Is the Fabric Holding the United States Together Coming Apart

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The fabric holding together the United States of America is literally coming apart at the seams. As of Aug. 4, 2019 — 251 mass shootings have occurred this year — resulting in the deaths of 280 people and wounding another 752 innocent souls, according to Wikipedia.

Although there is no widely accepted definition of a mass shooting, it is generally thought to encompass incidents involving multiple victims of firearm-related violence.

Even one fatality from gun violence is a serious malfunction of society, but thousands every year is where this gun passion is right now in America and there’s no end in sight. Estimates say there are 400-million guns in private ownership in America today and this number goes up every year. Guns do not spoil from age. A loaded 150-year-old Colt .45-caliber revolver — in the wrong hands — will kill you dead as a door nail in 2019.

All over the news are two mass shootings that occurred less than 13-hours apart on Aug. 3 and Aug. 4 – one at a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas and the other outside a popular late-night bar in Dayton, Ohio — have left 30 people dead and dozens wounded. The shooter in Texas was captured while the gunman in Ohio was killed by police. These are the latest incidents, but there will be many more in 2019, 2020, 2021 and beyond.

Passing laws to take guns away from law-abiding U.S. citizens is not the answer. Amending the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is not the answer. Disbanding the National Rifle Association is not the answer. Federal and state law makers folding under pressure from the NRA gun lobby and firearm manufacturers is not the answer either.

The time is long overdue for the president, the U.S. Congress and state legislatures to make purchasing a firearm – new or used from a licensed gun dealer or private sales – much more difficult. Extensive background checks, longer waiting periods, ban the assault weapons and require certified training to use a firearm lawfully are part of the long-term solution, but in the short-term the prognosis is grim. Millions upon millions of guns are in the wrong hands right now. But there is hope because millions upon millions of guns are in the right hands right now.

To protect law-abiding citizens let them defend themselves with progressive conceal and open carry laws that permit ‘stand your ground’ protections in the courts. Bring an end to ‘gun-free’ zones. Let teachers arm themselves in the nation’s public and private schools. Hire more armed security guards to protect public venues like Wal-Marts, shopping malls, theaters and concerts, etc. Bring in the National Guard Army to the inner cities to patrol the streets along with local police. In other words, use the resources at hand to take back America from gun violence.

Whether it’s Chicago, Baltimore, Miami or Los Angeles gun violence is so out of control it will take extraordinary measures on many fronts to get a handle on reducing the violence – the sheer numbers of dead and wounded.

Here’s a few words from conservative commentator Tomi Lahren, “It’s not Trump’s fault. It’s not the NRA’s fault. When will our nation wake up and realize we have a youth mental health crisis likely caused by over medication, absentee parents and a culture that glorifies infamy and notoriety above God, family and community?”
It’s beyond time for President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress to stop dancing around the gun issue and really work on common sense solutions. Those running for president in 2020 and the congressional offices will undoubtedly use these recent mass shootings to hype-up support for themselves and politicize the matter.

Related issues like illegal drugs, mental illness and more faith in God are all part of the solution but in the end let people defend themselves. Police can’t be everywhere, but that loaded pistol in your pocket or on your hip can and will save your life.

About the Author Britt Nelson relocated to Costa Rica in 2011 from Florida, where he served as news editor for the Palatka Daily News, a newspaper owned by the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group (NYT-RNG) for 20 years.

Nelson served the NYT-RNG for 18 years in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida as a correspondent, reporter, staff writer, senior staff writer training new reporters, copy editor, page designer, editorial writer, editorial page editor and editorial board member

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Editor’s note: The views and comments expressed in this article by guest columnist are the sole responsibility of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of The Costa Rica Star, it’s advertisers, or it's staff.

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