Nadworny: American Tragedy

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Commentator and digital strategist Rich Nadworny is also a parent who
notes that it’s now nearly a month after the Newtown shootings – and
he’s beginning to wonder if our revulsion at the horror will ever turn
into meaningful action.

(Nadworny) I recently read a New York
Times Op Ed by Professor Adam Lankford about his upcoming book, "The Myth
of Martyrdom". In it, he compares terrorist suicide bombers with U.S.
mass murderers who commit suicide, and found that their psychological
profiles were a match. In other words, if any of the perpetrators of
mass shootings in the U.S. lived in Iraq, or Afghanistan, chances are
that person would have acted out in the same way, just with different
weapons. However, the difference in the way we’ve reacted to foreign
terrorists compared with domestic mass murder terrorists is striking.

September 11, we made a serious commitment to reducing the chances of
that ever happening again. We banned box cutters, big toothpaste tubes
and shampoo bottles on planes. We required passengers to take off shoes
and other personal apparel during airport security screening. We
embarked on a national and international eavesdropping effort to track
suspicious people and actions in a huge database. And then we went to
war in an effort to root out perceived weapons of mass destruction.

the other hand, we didn’t open up numerous mental health clinics
overseas to treat those disturbed potential terrorists. We didn’t
encourage everyone to take flying lessons so they could steer passenger
jets in an emergency. We didn’t try to get every nation in the world to
build more weapons of mass destruction as deterrence. We didn’t say,
"shoe bombs don’t kill people, bad people kill people" and we didn’t arm
all airline personnel and passengers.

So far, I think the gun
control debate in this country has been largely misdirected, partly due
to the fact that we have a $30 billion gun industry, with NRA lobbyists
funding well-organized propaganda and targeting politicians through
campaign donations. But as far as I know no one is suggesting that we
should ban hunting rifles or minimize the fun people have at shooting
ranges. I haven’t seen any proposal to ban all handguns.

what many reasonable people have started to realize is that no one
needs guns of mass human destruction unless their aim is to kill a lot
of people at once; a task best left to our military or SWAT teams, if

To put this in perspective, 9/11, Iraq and
Afghanistan combined, resulted in about 10,000 American deaths. During
that same 10-year period, according to government data, gun homicides
resulted in more than 110,000 American deaths. And while not all of
those deaths involved semiautomatic weapons, it still seems obvious that
we could reduce those numbers by taking some basic, even conservative
steps, like banning sales of certain weapons and cartridges, cross-referencing gun and health databases, and funding more studies on gun

In post-Newtown America, the simple fact remains: we need to treat gun violence as a serious threat to our common defense.

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