This anniversary might as well have no marker and no memorials. The opportunity to bring about meaningful changes in American gun laws and arms dealing has once again fallen prey to the fear mongering and blatant lies promulgated by the NRA and its GOP/teavangelist minions.
Yet, we must be honest in our post mortems of gun related murders. The latest shooter, in Centennial Colorado, obtained his shotgun and ammunition by entirely legal means. Further, he was not under treatment for any form of mental illness that would mark him as a potential mass murderer. The difficulty in predicting which teen or young adult will suddenly convert from a normally moody or angst-ridden teen into a calculating killer is immense. We simply have no way to separate most of the potential murderers from the pack of video-gaming gun-owning people who don’t decide to shoot up a building full of unsuspecting innocents.
The mass marketing of guns in America is a major obstacle in preventing some, but not all, such events. The majority of Americans would agree with and support limits on magazine capacity and requiring background checks for all gun sales. Most of us have no problem with closing gun show loopholes. However, the NRA does and the help of a Congress greedy for campaign funds, they have managed to block any meaningful efforts to decrease gun-related murders in 2013.
Yes, there are prisons, many owned and staffed by corporations. They are competing among the prison industry to find the cheapest level of funding required to maintain these American gulags. There is still much they may borrow from the Russians and third world nations concerning penal systems. Never fear, those methods will likely be imported to our corner of the globe.
Yes, there are also workhouses. They include Wal-mart and the various fast food chains. Like Dickensian workhouses, these too ensure that the workers will never be paid enough to escape their poverty. Ghosts of Christmas past don’t trouble me but we have every reason to worry about the all too real future.