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Buying Homeland Insecurity

America's $50-plus billion annual boondoggle:

The only reason so many people died in Las Vegas is that wack-job Las Vegas mass killer Stephen Paddock was reportedly able to obtain and bring, unimpeded, into his hotel room, some 23 high-powered rapid-fire weapons, including at least one fully-automatic rifle capable of firing dozens of rounds per second, as well as tripod mounts to make them more accurate to shoot. (That’s in addition to some 19 more such weapons police found in his home and car, including, reportedly, explosives.)

What’s nuts is that in some parts of this country, Nevada being one of them, guns, including military weapons, are so ubiquitous and so unregulated that the sight of someone checking into a hotel with enough deadly military weapons suitable for mass murder to fill several large golf bags wouldn’t raise an eyebrow. Heck, he probably asked at check-in for a bellhop to carry them for him. No doubt the hotel staff just figured the old duffer was headed for a gun show or was a salesman with product to show to gun dealers.

Hey, if the guy doesn’t look or dress like a Muslim, what’s to worry, right? Nice older white dude with a friendly southern accent? He should be okay.

Maybe now that we have a case of a friendly-seeming older white guy mowing down good decent white folks attending a good-ol’ American country and western music concert, the pro-National Rifle Assn. crowd will start to re-evaluate their absolutist position on GMDs.

My suggestion would be not banning guns, an extremist idea which will never fly in this country and which isn’t even done in Europe, but at least registering every single weapon from its point of import, sale or manufacture until it ends up in private hands. I would make it illegal to transfer a gun to someone else without that transfer being registered with the government. I’d eliminate the gunshow loophole to registration too. I have little hope that such measures could be passed, though. There is too much political opportunism among Republicans in Congress who want that NRA money and the votes of the gun-toting yahoos of Middle America who think registration is akin to giving up their right vote (though they do want everyone to have to register to do that, suggesting that they see ballots as far more dangerous than bullets!).

But if we could at least limit our American-grown terrorists to single-round-per-trigger-pull weapons, and outlaw high-capacity clips that allow them to kill more than, say, five people without reloading, we’d all be a hell of a lot safer in America. At least more of us would be able to run out of a crowded area safely when an attack happens, and there’d be more opportunity for heroic types to tackle a guy who has to stop and reload all the time.

Also, keeping America safe wouldn’t cost us in excess of $50 billion a year for an army of spooks and federal investigators, or require the surrendering of our hard-won freedoms either, so more money could be made available for treating mental health problems. And I'm not even counting here the probably hundreds of billions a year in military spending that the public somehow accepts as being necessary to combat "terrorism."



story | by Dr. Radut