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Friday, May 18, 2018

Another mass school shooting

Will probably assure swift passage of RI gun control bills and aggravate Blake Filippi and Jim Mageau
By Will Collette
Image result for Dimitrios Pagourtzis
Alleged shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis
Raise your hands if you thought there wouldn’t be another school massacre like the one in Parkland, Florida?

Raise your hands if you think drugs are a bigger problem than gun violence? Ah, is that beloved Charlestown curmudgeon Jim Mageau with his hand raised?

Raise your hands if you think it’s wrong to take guns away from lunatics and maniacs? There’s Mageau again, and he’s joined by Charlestown state Representative Blake Filippi.

The body count in this country may have reached the point where even the NRA’s mountains of Russian money can no longer buy off American politicians.

Evidence of that is the “fast-tracked” impending passage by the Rhode Island General Assembly of bills to ban “bump-stocks” that can convert an assault rifle to full automatic and for the Superior Court to order the seizure of a dangerous individual’s guns.

Passage of those bills seems more certain and perhaps with more speed after today’s horror at the Santa Fe High School outside of Houston, Texas.

The suspected shooter is 17-year old Dimitrios Pagourtzis who displayed an apparent interest in neo-Nazi paraphernalia.

Image result for assault weapons ban
Now watch for a new torrent of Letters to the Editor of the Westerly Sun by Jim Mageau (like this one), insulting and denouncing anyone who thinks sensible gun control is a good idea.

And watch for Blake Filippi to say, “yes, but,” raising concerns about gun owners’ due process rights, as if they outweighed the growing pile of dead school children.

I am sick of it. I am sick of “thoughts and prayers.” I am sick of the rhetoric from the likes of Mageau and Filippi.

The US Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that no Constitutional right is absolute and unlimited. One Justice opined that the Constitution and Bill of Rights arenot a suicide pact.

It is long past time to re-institute the ban on military-style assault weapons, a ban that Congressional Republicans allowed to expire.

I don’t believe any civilian, whether an avid hunter, a gang-banger or a homicidal maniac, should be able to legally buy and own weapons that were designed for no other purpose than to kill people.

Why do we continue to make it so easy for bad guys to kill so many people so quickly, whether it’s school children, their own families or innocent bystanders on the street?

I am fine with measures such as the anti-bump stock and “Red Flag” bills, to universal background checks, to a ban on private and off-the-books sales, and to ban high-capacity magazines. I am fine with public education campaigns.

But we need to stop dancing around the most obvious thing we need to do: Ban military-style weaponry.