The latest mass shootings – Not much for me to add. On May 7, 2007, after the Virginia Tech massacre, I wrote, “Millions of guns in America; billions of bullets. Thousands will die. All we can do is try to reduce the numbers, and pray it’s not us or someone we know.”
Gun control provisions I proposed then included criminally prosecuting everyone in the gun’s ‘chain of custody.’
“The owner of any gun used to maim or kill someone, even in cases of suicide, should be prosecuted for negligent possession of a deadly weapon, no questions asked. If the injury is slight, it’s a misdemeanor. If the injury is serious, it’s a felony. If someone is killed, it’s manslaughter. This is similar to ‘felony murder’ laws. If someone is killed in the commission of a felony, for example if two thieves rob a bank and one shoots and kills a teller, the accomplice can be convicted of ‘felony murder,’ even though he didn’t fire the shot,” I wrote then.
Other ideas: mandatory gun insurance allowing victims to get paid; and controlling ammunition. “Comedian Chris Rock is correct,” I wrote. “We need bullet control, not gun control. If a single bullet cost $500, most people couldn’t afford to buy them. Fine by me.”
I wrote on August 7, 2009: “On Tuesday, 48-year-old George Sodini, a man who (according to him) had been rejected by ‘30 million women,’ shot up an L.A. Fitness Center. He wounded nine women and killed three women before killing himself. His guns were properly licensed under Pennsylvania law.
“For every homeowner who defends him/herself with a handgun, there are multiple nutcases like Sodini whose paranoid delusions send them on violent rampages. For every hunter, there are multiple instances of temporary insanity involving family members, spouses or significant others where a gun is handy and somebody’s dead in a flash. For every target shooter, there’s an inner city kid who’s ‘strapped’ either to take what (s)he thinks (s)he needs or to defend him/herself against the streets.
“The people who were shot and the families of those who were killed at the fitness center will file lawsuits alleging that the club’s security is inadequate. They will also sue the dead killer’s estate. But nobody confronts the truth – the easy (and legal) availability of guns in America.
“The carnage that kills 85 Americans daily, a disproportionate number of whom are Black, will continue. Why? Because the National Rifle Association owns and operates the legislative branch of America’s federal and state governments, and can block any serious gun control laws. Why no outrage in the Black community?”
What’s changed since I wrote those columns? The NRA also now owns the judicial branch (the U.S. Supreme Court) and the executive branch, i.e., the presidency (Bro. Prez won’t fight and Mitt Romney is spineless on this issue). Gun ownership is now America’s No. 1 protected constitutional right.
What hasn’t changed? Still no Black outrage…
Penn State – Despite a $60 million fine (which rich alumni will pay), forfeited wins, no bowl appearances, etc., the school got off easy. Penn State football continues in 2012.
Wrote Washington Post columnist Mike Wise: “The NCAA essentially said that grade-fixing and paying players in the 1980s – violations that led to the ‘death penalty’ shutdown of Southern Methodist’s football program for two seasons – was more egregious than former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky molesting pre-pubescent boys in the football building’s showers even after (Head Coach Joe) Paterno and others received eyewitness accounts of the behavior.”
NCAA leadership is greedy and hypocritical. And free your student-athlete ‘slaves’ by sharing the profits…
“The Black Press is dead” – Our ‘death’ is exaggerated. We’re still here, while large ‘mainstream’ newspapers are dying around us and other Black media owners cashed out and sold out, i.e., BET and Essence. Bottom line: it’s a business with real expenses (printing, circulation, etc.), and we don’t apologize for being entrepreneurs. As we learn to harness the Internet, the future is bright for Black-owned media outlets like ours with real journalists…
Sherman Hemsley, 1938-2012 – Anytime you saw Hemsley play any role, you were ready to laugh. What a gift! I only knew two strong, Black male small business owners who called White men “honkies” or “crackers” to their faces in the 1970s: “George Jefferson” and Charles W. Cherry, Sr….and Daddy wasn’t playing…
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org; holler at me at www.facebook.com/ccherry2; follow me on Twitter @ccherry2.