President Obama was chosen as Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” on December 19, 2012. Time’s editor Rick Stengel explained the selection by saying:
“We are in the midst of historic cultural and demographic changes, and Obama is both the symbol and in some ways the architect of this new America.”
“For finding and forging a new majority, for turning weakness into opportunity and for seeking, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union, Barack Obama is Time’s 2012 Person of the Year.”
Now the big question that has been heatedly discussed on talk radio shows like Redding News Review The Show is whether or not Time magazine got it right. And although the re-election of President Obama is arguably the most imperative story of the year, if Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” wasn’t really just a popularity pick about the “Person of the Year” that’s safe enough for Time to pick without drawing a genuine backlash, the possibility of another challenger that defined and embodied the year even more than the president might have a legitimate chance at being considered.
When you examine some of the many shooting deaths that happened in 2012 from the Aurora, Colorado movie shooting, the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin, the Clackamas mall shooting in Oregon, the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by an incompetent, wannabe vigilante in Florida, the shooting death of Jordan Davis that was allegedly over loud music that also happened in Florida, the shooting death of Linda Hunnicutt in Georgia after she bumped a motorized wheelchair with her car, the shooting death of Jonathan Hoffman in Michigan by his grandmother, the shooting death of Shelly Frey who was gunned down in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Texas over shoplifting by an off-duty police officer who was moonlighting as a security guard, the drive-by shooting death of 4-year-old Aydan Perea in Kansas City, Missouri; the shooting death of an unarmed, one-armed, one-legged man in a wheelchair by a Houston police officer, the shooting deaths of seven people in Oakland, California at an Asian vocational school, the well-known shooting deaths of 20 children and 6 adults in Newtown, Connecticut and the ungodly number of shooting deaths that happened in Chicago, Illinois in 2012, a very strong case could easily be made that the unofficial “Person of the Year” for 2012 is not necessarily President Obama. That distinction could arguably go to the shooter/gunman/triggerman!
The gun issue has always been a serious point in this country. And even though it was not the grave number of shooting deaths that caused the city of Chicago to rival Afghanistan in body bags—to the point where African-Americans and others were literally demanding that President Obama say something about it that caught the country’s attention, it appears that the stark reality of 20 caskets for 20 children including 6 adults in an affluent, predominately White, Connecticut setting has finally forced the country to take a long, hard look in the mirror—face to semi-automatic weapon.
This has truly been a watershed moment in America that is more important than a speech, more important than political parties, and even important enough to tug on the NRA’s cape for once with a litany of questions that most will ask privately, but not publicly or politically until now.
Questions like, why are there so many guns in this country—over 300 million? Why have gun sales continued to go through the roof? Why did gun sales spike before and after the election of President Obama—both elections? Why do so many people consider the 2nd Amendment to be the most important amendment of them all?
Why is the idea of fewer guns never the solution, while the idea of more guns is always the answer? What is the real purpose of the semi-automatic assault weapon? Who stands a better chance of getting shot by one—Bambi, Trayvon Martin, Joe Six-pack or all of the above? Why are Bushmaster sales skyrocketing right now in light of the many lives that were destroyed by it in Connecticut?
Why is it that so many of the gun rights proponents seen in the media are White people? Why does it seem that White gunmen tend to be evaluated as mentally disturbed or sick after one of these mass killings? Why are so many conservative, pro-gun, NRA proponents urging their constituents to go out and buy every gun that they can lay their hands on, and why are so many White people lining up at the gun shows and gun shops to oblige?
And more importantly, are people really buying all of these guns in preparation to fight the corrupt, federal government, or is there something else going on here? The belief is that people will take up arms to fend off the federal government, but what you are most likely to see is a continuing overabundance of shooting deaths like the ones previously listed.
Could this really be the year of the shooter—a cold-hearted, empty-eyed, blank faced triggerman, who picks up a gun, puts down their conscience, and decimates whoever happens to be standing in front of them at the time? It definitely would not be the sexy pick, but it’s hard to think of anyone or anything that has affected more lives in 2012, because when you have actual lawmakers trying to introduce legislation to arm teachers, principals, and even janitors; it’s hard to rule out the defining influence of the shooter/gunman.
And just in case you’re still not convinced about the high-powered influence of the shooter in 2012, just the other day on December 18, 2012 a 16-year-old boy named Dalton Williams from South Dakota was gunned down by a so-called friend, apparently over an argument over a paintball game!