Here we go again.
Mass shooting in the United States. Another white guy used a semi automatic weapon to murder a lot of people.
This isn’t about the people who pick random photos and make up stories in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting to blame Muslims, or Jews, or the right, or the left, or this or that group when they know literally nothing about the situation/shooter. This isn’t about the people who pick random pictures and claim they’re loved ones the poster can’t get in contact with. The hoaxes are bad enough. The hoaxes alone show we are devolving into truly awful people. That is besides the shooting itself. These incidents bring out the trolls and those with questionable agendas looking for ways to push their fucked-up narratives. And that sucks, but that isn’t the place we return to every time this happens.
This is about being here again. This about knowing that instead of working for us our legislators are working to get silencers approved for all these “good guys” so they can murder more people before we catch on.
This is about ignoring the causes AND the symptoms of gun violence in our country in order to make absolutely sure guns remain easily available and accessible to everyone especially angry, white, Christian men.
This is about keeping guns available to the mentally ill. It’s also a little about making sure only the “deserving” among us have access to affordable health care.
This is about prioritizing the freedom to murder Americans quickly and efficiently over the freedom not to be murdered by crazy terrorists, fellow countrymen.
This is about terrible arguments for why we shouldn’t consider serious gun control measures even after children are murdered.
“You’re exploiting tragedy” if you want to talk about gun control today. But that doesn’t work because 1) it’s not “exploiting tragedy;” it’s trying to prevent tragedy, and 2) if you wait to talk about gun safety until we’re not just getting over a gun violence incident that will never happen in this country. It’s a vicious circle of ever-escalating violence every day. It doesn’t stop until we stop it. It’s not “too soon;” it’s too late. Now is the day. Today.
“If they don’t have a gun won’t they use a bomb or something else instead?” This person was completely serious when they asked this on Twitter (after more than 50 were killed and hundreds were injured) as if the ability, availability, and planning aren’t much more involved considerations with a bomb or knife or whatever. I did appreciate the answer he got: “Then we work out how to solve those problems. Just because gun control wont stop *all* massacres doesn’t mean it should (not) be pursued.” I wish I had kept the original tweets so I could share them, but it was before I went into WTF mode and started madly typing.
The answer to the above ties in perfectly to the usual “well, bad guys don’t care about laws.” That one makes me sick. Lots of things aren’t legal, and a lot of the time laws do keep people from doing those things. The argument these people make is 1) since people are going to do it anyway 2) shouldn’t we just let them and not have legal consequences?
Would you live in a country that doesn’t have laws? Seriously, let’s stop and think about this. Using the “bad guys don’t care about laws” argument for murder, surely rape, stealing, fraud, kidnapping, assault, speeding, etc. are perfectly fine since creating the laws didn’t eliminate the crimes.
That’s what I thought.
And making it easy for people to get guns doesn’t make them stop and think before they commit an atrocity. It doesn’t make them answer tough questions about their real problems and possible solutions. It doesn’t make us stop and think about their reasons/motivations and consider if perhaps this person wouldn’t be a “good” gun owner.
We are making it entirely too easy for people to intentionally purchase, to own, and to carry tools for killing. We are making it entirely too easy for people to leave these guns laying around where children have access to them. We are making it entirely too easy for people to carry them everywhere they go literally making life and death decisions ALL THE TIME, every second.
It’s time to talk about guns. It’s time to talk about climate change. It’s time to talk about impeachment. Ignoring our serious and glaring problems hasn’t made them go away. It’s time for our elected leaders to grow spines and get to work. For us for a change. It’s not “too soon” for these conversations; it’s too late.
It’s time to talk about how much damage one angry asshole can do with a minimum of planning and preparation. It’s time to talk about how many guns are out there and how many angry/crazy assholes we have in this country. It’s time to ask why the salesperson didn’t see a red flag when the old guy wanted 17 guns. Are these people – gun sellers, Congress people, pundits, etc. – all getting commissions directly from the NRA?
And lastly, this is about thoughts and prayers, about useless, lazy “gestures” toward the families of the victims of our selfishness and hate. Please don’t bother to try to make yourself feel better by telling us how you’re going to talk to your imaginary friend on behalf of the families of victims, the same imaginary friend that “lets” children be shot and raped. Fuck that guy. Seriously. He’s no friend of ours. Saying you’re sending prayers tells me you don’t care enough to actually do anything, that you believe in an imaginary friend, and that you’re lazy. Keep that shit to yourself. Can’t you see prayer isn’t helping? and telling us about it isn’t helping either?
This is about being in the same place we were the last 100 times this happened having made no progress toward sane gun laws, toward responsible gun ownership, toward solving the problems of massive gun violence in the United States. This is about us letting the NRA and our government go out of their way not to protect the actual good guys and making it as easy as can be for anyone to murder. Quickly. Efficiently.
It’s time for sane gun laws. It’s time for sane, responsible, respectful citizens to be heard. NOW.
Link: “Las Vegas shooting” – from Reuters
Link: “Amid mass shootings, GOP-controlled Congress remains focused on loosening gun laws” – by Mike DeBonis at The Washington Post
Link: “477 Days. 521 Mass Shootings. Zero Action From Congress.” – by Editorial Board at The New York Times, less article but more of an interesting graphic illustration
Link: “Trump Repeals Rule Designed To Block Gun Sales To Certain Mentally Ill People” – by Merrit Kennedy at NPR
Link: “Gun Violence in America: The 13 Key Questions (With 13 Concise Answers)” – by Jonathan Stray at The Atlantic (from 2013)
Link: The Usual Gun Arguments – by E. Brooks at Gray Matters
Link: Just Two More Mass Shooting Events – by E. Brooks at Gray Matters
Link to original tweet from Caroline O.
Link to original tweet from Elizabeth M.
Link to original tweet from John Fugelsang. (edited to include the thread, image at the bottom)
Link to photo that gives me nightmares, a baby playing with a gun in its mouth. With happy woman (mom?) right there. Posted for others to see. Seriously.
“I felt threatened” cartoon from edsteinink.com.
If you know who did the “people with guns do” cartoon, please let me know. I’d like to include credit.