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Iraq vet survived war but may have died due to America’s lack of sensible gun laws

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November 4, 2015, 8:33 am

So three-tour Iraq War veteran Andrew Myers, who was randomly gunned down by a mentally ill man in Colorado Springs on Halloween, repeatedly risked his life overseas to defend a nation where the Second Amendment to the Constitution arguably allows virtually anyone to own a gun — even the mentally ill — without a background check.

The O Zone by David O. Williams

The O Zone by David O. Williams

And Colorado’s open carry laws may have contributed to Myers’ death because a neighbor of the shooter, whom I will not name in case publicity was one of his motivations, called 911 and got a primer from the dispatcher on open carry laws before police were sent check on her report of a disturbed man wandering the street with a rifle.

Open carry laws, the National Rifle Association will tell us, make our nation safer. According to the gun lobby’s logic, Myers should have been riding his bike with an AR-15 strapped over his shoulder. Then he could have stopped riding and returned fire if he survived the initial salvo.

Likewise, the two mothers who were also randomly killed by the Springs’ shooter should have been carrying guns and trained to use them — especially if either one was a school teacher. Math, science and language arts aren’t as important as owning a Glock 9mm and knowing how to use it.

Or, we could just pass a national background check law, close waiting-period and gun-show loophoes and build a national database that makes it much tougher for people like the Springs’ shooter to acquire a gun in the first place.

Law-abiding people who want to own guns may have to wait a little longer. Isn’t that a price worth paying in a nation where time-sucking post-9/11 airport security measures aren’t even questioned anymore? It’s also way past time to remove laws absolving the gun industry of legal liability — here and in Mexico, where we’re flooding a drug-ravaged nation with cheap weaponry.

Every year in the United States more than five times the number of people who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks are killed in gun-related homicides, and yet we’ve spent multiple trillions of dollars invading two different nations to avenge those terrorist deaths. Wouldn’t that money have been better spent ending the daily terrorism of gun violence on our streets and in our schools, offices, churches and theaters?

Finally, Democrats cowed for decades by the gun lobby, are waking up to the reality that we are one of the most senselessly violent countries in the world, and they’re making gun safety and homicide prevention a 2016 presidential campaign issue.

On the subject of gun laws, however, most Republicans — like Jeb Bush — will continue to tell you that, “Stuff happens.”

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is the editor and co-founder of RealVail.com and has had his awarding-winning work (see About Us) published in more than 75 newspapers and magazines around the world, including 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), the Anchorage Daily Press (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), the Chicago Tribune, Colorado Central Magazine, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Cortez Journal, the Craig Daily Press, the Curry Coastal Pilot (Oregon), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Del Norte Triplicate (California), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, Explore Big Sky (Mont.), the Fort Morgan Times (Colorado), the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), the Kingman Daily Miner (Arizona), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the Las Vegas Sun, the Leadville Herald-Democrat, the London Daily Mirror, the Moab Times Independent (Utah), the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), the Montrose Daily Press, The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, the Rio Blanco Herald Times (Colorado), Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), the Salt Lake Tribune, SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Sky-Hi News, the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Sterling Journal Advocate (Colorado), the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Health Magazine, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail, Westword (Denver), Writers on the Range and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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