Monday, August 5, 2019

Nurse the Hate: Two More Acceptable Mass Shootings

I have not written about the need for effective gun control lately.  It isn’t an issue of debate any longer.  It is self-evident.  However, I felt that when nothing happened after the Las Vegas machine gun slaughter, there was no reason to think that the nation would ever do anything about this issue.  As a people, we have decided that the chance of a fucked up young white male with a military grade weapon blasting away into a crowd is an acceptable part of our lives. 

The Republican members of Congress, who can be argued are devoid of any soul, are willing to embrace white nationalism to stay in power.  You think that a few murders of strangers at a Wal Mart or nightclub will sway them into action?  They will not, under any conceivable circumstance, vote against the gun industry for fear of being taken out of office in a primary election.  I don’t know how great it is to be a member of Congress.  It must be awesome, because these people will do ANYTHING to stay there.  A strong majority of American citizens favor stricter gun laws, but these elected officials, tasked with enacting the will of the people, will do nothing.  This is fact.

I did find it galling to receive a social media post from Ohio Senator Rob Portman, a reliable lackey for the gun lobby.  “I went to bed with a heavy heart because of El Paso and woke up to the tragic news from Dayton. These senseless acts of violence must stop.  While we are still learning more about the details of this tragedy in Montgomery County, we are praying for the victims and their families and thank the officers who responded so quickly and bravely.  I am talking to local leaders and law enforcement officials this morning. First and foremost, let’s get all the facts and help the community heal.”

This goes right to the playbook of the gun manufacturers.  Slow everything down, let the moment pass, allow people to move on, get back to selling guns.  Portman today went to the old reliable talking points of “it’s not guns, it’s people”.  I will admit that I feel a little badly for him having to shovel this load of horseshit behind a podium as even he can't believe the nonsense he is trying to sell.  "Are there more things that could be done? I'm sure there are," Portman said. "But I will say there's something deeper going on here. If you look at the suicide rates, if you look at the addiction rates -- this community's done a good job in responding to it but it's been ground zero in terms of the opioid crisis."

That was a nice shift to suggest that opioids are the issue, even though neither shooter had anything to do with opioids.  Sure, the El Paso shooter did echo Trump’s aggressive inflammatory racial and immigration white power stance, but why get into that?  Portman then came back strong and suggested that since the issue is complicated, the best course of action is apparently complete inaction.  "There aren't enough laws, and in fact is no law can correct some of the more fundamental cultural problems we face today as a country and the shooting last night is an indication of that. I look forward to working together with my colleagues to try to respond in the most effective way possible. But we also must look deep into our hearts and figure out how could someone point a gun at someone who he had never seen or known and pull the trigger." 

Bravo Rob.  Way to tackle the responsibilities with which you have been entrusted.  Then again, the over $3 million dollars gun lobbyists have spent on Portman since 1990 should buy them something.  In this case, it’s our collective well-being.  Rob has a good thing going, and he is not going to rock the boat.  

Here’s a quick prediction.  This week will be spent with the same public discourse.  We need to outlaw assault weapons.  No, guns don’t kill people, people kill people.  They will find a way to kill soneone if they really want to.  Yes, but 30 people don’t get killed in two minutes by a knife wielding maniac!  Well, it’s really a mental health issue.  It's all very complex.  Let's not rush into anything.  Two weeks pass.  The enthusiasm around the issue wears off.  We wait for the next mass shooting.  Repeat. 


At August 6, 2019 at 3:03:00 AM EDT , Blogger AZ said...

It is way beyond fucking pathetic.


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