Two days, two mass shootings. Dozens of innocent people dead and scores with life-long disabling injuries. Yet, in Alabama, the massive cult of gun worshippers has taken to social media to claim that any sensible gun regulations, or prohibiting certain types of firearms, is an unholy assault on their God-given right to hoard weapons of war and ammunition designed to cause maximum damage to people. They defiantly exclaim, “How dare anyone try to take away my (obsessive) hobby of using rapid-fire, military-style weapons for sport!”

 The NRA apologists claim we can’t even talk about it because the tragedy just occurred, therefore it’s disrespectful. Well, America is now averaging one horrific mass shooting every day, so when exactly are we going to discuss the proliferation of assault rifles and high capacity magazines? What will it take for enough to be enough?

In Alabama, gun worship zealotry is at a fever pitch and gun cultists seem to view the Second Amendment as if it was carved on the same stone as the Ten Commandments. Right now, they’re mad as hell at the Alabama Sheriff’s Association for not letting them use their concealed carry permits to circumvent the Brady Act federal background check when they purchase new firearms. Oh, the painful inconvenience! Oh, the wailing and cringing from the unwarranted infringing! Their outrage is completely insane.

So, instead of recognizing the obvious epidemic and widespread carnage of growing gun violence, Alabama politicians keep pushing bills to make gun ownership easier and less accountable. In fact, the cliché of all clichés in Alabama is to watch a conservative campaign ad with the candidate firing a gun. They even think that 4th-grade math teachers should be packing heat in the classroom! To truly understand how bizarre gun worship can be, just think back to the ridiculously long lines that wrapped around gun stores all over Alabama when Obama was re-elected because the NRA told them that Obama was coming for their guns.

The gun worship in Alabama has got to stop. Owning a military assault rifle, body armor, and hoarding ammunition don’t make you more patriotic, a better citizen, or any safer. Being a firearm hobbyist who likes assault weapons shouldn’t supersede the rights of innocent people to live. No one is saying that the Second Amendment should be repealed or that citizens shouldn’t have the right to own guns. The issue is what type of guns and ammo and who should be allowed to have them. For example, people with a history of acute mental illness or repeated instances of domestic violence should be denied gun ownership, yet the gun worshippers just scream, “Shall not be infringed!!” In their frenzied adoration of guns, they forget that few rights are absolute. Just try and joke about having an explosive at the airport and see how that works out.

Although mass shootings grab the headlines, America also has a huge problem with suicides and homicides. On top of that, the country is also seeing a rise in white nationalism and anti-immigrant hate crimes. So, Alabama politicians think that more guns and easier access to them are going to make us all safer? Sorry, but that’s just not the case. The laws need to change, and we need more gun regulations. We also need to ban certain types of guns. Average citizens don’t need weapons of war. Right now, it’s only a matter of time before Alabama is the target of domestic terrorism from a homegrown white supremacist.

Alabama politicians have got to stop throwing red meat to the gun worshippers. The mass casualties and violence must end. If the gun worshippers need a new pastime, maybe they could figure out ways to make voting easier in Alabama or something more productive than killing Coke cans in a field.

The rest of us have certainly had more than enough.

Clete Wetli
Clete Wetli is former Chair of the Madison County Democrats and a liberal political activist.