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Mass shootings are acts of domestic terror. We need to treat them like that | Sean P. Quinlan

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By Sean P. Quinlan

I bumped into my neighbor last night when I was taking the trash out. We talked about the mass shootings and I mentioned that I’d heard someone that a yoga instructor her son’s age was killed in one of them.

“Squirrel Hill?” She asked. “Thousand Oaks?”

“Neither.” I replied.

I told her there was a mass shooting at a yoga studio in Tallahassee Florida. She had no idea. Not surprising. In the two weeks beginning October 27 and ending November 7, there were 12 mass shootings in which 79 people were shot and more than 30 people killed – one a survivor of a previous mass shooting.

Let’s face it, mass, virtually unregulated gun ownership across the US is not making anyone any safer. In fact, the opposite is true. A populace in daily terror of random gun violence is hardly a free nation. On the contrary, we cower under a tyranny inflicted on us all by select parts of our own maladjusted, twisted, and heavily armed, citizenry.

The literalist, Second Amendment free-for-all that now cloaks us all in a pending nightmare of getting “that visit” from the police about a shooting at your loved ones’ school, place of work, entertainment, worship, exercise, leisure or wherever, has now suffocated the last semblance of common sense out of mass gun ownership.

The massacre at Thousand Oaks, for example, leaves us numb. Numb through the horror of it all but also numb as we run through exact same set of shock and revulsion about the last high-profile gun massacre before that at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

That was just over two weeks ago, yet it seems a lifetime ago.

How quickly the news cycle moves on to the tweet du jour. Yet more body bags, more irreparable human suffering and if things don’t start changing now, the same will happen again and again and again. An historic and devastating blur of blood and human misery imposed on one another for absolutely no reason anyone can divine.

Why does the NRA and the majority of the Republican party want the US to resemble 1990s Somalia, a place torn apart by gun-wielding fanatics? Both share a common theme – a lack of anything remotely resembling gun control, to hell with the consequences.

To add insult to devastating gunshot inflicted injury, in recent days, in response to members of the American medical profession expressing their ongoing dismay at having to wade through the bloody aftermath of yet another gun massacre, the NRA lectured them to “stay in their lane.”

Here’s where the NRA show themselves for nothing more than what they truly are – a money-soaked, vested interest, selection of kooks and cranks who have snuck into bed with the Republican establishment and rather than being kicked out unceremoniously, were asked to snuggle up even closer.

The safety of our children in schools is most definitely “our lane” – we don’t want guns there.

The safety of being able to go to work without cowering in a closet as an active shooter prowls their way through the corridors, periodically squeezing off another magazine of AR-15 bullets, is most definitely “our lane” – we don’t want guns there.

The safety of being able to worship in a house of God, without being shot multiple times by a nazi sympathiser, or a neo-confederate or whatever tag of slime applies, is most definitely “our lane” – we don’t want guns there.

The safety of being able to go for a night out with friends to a bar, movie or yoga studio without ending the night screaming in semi-darkness as the bullets start to pop drink glasses, mirrors and skin and bone is most definitely “our lane” – we don’t want guns there.

NRA, you really should redirect your “stay in your lane” message to the hordes of unregulated gun-owners out there who hold grudges against their ex-employers and colleagues, their ex-partners, their family or friends and are going to bring their interpretation of the “right to bear arms” horrifically into the lives of perfectly innocent others when they least expect it.

Never mind “the caravan” or “MS13 immigrants” or whatever contrived demons that have been conjured up by the NRA, the Republicans or the master of con-artistry Trump himself.

This is a domestic issue terror issue, fuelled by a literalist Second Amendment interpretation that is now so far out of control that it’s as good as a clarion call for the regular spilling of blood of the innocent. And we object – with every sinew of strength that we have, we object.

Take a stand. Press your newly elected representatives to actually do something. They want your vote? That’s great. You and your family and friends don’t want to get shot.

Fair trade, right? Damn right it is and then some.

PennLive Opinion contributor Sean P. Quinlan, of Camp Hill, is an attorney and most recently, a Democratic candidate for the 87th state House District. His work appears biweekly.

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