The shooting at The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland on Thursday, where 5 people were killed, hit me hard.
As a recovering newspaper journalist, I used to work for papers about that size. I covered similar stories to those that the journalists at that paper cover.
I didn’t always make friends with people when I reported on corruption. There was that one time when I sued a township over their refusal to release their yearly budget (they wouldn’t let me have a copy and review it). At anytime back in 2006-07 that could have been me. I could have been one of those journalists. I still know plenty of journalists that are still in newsrooms just like The Capital Gazette.
It turns out the killer, Jarrod Ramos, 38, of Laurel, MD had a vendetta against the paper. He’s harassed numerous people at the paper and elsewhere.
Ramos Had A Record, He Still Had Access To A Gun — Thanks NRA
Ramos was convicted of a misdemeanor for harassing a former high school acquaintance. So, how did he get a gun? Oh, that’s right, the National Rifle Association (NRA), has done everything in their power to block any legislation, federal or state or even local, that could have prevented a nutcase like this from getting a gun.
The NRA used to represent gun owners who wanted sensible gun laws and safety. Somewhere along the way the NRA saw green and became little more than a lobbying arm of the gun manufacturers. Money corrupts, as we all know.
Could this shooting have been prevented if there were stricter gun laws on the books? Maybe. It’s not definitive, but any obstacle to stop would be gun-toting crazies is a good thing.
Not Saying No Guns — Just Want Sensible Gun Laws
You need a license or a certificate of some sort for so many things, but not for a gun. Driving a car you need a license, fishing you need a license, do I need to go on?
Some gun owners resist a 3-day waiting period to getting a gun. It’s only 3 days people! Others think background checks on all gun purchases are a burden. Well, you know what? Tell that to the families who lose a loved one every day to gun violence in cities like Philadelphia and Chicago.
We could go on and on with this gun debate and get nowhere. Things will only change when we hold those making the laws accountable. Too many politicians are paid off – yes PAID OFF – by the NRA to get in the way of gun laws.
For example, where are the gun laws after the mass shooting on February 14, 2018, in which seventeen students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida were killed and another seventeen were injured?
We’re at the end of June and NOTHING. Let’s let that sink in.
So Where Does This Leave Us?
Pretty much, where we’ve been. But we need to fight for sensible gun laws. I’m not advocating for no guns. I’m advocating for smarter laws that keep, or try and keep guns out of the hands of people who have no business having one.
Also published on Medium.