Fandango’s Provocative Question #114

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

This week’s provocative question is about gun violence and mass shootings in America. There were two more mass shooting incidents this past week, one in Atlanta, Georgia that killed eight people, and one in Boulder, Colorado, where ten lives were lost. Mass gun shootings, often with semiautomatic, military-style rifles with large capacity magazines, have become almost commonplace in the United States. And it is a true American tragedy.

The provocative question this week is…

Do you think that there is any chance that the U.S. Congress will ever take decisive, bipartisan action to pass and enact nationwide common sense gun laws to try and stem the tide of mass shootings, or is the best that the American Congress will ever do is to send thoughts and prayers to the families of loved ones killed in mass shooting incidents?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

45 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question #114

  1. Taswegian1957 March 24, 2021 / 7:28 am

    Sadly I think that as long as the NRA has politicians in its very deep pockets nothing will change.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango March 24, 2021 / 1:14 pm

      The NRA is starting to lose some of its political influence, but it still owns a lot of politicians.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen March 25, 2021 / 12:39 pm

      https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2021/03/24/fpq-114-bang-bang/

      …………………….

      I’ve said this last bit before. Sending “thoughts and prayers” has become vilified. It’s not an acceptable thing for any public figure to be seen doing. That’s really sad. While sending thoughts and prayers is useless and might be seen as a sop to whomever was injured or whatever; it’s the most some people CAN do. I rarely ever say I’m ‘sending thoughts and prayers’ to anyone in this kind of format. I just don’t want the flack. But I DO it all the same. It’s benign (in my opinion), and expresses the shock and horror of such things as mass shootings without being overly intrusive.

      …..

      Some of the comments (including your own), and so forth, at your site, get at this without quite saying it, Melanie. And I’d say the points are made more eloquently at your site than what I’m going to do right now. The politicians (most of them) pointing at thoughts and prayers have taken the NAME (or the idea or reality of God) in VAIN.

      That kind should shut their damn mouths.

      It is sad, and more.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen March 25, 2021 / 1:27 pm

        For those who don’t know what I’m alluding to (which could include the ones cynically doing this for show and obfuscation or might not include some of them as they could be not unschooled — about their use of superiority based on a god — but “simply” unconcerned):

        Exodus

        …. a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on their children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving devotion to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.

        You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave anyone unpunished who takes His name in vain.

        ~ Berean Study Bible

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Susan St.Pierre March 24, 2021 / 9:19 am

    We shouldn’t dismiss the shear horror and tragedy of these events but calling them ‘common place’ is a stretch, IMO. Congress passes a bill more often than a mass murder occurs and they’re terribly pokey. As horrific as these are, in a free society these things will happen. (Not to politicians or celebrities though. They keep armed guards and walls in place. 😉
    Oh, what’s a military style weapon… you mean those ‘scary looking’ ones? That’s quite discriminatory. I don’t believe appearance has anything to do with deadliness.

    Knives aren’t high profile but kill 5X more U.S. citizens than any rifle annually, so are we concerned about all deaths, or just high profile ones?
    Not trying to push your buttons. I personally make an effort not to fall victim to media directed outrage and topics. They’re usually trying to get us to ignore other things… including the truth.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango March 24, 2021 / 2:19 pm

      Knives versus rifles. Yes, if you limit the comparison to rifles, more Americans are killed by knives than rifles. But limiting that statistics to rifles is misleading, since a rifle is just one kind of firearm. That’s like saying fewer people are killed by Swiss Army knives than by rifles. The FBI’s data on homicides shows quite clearly that firearms account for more than two-thirds of the homicides in the U.S. The same FBI database reports that only slightly more than 13% of homicides were committed with knives or other cutting instruments, while under 4% were done with blunt objects, including baseball bats, clubs, and hammers!

      As to commonplace, so far in the first three months of 2021 alone, there have been 107 mass shootings in the U.S. with 122 deaths and 378 wounded. A mass shooting is defined as four or more persons shot in one incident, at one location, at roughly the same time. So more than one mass shooting a day so far this year. I’d call that quite commonplace.

      And seriously, Susan, you’re not naïve. An “assault weapon” is a military-style semiautomatic firearm with a large capacity magazine, like the AR-15. It not about “appearance” or looking “scary.” So regarding deadliness, as you put it, ask yourself how many people can an AR-15 kill of wound in 60 seconds versus a shot gun or a standard hunting rifle? Or, a single-shot musket, which was the definition of a rifle when the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Susan St.Pierre March 24, 2021 / 2:29 pm

        Appreciate your thoughts. Adding in handguns there’s a violence with guns problem. How is it areas like Chicago with extra tough gun laws have body large counts and places like Vermont (with more guns per person) have far, far, fewer? The guns aren’t the problem.
        Don’t insult my intelligence with the musket argument. LOL ❤
        Here's my response to your comment made to me on another post. I don't believe you got it. Again thanks for the banter.
        No offense but there’s nothing military about a semiautomatic.
        Large capacity magazines are available on many guns but multiple small magazines can be so quickly replaced, the difference in any life saving event is immeasurable.
        An AR 15 can fire 45 to 50 rounds in a minute. 30 rounds in a few seconds is not accurate. It is what someone would use for targets and or self defense. You’re correct about AR 15 (AR means Arma Light not assault rifle) not often used for deer hunting because it isn’t powerful enough in many cases. (Yeah, media says they’re ultra powerful.)
        The AR is especially popular because it’s lightweight and easy use. Seniors and small women are well able to handle them, defend themselves with them, and hunt with them. They aren’t killing machines next to knives. 😁
        The 2nd amendment isn’t about hunting, of course.
        If our vulnerable power grid goes down and looting starts, I’d want one.
        I think our government representatives know even less than you, though. Thanks for the exchange. I think people need more information.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango March 24, 2021 / 2:53 pm

          And the problem with gun laws that vary from state to state is that a shooter in Chicago can go across the state line to a state with more lax laws and get a gun there and go to Chicago and use that gun to kill people there. We need NATIONAL gun laws.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Susan St.Pierre March 24, 2021 / 3:00 pm

            Um…you have every talking point down pat. lol
            National anything is a dangerous approach. Too much power in a bureaucracy that can’t get out of its own way. Funny how gang activity doesn’t get TV attention… those gun violence stats are mostly their counts. The media wants something that you and I don’t. Have a nice evening. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

        • ahtdoucette March 26, 2021 / 6:32 am

          That’s an interesting point about Chicago. I feel as if gun laws like many laws tend to be at least part racially motivated. Black people tend to be arrested much more often in part because laws get written to target them and their culture and because laws that would result in drug arrests for upscale/white people tend to be disproportionately applied to them. Agreed that the right to bear arms as enshrined in our constitution is part of our independence as you allude to near the end. However, none of that addresses the sense in which our gun laws are financed by white supremacists and others in political power as part of a system that actually *supports* an established order. I think especially white people living in poverty need to know that they are being played by a system that is the hopefully dying remnants of the antebellum south. Played by wealthy elites on both sides of the political spectrum who don’t really care who wins as long as they get to keep their stuff.

          One of the issues in Chicago is that – as everyone knows – there are vast areas that are a law unto their own. Your zipcode and skin color and finances can make that city into a very different place for you when compared with someone else. If I had more time, I feel like these alleged gun laws there is an interesting point. I’m not sure it supports the conclusion that some kind of national gun control is unwarranted. On the contrary. Part of the problem with enforcement in that area AND in neighboring states is that strict gun laws may go together with incredibly lax enforcement, making Chicago a great place to buy guns illegally and transport them across state lines to wherever you live.

          Gun laws in one place greatly affect the national good. I simply reject the notion that we are living anymore in the time of the founding fathers. Now that we have rejected slavery, sexism, and a land-holding minority and started to put forth equality for all, it’s time to think about things like this differently. Violent/mob rule becomes a real possibility if we don’t think seriously about ways to reduce the amount of available violent technology like guns/rifles/et cetera. It was always sexist and racist and classist and wrong how we control access to things like weapons, resources, and the right to vote. Now, it’s starting to also become impractical. That’s my thinking on this. As more people get educated and start talking across traditional lines of culture and class, we are going to ask questions and noting these disparities.

          I really want to trust the “other side” to be responsible with resources, including guns. At the same time, I’m no one’s doormat, ideological or otherwise. I don’t think anyone else should be mine, or ours. That’s why either everyone starts getting guns and this becomes the Wild West or – I’m sorry – we need reasonable laws. Which we won’t get. Because there is too much money in the gun industry. And that is the REAL reason. Everything else is chatter IMO.

          Peace,
          Anne

          Liked by 2 people

          • Susan St.Pierre March 26, 2021 / 8:25 am

            Appreciate the time you spent articulately your opinion. Speculation and supposition obviously can be self affirming. Thanks for your views.
            Peace.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Fandango March 26, 2021 / 7:20 pm

            Very well said, Anne. I think you nailed the essence of the issue.

            Like

  3. Marleen March 24, 2021 / 2:27 pm

    What we have a possibility of passing, and it will have to be bipartisan (since Manchin is under threat from somebody), is comprehensive background checks as well as limits on numbers of bullets in magazines — at least for anything that can be taken off of one’s own home property.

    It’s ridiculous that there is anyplace in this country where someone can walk down the street with a hundred rounds and not be breaking the law until they start shooting. I know (or think) that doesn’t apply to the shootings in the last couple weeks, but it’s still a thing after someone did that.

    I think we can look at Manchin and realize that evil (or, charitably, extreme fear) doesn’t always look obvious. He’s not even for background checks.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. King Ben's Grandma March 24, 2021 / 5:40 pm

    I don’t honestly think that gun laws will change anything. I’m not a gun person and I don’t believe the average person needs a gun. Hunting is something different.

    I think American Culture is too enamored of guns. Kids grow up playing “shooter” games either video or role playing like the “old days”. Gun are just too much a part of our culture.

    I understand why 2A was written, I know history, and I believe citizens should have the right to fight against an unjust (injust?) government, like what’s happening in Myanmar. But the military is always going to have bigger, better, more than what is available to citizens.

    I’d love to see fewer guns, fewer shootings, fewer people playing at militia or survivalist. I don’t think it will happen though. I don’t think laws would make a bit of difference. So many different laws aren’t enforced. Or they’re selectively enforced.

    When “Antinfa” is considered a bad thing, there are huge problems that laws won’t fix.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Marilyn Armstrong March 24, 2021 / 6:21 pm

    After a lifetime of thinking we were making progress on this, we’ve made a full retreat. They had better anti-gun laws in Tombstone than we have in the U.S. now. I’m not optimistic. As long as the gun manufacturers are buying congress people and senators — and they are for sale — we’ll never make any progress. Actually, in my not entirely humble opinion, unless we can get the big money out of politics, we will never make progress on a whole range of issues from climate change to gun violence to … well, you name it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango March 24, 2021 / 10:17 pm

      I agree about getting big money out of politics, but the Supreme Court opened the big money floodgates with its Citizens United decision in 2010.

      Like

      • Marilyn Armstrong March 25, 2021 / 7:55 am

        Yes, they did and that was one of their stupidest decisions EVER. This is all so rational when no one YOU know has been gunned down. It changes when it happens in YOUR nice quiet white suburban neighborhood. But I’m not even hoping for change. Too many people earn too much money making and distributing firearms. This is a country that always follows the money.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen March 25, 2021 / 10:34 am

          EVER

          It is the worst;
          It goes to the core of us.

          { This is another one that is shocking. Friggin’
          “conservatives” always block this when I share it;
          they know not how postmodern they, themselves, are.

          Click to access 04-278.pdf

          I haven’t figured, yet, if it set a new standard or rather revealed a flaw.}

          Liked by 1 person

          • Marleen March 25, 2021 / 10:42 am

            Wow. I didn’t know that was going to transform that way — with the large photo display. It happens to show something I hadn’t noticed; I’m not sure why the top of the page says 2004 when the case reaching the Court occurred in 2005. Of course, the incident or catastrophe happened before the case reached that level or even (obviously) the local court level (where the mother had won her case — which the SCOTUS then overturned).

            Liked by 1 person

            • Marleen March 25, 2021 / 3:36 pm

              I would have been more on the mark to say the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the court called the Tenth Circuit (rather than that the SCOTUS overturned the mother’s local court — even if the Tenth Circuit is more local than SCOTUS while less local than the district).

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Marleen March 25, 2021 / 11:22 am

    Thank you for adding that to the conversation, Melanie (sparks). Brought tears to my eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Marleen March 25, 2021 / 3:04 pm

    Frog said: Yes, I think that prayers for stiffer local enforcement of gun laws IS the best Congress has to offer unless they want to turn their attention to efforts on dealing with mental illness, domestic terrorism, and gangs, instead of gun legislation. Those are the clearer culprits in mass murder …

    I agree that enforcement is very important. I also know that loopholes (or whatever word or term might be preferred for the concept) make background check law(s) (currently) almost pretend (when someone who can’t get a gun in one type of setting can just go to a different store or to a show or online or to their fellow agitator). We should improve that situation.

    Additionally, I do think efforts to deal with domestic gangs and extremists matter. I’ll add that while we might use the word “terrorist” colloquially, and the meaning does fit precisely, I’ve chosen the word “extremists” due to a couple facts. For one, terrorists* could also function in gangs; second, extant law treats “terrorists” a certain way I don’t want to apply[+] to citizens.

    * (sometimes in common parlance [or extremists] — both lone or not lone)

    [+] I know there’s another topic, here, but don’t want to distract getting into it.

    Lone gunmen/people aren’t necessarily terrorists or in gangs. They might all be extremists (whether they are terrorists or in gangs or not) or mentally ill (at least at the time). Extremism is more identifiable than mental illness in most of the pertinent cases; and defining mental illness is very problematic, especially for this purpose. On top of that, we know that someone can “snap” (having been fine enough previously). So, while mental health or mental capacity or age can provide a bit of a net, I don’t believe mental health is where most focus should be. Of course, there is (in significant number) also the matter of domestic abuse (rather than or in addition to quote-unquote domestic extremism) which involves an extremist as well as someone mental and who terrorizes those (or someone) who has been or is near to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Marleen March 25, 2021 / 4:50 pm

    Messy end composition: Of course, there is (in significant number) also the matter of domestic abuse (rather than or in addition to quote-unquote domestic extremism) which involves an extremist as well as someone mental and who terrorizes those (or someone) who has been or is near to them.

    Better end of comment: Of course… there is the added matter of domestic abuse, in high numbers (besides quote-unquote domestic extremism). Domestic abuse involves a person we could consider an extremist as well as said someone being mental and terrorizing those who have been or are close or an individual who has been are is close.

    When I said that, I was thinking of family and/or intimates. But I would like to include:

    https://msmagazine.com/2021/03/23/behind-closed-doors-the-traumas-of-domestic-work-in-the-u-s/

    Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen March 25, 2021 / 8:07 pm

        Interesting; I had thought of massage therapists (who work in spas and in homes and in other venues), but I would not have thought of physical therapists. I would expand what I’m saying to any kind of stalking (via observation or known threat). And I would include traffickers, categorically, as prohibited from owning or carrying. The first story at the msmagazine article, the story from Fainess (originally a nanny), involved a diplomat to the United States as the trafficker!

        Sam

        For me, coming to the U.S. was the realization of a dream—not only for myself but for my family. I was a physical therapist in the Philippines so I was really happy when an employment agency got me a job doing the same work in the U.S. But when I got here, it was nothing like they promised. We were thrown into a hotel in a rough neighborhood. There was no work, no visit to the job site, no employer nor a representative who came to welcome us and see how we were doing. We were left on our own. We survived for 14 days eating noodles from the 99 cent store.

        I endured the treatment because I had no choice and I didn’t know the laws in the U.S. It was tormenting and traumatic being in a foreign land with no knowledge of the laws, specifically laws about employment and immigration. I also didn’t know before I came that I would have very, very limited job choices as an undocumented immigrant resulting from my trafficking. Living in fear of being deported was stressful and suffocating. Even more because I cannot afford insurance or medical care so I had to just take vitamins and pray to God, and by God’s grace I was able to stay well.

        I learned a little from a childhood friend who has been a U.S. citizen for a long time and also works as a physical therapist. He told me that he learned about four physical therapists who had reported their agencies for violations of human trafficking and that they won their cases and got justice. At the same time, my Filipino values of perseverance and faith somehow deterred and delayed me from seeking help for myself.

        ……..

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Zelda Rene March 25, 2021 / 11:45 pm

    I don’t need a whole post to answer this. I don’t have faith that the US will EVER do the right thing re reasonable, sensible, life-preserving gun control. I wish I did, but I don’t–I think they’ll just keep making PR statements about how sorry they are and that they’re praying. I’m a devout Christian woman, I pray–and I listen to some Conservative Christians rail about their right to own piles of guns, and how if they lose that right it will be a domino effect: they/we will lose all our freedoms–and it sounds so self-centered (and paranoid) to me…which is not what Christianity is supposed to be. Okay, I’m done–the whole topic makes me crazy, because it seems the solution is so obvious.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. leigha66 March 27, 2021 / 9:53 pm

    I think it will never happen unfortunately. The US is too fond of the money the industry makes. I agree that we “promote” guns early in life with video games and water guns. Look how many Nerf guns there are. I was raised guns were off limits, but how many aren’t. It is a “rite of passage” to go hunting and get your first kill as a kid around here. As long as this is still the regular way of life, there will be gun access and more killings. It truly breaks my heart though.

    Liked by 1 person

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