Former President Bill Clinton once said, “You can’t love your country and hate your government.” There were many things I disagreed with Clinton on, but none as much as this statement. Our government has failed us on so many levels but seldom worse than the murder of 20 innocent children and their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I do love my country and those little ones and what they represent are part of the reason I love my country. But the government – at all levels – along with the National Rifle Association and money-grubbing politicians are accessories to the murder of those children. Their fingers were on the trigger as that monster shot those innocents as sure as if they were there! On the day of the murders I drove by my grandchildren’s grade school several times during the day for no other reason than my out and out fear. No grandparent or parent should ever have to think about doing that but we do because our government is dysfunctional and paid off by the gun lobby and other moneyed interests. Fellow Americans, when are you going to figure it out? They do not care about us or our children or grandchildren. With rare exception a member of Congress is about money and ego. The American mass murder culture is not just about the easy availability of guns manufactured only to kill as many people possible as fast as possible. There is more. Without exception guns used in mass murders are used by shooters who should be in mental hospitals. We do not have enough mental hospitals. In fact, the Washington State Legislature is about to unleash more of the mentally disturbed into our communities because there is no money to hold them. There is no money because our government lied us into two wars, breaking our economy. We cannot pay for hospitals, mental health, schools, roads or anything basically.
Here is the thing. We live in a country controlled by the “golden rule.” Those who have the gold make the rules. So while our Constitution says we are a “democratic-republic” we are in fact a “plutocratic oligarchy.” (Look it up if you do not understand the terms.) The government we have has been perverted to protect property and money. Not kindergarten kids or their teachers and certainly not our communities. But according to the last election apparently 47 percent of American voters think that is just fine. I do not and I do not think most Americans think so. In fact, with some education I think a lot of Tea Party activists would probably figure it out. I own guns. I started shooting with my Dad when I was 5. I received the expert marksman ribbon with the M-16 while I was in the U.S. Air Force. I was taught how to shoot the M-16 because if necessary I was expected to kill other people with it (thankfully the occasion never presented itself) but as a civilian and a gun owner I have never seen a reason to go out and buy an assault rifle. Think about it – why would anyone? The only answer should frighten you! To quote Edgar Allan Poe regarding a long agony, “I am sick, sick unto death...” over these babies and I will not get over this soon. I will continue to drive by my grandkids’ school, going out of my way more than I have to get where I am going. I have donated to several anti-gun groups and sent letters to our members of Congress. I will also insist my local Democratic Party (sorry Republicans but I am afraid you are hopeless!) begin to take a stand because we cannot allow this insanity to continue!
Bill Johnston is a Tacoma resident.