All guns are bastards...
I was going to entitle this week's posting a bit more politely, but then something got the better of me. There is no such thing as a "good gun" like there's no such thing as a "good Nazi". (You can read why in last week's blog.) Guns--specifically AR-15 assault weapons--were designed with one purpose in mind and one purpose only: To kill human beings as fast and as efficiently as possible.
That's it. AR-15s aren't for growing crops or helping you cross the street. They're for killing people. (Only psychopathic mass murderers would be remotely interested in owning one.) They kill people so effectively it takes a DNA test to identify the remains. They serve no purpose for hunting because you can't eat a deer carcass riddled with lead. So, get it out of your head right now that any human-killing weapon has a dual purpose and that somehow it should be available for sale at your local Walmart. It doesn't, and it shouldn't.
As a parent, my heart is aching. I can't begin to fathom how the families of Uvalde, Texas, are coping with life without their dear babies, their school friends and teachers. What happened there was unspeakable and beyond comprehension. But Americans should have been prepared--we've been in this situation before. Only last week the bloodshed was in Buffalo, New York, and it involved a white supremacist 18 year-old shooting and killing innocents while they shopped for groceries in a predominantly African American area of town.
Why are we seeing this nightmare mass shooting scenario repeat itself over and over and over again? Why do police officers--or better called "publicly-funded security guards for the one-percenters' property"--act like chickens and cluck off whenever common folks' lives are at stake? Why does our government keep pouring billions into an institution that doesn't serve the people and, in the end, only serves the military-industrial complex's bottom line? What could we be doing to prevent this horror from happening again?
My friend Sean Nestor explains it much better than I can, so please read his comments below. The article links provide good insights as well.
The time has come for more than just our "thoughts and prayers." We need faith in action in order to save lives. We need actual gun control and well-funded social services. Americans need to demilitarize the police and end our bloated military's senseless violence and resource grabs overseas. We need...
A Kind and Just Society
by Sean Nestor
There is a lot of high-profile gun violence local and nationally, but simply spending more money on more police and more weapons for police isn't going to change that. The only thing that will actually prevent violence is building a kind and just society, not one that gleefully throws people to the wolves.
There's a popular idea here in the United States that everybody's problem is theirs alone to deal with. It's appealing because it justifies us abdicating certain responsibilities. But the problem with it is that we wind up with a growing number of people leading miserable lives with no meaningful help who then turn around and make their problems everyone's problems by way of a violent tragedy.
We've also built an extremely dysfunctional economy, one where we give all our time to jobs that overwork and underpay us, leaving us little time for ourselves and our families, much less our communities. And because of that arrangement, we're all tired and moody and looking for easy answers, for quick solutions.
Expect politicians across the aisle to line up and start pitching them to you in the coming weeks and months.
Unfortunately, reality is that there are no quick and easy solutions for the kind of extreme problems we're facing. We're either going to get serious about dramatically altering the nature and character of the country we live in, or we're going to suffer through ever-increasing violent tragedies.
If we really want to end violence, we need to accept that it will take a multi-generational effort of getting back to what the Constitution calls "promoting the general welfare." Keep people out of desperate states, and you'll keep people from acting out against innocent people in misdirected rage.
In the near-term, that is going to look like a massive reinvestment in social programs--including universal healthcare--and a serious reevaluation of our cultural tendency to dump every social problem onto cops. In the long-term, that is going to look like moving away from militarism and capitalism as our predominant modes of operation.
These are political problems with political solutions. Whether we decide to enact them or not comes down to what work we're willing to undertake to make them happen.
Amen, Sean! Now...
Seen on Twitter:
The country where little kids get their brains blown out in 2nd grade classrooms wants to export its way of life around the world.— Prof Zenkus (@anthonyzenkus) May 25, 2022
Is anybody ever going to bother to ask what about American society creates so many people that want to go out and kill as many people as they can in the first place?— Black in the Empire (@blackintheempir) May 25, 2022
Thoughts & prayers are empty with inaction. 19 Children dead & 2 adults. We need a nation-wide ban on assault weapons.— Radical Jesus (@RadicalJesus4) May 25, 2022
These Democrats are using another crisis (this time a mass shooting) to get people to “vote blue no matter who” instead of using their power to fight for & pass popular gun safety legislation.— Ryan Knight ☭ (@ProudSocialist) May 25, 2022
crazy how people are saying the solution is to arm teachers when three armed cops encountered the shooter first & did not stop him. huge hole in the “good guy with a gun” camp’s reasoning, unless we’re admitting that cops are not the good guys.— nora🍒 (@noriekate) May 25, 2022
Kids Who Die— Average NATO abolisher (@mrviscat) May 25, 2022
This is for the kids who die,
Black and white,
For kids will die certainly.
The old and rich will live on awhile,
Eating blood and gold,
Letting kids die.
It's definitely not a coincidence that the nation which serves as the hub of a globe-spanning empire that's held together by mass murder and war propaganda and mass-scale psychological manipulation is the only nation with a mass shooting epidemic. But this will never be studied.— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) May 25, 2022