“Hey, Hey, LBJ, How Many Kids Did You Kill Today?”
At the height of the Vietnam War in the 1960s, U.S. casualties numbered 11,000 to 16,000 per year. Gun homicides now account for 11,000 deaths per year in the United States. When you add in accidental deaths and suicide, you’re looking at over 30,000 plus gun deaths annually or more than half of the TOTAL U.S. casualties in Vietnam (58,220).
During the Sixties, there were widespread, continual, and quite large protests against the Vietnam War. And the protestors had no problem assigning blame where it belonged: on U.S. Presidents and our other political leaders who supported the War. Along with corporations such as Dow Chemical, who supplied the napalm and other weapons of war.
The young protestors weren’t polite. They accused Lyndon Johnson and other American officers of murder and it got to LBJ , cost him sleep, was a major factor in his deciding not to seek a second elective term. Nobody wants to be called a baby killer.
Wayne LaPierre is a baby killer. So are other advocates from the NRA gun lobby and their supporters in the general public. After the most recent Senate vote to defeat gun control legislation, Mitch McConnell has the future blood of children on his hands. So does Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Richard Shelby, Orrin Hatch, Max Baucus, and another 40 Senators who took contributions from the gun lobby to vote against the bill.
Not that their hands – and those of a myriad other Presidential aspirants, Congresspeople, and state and local politicians – aren’t already bloody enough. And let’s not forget the Roberts Supreme Court, which set two centuries of Constitutional precedent aside (google Justice Warren Burgher and “fraud” for context here) to please their political backers and friends. Blood is the new Black for Supreme Court robes.
So where are the pickets outside each of these politician’s offices? Outside NRA headquarters and its every branch? Outside the Supreme Court? Where are the rude signs and the ugly chants? Why haven’t we filled the streets of our bloodied cities with marchers?
When are we heading to Washington? How about next week? By then, only a few hundred more innocent Americans will have died from gun violence. By next month, only another nearly 3,000. Including, of course, kids.
And here’s the best part. If you defeat the politicians in the gun lobby, make their elective lives miserable, you also win on Planned Parenthood, climate change, criminal policing, raising taxes on the rich, and most of the other important issues. The men and women with gun blood on their hands are on the wrong side of those issues, too. And they’re also the ones who are always so anxious to send our young men and women off to die in foreign wars.
Young people, I’m staring right at you. You guys are always on the lookout for something fun and interesting to do. How about starting a Revolution? Or at least an organized, non-violent, protest movement to take America back from the gun lobby. Put down your cell phones and pick up signs. Get your exercise in the streets instead of at 24 Hour Fitness.
And it’s not like there are all these great jobs waiting for you. You got screwed there, too. By the same assholes who raised your tuition and jacked up your student loans. And, while you were busy ducking and covering or in lockdown, they stole your future and gave it to the rich.
C’mon, young folks, you can do it! And we old folks will help. With advice and guidance and funds. And we’ll join your marches, too. I promise. Limp along beside you.
Maybe it’s not time for another Revolution. Not quite yet. Maybe we won’t even need one if we do these other things. But it’s definitely time to hit the streets again. And not leave them until they’re safe.