Monday, November 4, 2013

Bloody Victory

Sadly, this has become all too common in America today. All this year, mass shootings and epic gun violence have made headlines. We've even seen it awfully close to home recently with the Sparks Middle School shooting up north and yet another Las Vegas Strip shooting down south.

Last Friday, history repeated itself again. And this time, it happened at LAX.

The unemployed motorcycle mechanic suspected in the deadly shooting at the Los Angeles airport set out to kill multiple employees of the Transportation Security Administration and hoped the attack would "instill fear in their traitorous minds," authorities said Saturday.

Paul Ciancia was so determined to take lives that, after shooting a TSA officer and going up an escalator, he turned back to see the officer move and returned to finish him off, according to surveillance video reviewed by investigators.In a news conference announcing charges against Ciancia, U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. spelled out a chilling chain of events at LAX that began when Ciancia strode into Terminal 3, pulled a Smith & Wesson .223-caliber assault rifle from his duffel bag and fired repeatedly at point-blank range at a TSA officer. The officer was checking IDs and boarding passes at the base of an escalator leading to the main screening area.

After killing that officer, Ciancia fired on at least two other uniformed TSA employees and a civilian airline passenger, who were all wounded. Airport police eventually shot him as panicked passengers cowered in stores and restaurants.

Apparently, Paul Ciancia was motivated by "New World Order" and anti-government conspiracy theories and ready to kill anyone in sight. He succeeded in killing on-duty TSA officer Gerardo Hernandez. He also wounded Calabasas High School performing arts teacher Brian Ludmer, along with TSA officers James Speer and Tony Grigsby.

So how did this happen? How did one of the world's busiest airports become a bloody battlefield? As usual, we can thank the NRA for this.

Over the last decade, the NRA hasrepeatedly lobbied against airport firearm restrictions. According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, states including Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin either expressly allow firearms in specific sections or only prohibit firearms in airports beyond checkpoints.

And in California in 2012, the NRA formally opposed Assembly Bill 2182, which would have required a person be arrested if they brought a firearm into the airport and ban them from entering in the future. The bill never moved from committee. More recently, bills introduced in Virginia, Georgia, and Ohio would allow people to carry their weapons inside. [...]

When the TSA subjected a girl carrying a firearm-shaped purse to extra questioning, the NRA responded that this extra precaution constituted harassment. “We shouldn’t be surprised that security personnel who see nothing wrong with humiliating 85-year-old women at our nation’s airports might see a teenage girl sporting a purse with a firearm motif as a potential danger,” NRA President David Keene said at the time. “But it should upset us as much as it did her and her parents.” The extra scrutiny may be needed: TSA agents have confiscated 30 percent more guns from passengers, many of them loaded, in 2013 compared to last year. Most travelers say they “forgot” they had the firearm, which has made sociologists think the trend is a result of people being permitted to carry their guns virtually anywhere.

Once again, the NRA can declare bloody victory. The gun lobby has pushed hard in Carson City and on Capitol Hill to kill even the most modest gun safety legislation. So why is anyone surprised by the bitter fruit of the gun lobby's bloody victory?

There's "something evil in our society". And what are we doing about it? What are we willing to do to root it out and end the senseless bloodshed? What will we do to stop this bloody victory from claiming even more innocent lives?

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