Credit…Matthew Busch for The New York Times
The New York Times reported 9 mass shootings in the U.S. this past week. What’s Going on? WHY?
David Leonhardt wrote, “The closest thing that I have heard to a persuasive answer comes from history. Criminologists and historians who have studied past crime waves — like Gary LaFree, Richard Rosenfeld and Randolph Roth — point out that they often occur when people are feeling frustrated with society, government and their fellow citizens. This frustration can feed a breakdown in societal norms and a rise in what the sociologist Émile Durkheim called anomie.
When I joined the state prison system as a psychologist, women went through training with the men. The men did their thing and also some of the women. But some of the women burst into tears after firing a pistol at the bull’s eye. It ws so violent! When it came my turn I asked to be allowed to cry first and not shoot…
And today, while preparing this blog, I read that Ohio’s House and Senate have joined twenty-two other states that require no training or license to carry concealed weapons. Why in the world would anyone vote for that, especially during a period of unruly unrest in society? Wink wink. Of course we all know the answer to that: dark money.
And why? Because it’s legal. And why is it legal? Because In 2010 a ruling in Citizens United vs. The Federal Election Commission Board held for the first time that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts of money to support or oppose candidates for elected office. Because of the Citizens United decision, corporations and the superrich have even more influence over our elected officials. Those who stand up against corporations face the prospect of huge funding against them in thr next election.
Simply by threatening to spenf an enormous amount of money, corporate lobbyists such as the NRA have unprecedented leverage over elected officials. The only way out of this situaation is through an amendment to the constitution. A group of concerned citizens are working toward The Democracy for All Amendment which would establish that corporations and the superrich do not have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited sums of money to corrupt our elections.
More than 5 million people have already expressed their strong opposition to the original Citizens United decision by signing petitions, and twenty-two states and more than 800 cities and towns have passed resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment. More on this movement to return elections to the people can be found at http://www.citizen.org.