind a bag on the train carrying fireworks, a hatchet and two gas canisters, indicating he might have been plotting a broader attack.” (Ref. 1)

     Earlier in the same month, we read of another mass shooting, this time on the west coast of the country.

     “Authorities were searching for a man identified Tuesday as another gunman in a California shooting that left six people dead and 12 injured this month, police said.
     “Mtula Payton, 27, was one of at least five suspects who investigators in Sacramento think opened fire in a busy downtown area April 3, the police department said in a statement.
     "Payton is the third suspect identified in what authorities have described as a barrage of gang-fueled gunfire.” (Ref. 2)

     I started railing against gun violence some seven years ago and since then have written a number of articles on the subject. In the seven decades since I started calling for an end to the shooting craziness in America the federal government has NOT taken one single meaningful step toward ending the epidemic of killing and maiming with firearms! Our mealy-mouthed politicians have cried crocodile tears over the lives lost but have done absolutely nothing to stop it. FOR SHAME AMERICA!

     As I have previously and repeatedly written, there is only one practical way to eliminate the growing scourge of gun violence in America, and that is to GET RID OF THE GUNS!

     I live in a very small town,Winthrop, on the coast of Massachusetts, just north of Boston. Winthrop is not a “small” town in terms of our population (about 19,000), but its land-area of just 1.6 square miles makes it the second-smallest town in Massachusetts. Residents of the town often think of the compact, peninsula community as the equivalent of the old TV show Cheers - a place where everybody knows your name - that is isolated from big-city problems.[3] Events of interest to the rest of the state or the country occur very infrequently here. But, on a warm Saturday afternoon late in June of 2021, my home town made the headlines – here in Massachusetts and nationally.

     Late on Saturday afternoon, 26 June 2021, an Associated Press news flash reported: “A man crashed a stolen truck into a building before fatally shooting two people and being shot by police in the Boston suburb of Winthrop.”(Ref. 4)

     The shooting in Winthrop, Massachusetts was somewhat of an exception in that it garnered some media attention. Living in the greater metropolitan region of Boston, Massachusetts, shootings have become so common that they rarely make the front pages of newspapers or the 6:00 o’clock news report on TV. Here in greater Boston, as in most large metropolitan areas of this country, shootings are so common as be irrelevant most of the time. Gun violence has become an accepted fact of live in twenty-first century America. This should not be so!

     Immediately following the shootings of the two people in Winthrop, there was a rush to hold vigils and leave mementoes where they died. Like all such displays of grief after mass shootings, these actions will prove meaningless in preventing recurrences of such tragedies. As I indicate below, after many years of numerous gun violence tragedies, America, and primarily America’s duplicitous politicians have done absolutely nothing to end the mass shootings of innocent Americans. Instead of taking the high road and trying new and innovative approaches to ending the gun violence in this country, our cowardly politicians move their lips while continuing to bow to the gun toting crazies.
     Isn’t it time to try something untried and bold that might actually stop, or at least significantly reduce, the gun violence in this country? Isn’t it time to take the guns away from the violent? Isn’t it time to stop pretending that we are doing something positive when we actually only salve our consciences by placing flowers at the scene of the crime or by attending some pointless rally that allows the attendees to say: “Look at me. I’m here to sympathize with the victims and their family.” But will those attendees take any concrete action to end the gun violence that led to the deaths of the victims and that will most certainly claim still more lives in the future?[5]

     Here in Winthrop, the same old breast beatings took place. A vigil was held at the Town Hall during the week after the shootings. And, as usual, makeshift memorials were placed at the scene of the truck crash, the victims’ homes and the alley where one of the victims was shot and killed. By Monday, messages of love, acceptance and declaration of “Black Lives Matter” were interspersed with the flowers and prayer cards at these locations.[6]

     "Fueling the increase in gun violence is the easy accessibility to military-grade weaponry that is becoming omnipresent in our country, where there are almost as many guns as people. The Winthrop shooter had obtained a license to carry a firearm from another police department and was armed with multiple weapons, providing him with the firepower to carry out his murderous spree.” (Ref. 7)

     People who knew the Winthrop gunman said he was a strong advocate for the Second Amendment and his Instagram account included pictures of an assault rifle and ammo.[8]

     So here it is 2022, right after the mayhem on the subway train in Brooklyn, and just one more shooting in America. Does anyone really care? If we do, why haven’t we done anything about it? Mass shootings and gun violence are not new in America, and still the gun lovers have their way. There may be lots of talking by our politicians, but all that moves are their mouths! I’ve made my suggestions on what to do, the most recent being less than a year ago in June of 2021. What I wrote then and previously still holds true. Here’s a summary of what I said and proposed.

     Universal background screening will help, but will not stop the mass shootings. What the gun-crazies in America lobby for are more and deadlier guns on the streets of America. Arm the teachers, they offer up as a solution. Give every good person a gun to defend himself from the bad people, they tell us. They hand out the totally unsubstantiated canard that, arming every American citizen will put an end to gun violence, because then, the upright and honest gun owner will be able to defend himself by killing the armed and despicable criminals among us. The fact is, that only in a statistically slim percentage of cases, do armed civilians actually help thwart some sort of crime or act of violence. What these righteous firearms proponents won’t tell you is that, basically no armed citizen has ever stopped a mass shooting!.
     If you think more aggressive background checks will end mass shootings, you are totally naïve. Background checks would not have prevented a single mass public shooter in recent history from obtaining firearms. Would-be mass public shooters rarely have disqualifying criminal or mental health histories - meaning, they often can and do pass background checks when legally purchasing their firearms. CASE IN POINT - THE WINTHROP SHOOTER LEGALLY OBTAINED HIS GUN PERMIT!
     What I said in my earlier writings remains unchanged. Good people with guns haven’t been able to put end to mass shootings in America. But, bad people with guns have committed all the mass shootings here in America.
     While anecdotal evidence might make for compelling public relations, and there are indeed some circumstances where gun ownership saves someone's life, the statistics overall are very clear: more guns equals more gun deaths. Which is precisely why so many other countries throughout the world, admittedly unburdened by the 2nd Amendment, have taken legislative action to regulate and control them.
     Universal background checks and red flag laws are nothing but diversionary tactics intended to distract honest people from insisting on the only practical solution to gun violence in America – get the guns off the streets!
     The calls for universal background checks and red flag laws are simply moves by the unthinking public, NRA-beholden politicians and gun-lovers to implement a feel-good move that will have little-to-no impact on gun violence in America. BUT, the disingenuous gun owners and their supporters want to appear to be taking action to stop the mass shootings while actually doing nothing of real significance to end the killings and maiming. Heaven forbid that anyone should have to give up their lethal toys!
     America is gun crazy. As of 2019, there were an estimated 400 million privately owned firearms in the United States, with somewhere between one-third and one-half of American households owning at least one gun. That's about 50 million more guns than the total population of these United States - men, women and children! I started addressing this problem in 2017, by writing, “Today, in the 21st century, the time has long since passed for repealing the outdated and irrelevant Second Amendment to the constitution and for instituting meaningful federal and state laws to put an end to the escalation of gun crimes in the United States.”
     Every time there is an attempt to institute meaningful gun control legislation and to end or, at least, to reduce the number of gun deaths, injuries and mass shootings, the gun owners, the gun lobby, and the plain gun nuts invoke the 2nd Amendment, as if it was some law engraved on tablets of stone that was handed down from God and which is immutable, sacred and unchangeable. It’s time to refute such argument! The 2nd Amendment is no such thing! Is is simply an amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. It was not even the first amendment to the Constitution and, let’s remember that the U.S. Constitution was not even the first set of rules to govern the newly independent Thirteen Colonies – the Articles of Confederation were! Also, let’s not lose sight of the fact that the Constitution was designed to be amended, i.e., changed, and that amendments to the Constitution can and have been repealed. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is not sacred and it is not sacrosanct – it can be changed and it can be repealed! The time has now arrived when it must be repealed!
     Following the 2018 synagogue mass shooting in Pittsburgh I said:
     To those mealy-mouthed politicians who are beholden to the NRA and the gun fanatics throughout America, guns are never the problem. According to these hypocrites, now is not the time to take really meaningful action. Instead, they urge America to put more lethal weapons on our streets by enlisting a new horde of armed guards. That’s a bunch of B--- S--- !!!
     To these gun advocates, their solution is a return to the wild west of the 19th century, where every man totes a six-gun on his hip. To these gun lovers, their solution is to lock up every venue in the United States where more than a dozen people congregate and place an armed guard inside to ward off any potential attackers. Better yet, these American patriots would have the rest of us cower in homes to avoid being shot by some gun-wielding crazy, while they cavort around with their beloved guns shouting, “Guns are not the problem.” That is not the America in which I want to live!
     Repealing the Second Amendment and enacting laws to get rid of the weapons on the streets of America are the first two necessary steps to ending the senseless slaughtering of Americans with firearms. The remaining step is the passage of laws to severely punish all illegal activity associated with the use, possession or trafficking of guns. The gun fanatics must be made to realize that sometimes citizens must give up certain perceived rights in order to benefit society as a whole. Unless and until our politicians stop spouting their blather and rhetoric and get serious about ending gun violence, the death toll from shootings will continue to spiral upward.
     Unless and until America decides that getting guns off its street and out of the hands of those who would do us harm supersedes gunowners’ perceived “right to own a gun” and unless and until America simply outlaws their possession, the spate of gun deaths in America will continue to grow.
     America, for Shame! We are long on words and short on actions. We sympathize, we mourn, we remember and we make unfulfilled promises – but still, we do nothing! For shame, America![9]

     “Today, in the 21st century, the time has long since passed for repealing the outdated and irrelevant Second Amendment to the constitution and for instituting meaningful federal and state laws to put an end to the escalation of gun crimes in the United States.” Where do we start to end gun violence and mass shootings in America? We start by repealing the second amendment to the Constitution!
     Instead of placing flowers at the scene of gun violence or listening to platitudes at some post-shooting rally, let’s do something positive. How about contacting our representatives and senators and telling them we won’t support them, nor vote for them if they won’t push to:

  • repeal the Second Amendment to the Constitution,
  • ban the possession of all guns except by law enforcement, the military and those who need guns to protect the public, and
  • enact laws to severely punish anyone who illegally possesses or traffics guns.
     It's time for all of us to take action! We need to find, support and vote candidates into office who will actually do what needs to be done! And what needs to be done is to get rid of the guns that are killing so many of us.[9]

     The pro-gun lobby wants more and stricter gun control laws! By that they mean universal background checks. But this is a meaningless and flawed proposal. Take note, that in the case of the Parkland, Florida shooting, the perpetrator was on the FBI’s radar but that didn’t stop the massacre. The two shooters in the El Paso and Dayton shootings both passed background checks because they had no prior records, so a universal background check law would not have stopped the massacres. We need to recognize what these so-called solutions to mass shootings – universal background checks and red flag laws – are. They are diversionary tactics intended to distract honest people from insisting on the only practical solution – getting guns off the streets of America.

     UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS WILL NOT STOP THE MASS SHOOTINGS. The NRA knows this and all intelligent Americans know this. Look back at all the mass shootings in recent decades and tell me how many of them would have been prevented by background checks. NONE! Universal background checks might weed out a miniscule few mass shooters, but it most definitely won't put an end to the problem.

     I’ve written about the largely uncontrolled gun violence in America before. And, with each more-frequent mass shooting that has taken place, my thinking on how to put an end to the killings and injuries has both clarified and hardened. I started addressing this problem in 2017, by writing, “Today, in the 21st century, the time has long since passed for repealing the outdated and irrelevant Second Amendment to the constitution and for instituting meaningful federal and state laws to put an end to the escalation of gun crimes in the United States.” (Ref. 10) Each passing day, the truth of this becomes more evident. Each passing day, more people die or are wounded as the problem continues to escalate.

     Since the mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018, what have we here in America done in response to that tragedy? What have we accomplished in the struggle to end gun violence in America? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
     If there is a national emergency in America today, it is an emergency created by gun violence. In America, people use guns to kill over 15,000 people a year, of which, some 3,500 are young people. Guns injure another 28,000 each year. And these numbers keep climbing each and every year.This is the real national emergency that cries out for immediate and decisive action on the part of our national leaders.[11]

     It’s now more than a decade since the Columbine shootings. It’s now more than 7 years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. It’s now more than 3 years since 49 were killed in the Orlando nightclub massacre. It’s now more than 2 years since 58 were killed in the Las Vegas Strip massacre. It’s now more than a year since the mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It’s now more than a year since the mass shooting at the Santa Fe High School. And, it’s now more than 6 months since 11 were killed in the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. In the intervening years, what have we here in America done in response to that tragedy? What have we accomplished in the struggle to end gun violence in America? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

     BUT "within a month after 50 Muslim worshipers were murdered in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, NEW ZEALAND BANNED ASSAULT WEAPONS! NEW ZEALAND SHARPLY RESTRICTED ACCESS TO ‘VIRTUALLY ALL’ SUCH WEAPONS BY RECLASSIFYING THEM TO REQUIRE A POLICE PERMIT — WHICH ‘WILL BE DENIED.’(Ref. 12) New Zealand’s politicians took immediate and effective action! Why can't we?

     When our mealy-mouthed politicians talk about “tough gun control” they tend to mean bans on “certain weapons” and “closing loopholes” in our totally ineffective laws. Neither action has had nor will have any meaningful consequences. Even these ineffective actions typically include hedges, disclaimers and their own loopholes, such as: this only applies to “certain kinds of weapons” or “certain kinds of ammunition”. They are nothing but feel-good distractions designed to keep lethal weapons in the hands of gun-lovers and, unfortunately, also in the hands of mass murderers and criminals.

     After each seemingly more-frequent mass shooting, the magic words come forth - more and stricter gun control laws! And just as in the past, the phrase more and stricter gun control laws is empty because it can mean whatever the person spouting the phrase wants it to mean. To the gun fanatic, it means a toothless law that allows him to keep and shoot his weapons. To the naïve, it is Nirvana – an end to gun violence – even though it is no such thing.

     Take note of the fact that the 2022 Brooklyn subway shooter suspect, Frank James, was arrested within 30 hours after the mass shooting. Previously, the police had recovered the gun used by James which he had legally purchased in Ohio in 2011.[13]While he had been arrested before for mesdemeanors, they would not have prevented his receiving a gun license - just one more example of the inability of lax gun control laws and meaningless background checks to eliminate gun violence.

     The words, More and stricter gun control laws! are nothing but Trojan Horses that have been constructed by gun lovers, their supporters, and the politicians that they have bought! Instead, it’s time to hear the words – NO MORE GUNS!

     As I said near the beginning of this article, I started railing against gun violence some seven years ago. For those interested in what I have repeatedly written over that span of time, those writings are contained in references 5, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, and 17, listed below. How much longer will I have to continue writing the same message???

  1. Police Search for Gunman After Mass Shooting in New York Subway, Democracy Now, 13 April 2022.
  2. Third suspect identified in California mass shooting that killed 6, Tim Stelloh, NBC News, 12 April 2022.
  3. No Place in America Is Safe from Hatred & Violence, Winthrop Transcript, 1 July 2021.
  4. Police: Man crashes stolen truck in Winthrop and fatally shoots 2, then is shot and killed by police,
    Associated Press,, 26 June 2021.
  5. Gun Violence Hits Home, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 484, 15 July2021.
  6. Slays illustrate lone-wolf white supremacist violence, Erin Tiernan, Boston Herald; Page 5, 29 June 2021.
  7. Winthrop Neighbors Stunned By Revelations About Man Who Killed 2 Black Residents, Simón Rios,
    WBUR News, 30 June 2021.
  8. Gun Fanatics Using Trojan Horses to Keep Their Deadly Toys, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu: Article 375,
    30 August 2019.
  9. Man, 28, who shot and killed two black bystanders in Massachusetts after stealing a box truck and slamming it into another car was 'fueled by white supremacy', DA says, Adam Schrader and Snejana Farberov,,
    9 July 2021.
  10. The Second Amendment in 2017, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 292, 1 June 2017.
  11. For Shame, America!, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 350, 21 February 2019.
  12. It’s Time to Ban Guns. Yes, All of Them., Phoebe Maltz Bovy, The New Republic, 10 December 2015.
  13. How the New York City subway shooting suspect was captured, Ivan Pereira, abc news, 13 April 2022.
  14. When it Comes to Mass Shootings, There are Doers and Then There are Politicians,
    David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 318, 8 March 2018.
  15. When It Comes to Guns, It’s Business as Usual, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 319,
    19 March 2018.
  16. The ONLY Way to End Gun Violence in America, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 339,
    1 November 2018.
  17. America Obfuscates and New Zealand Acts, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 353,
    8 April 2019.


28 April 2022 {ARTICLE_525; SUGGESTIONS?_69}    
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