After the past few massacres, I’ve argued that the reality of our politics means that we’ll ‘grieve’ and ‘be shocked’ for a few days, we’ll put the flags to half-staff, then something else will come up, and nothing will change, and then we’ll ‘grieve’ and ‘be shocked’ a few weeks later when the next group of students or parishioners or movie-goers or mall-shoppers is gunned down.
– James Fallows, The Atlantic
The accepted public response to these appalling mass murders nowadays is exactly what Fallows writes above. Anything else—expressing ideas to affect change, calling for gun control, or questioning the system and status quo—is castigated as “politicizing a tragedy.” When, exactly, are people in a democracy supposed to politicize anything if not in times of tragedy or in the face of a clear and present anger to our citizens, especially our weakest?
Why are we told just to grieve and pray and do nothing else? Why is politicizing these tragedies to affect change so castigated?
I’ll tell you why. Because a defeated people bow their heads and pray. A defeated people have no concept that they have the power to affect change. A defeated people do what they are told and accept horrors such as this as the acceptable level of slaughter and genocide their diseased culture produces. They refuse to acknowledge the disease.
That’s what America has become: a nation resigned to its fate, defeated by the powerful special interests that subvert our democracy and poison the national dialogue with vile propaganda, force-feeding their lies and sophistry so relentlessly that these lies become the truth in the minds of millions, to the point where no one even has any resemblance of the intellectual tools required to question this insanity any more, but instead bow their heads in cowardly and ignorant silence because they don’t even know how to react in any other meaningful way. That is a defeated nation.
Apathetic and defeated people do what they are told, believe whatever they are told, and don’t question authority. In this instance, most people don’t even know they are repeating, ad nauseam, the exact talking points that the NRA and arms industry lobbies have spent hundreds of millions force feeding into the minds of our country. They just repeat them without once questioning the validity and veracity of these talking points, or ever bother to fact check any and all of the lies, false facts, utter nonsense contained within them. They don’t because all these talking points are framed in a deliciously appealing manner that shamelessly panders to so many people’s prejudices, fears, insecurities, and illogical thinking. And it’s impossible for those who have the facts to compete in the public arena because all the money and power lies with those spreading the lies.
How can free citizens or grass roots groups contend and compete with a PR machine backed by an Army of lawyers, trained sophists, mass marketing experts, and super-rich benefactors passing out sacks of money to make it all happen? These modern lobbying groups, think tanks, and public relations empires are tremendously effective tools used by powerful special interests that literally shape the public discourse to their liking. They pervert and subvert democracy while we’re left picking up our murdered children at the morgue and basically told to shut the fuck up.
Because the truth is much simpler, but no longer even discussed: The arms industry is hugely profitable, enriching a small few at the expense of, well, these children in Newtown, CT this past Friday, for instance. Hardly anyone really cares any more to acknowledge this. Certainly not in particularly meaningful and substantive ways. It’s all about the “freedom” of owning military weaponry. Or called the “price” of freedom. Our second Amendment “rights.”
It is now politically incorrect to even try to discuss rational alternatives to all the gun violence out there.
The message from those who have hijacked the public dialogue is basically this: Go pray to your God, because democracy can’t fix this. Accept this because you have no choice, nothing will change, and we are all powerless under the Almighty to shape our destiny. And people gladly comply, because living in a fantasy world is certainly more fulfilling, and requires much less effort and thinking—and pain and anguish—than dealing with reality. Building a better education system, fixing the massively decimated economy, reducing crime and poverty, disarming all the crazies who own guns out there, rebuilding our decaying infrastructure, providing fair and affordable health coverage to all citizens—all that requires work and thinking.
Your God will not fix these things.
The irony of this tragedy in Newtown is that Paul Lanza’s mother was something of a gun nut who loved to brag about her personal arsenal; many witnesses recount how she loved to talk shop about the killing power of her various guns. This affluent suburban marm probably imagined she needed this arsenal to protect herself from the imaginary negro hordes she reads about in the daily news, the evil gangsta negro criminals who only want to kidnap rich white broads like her and force them into crack whore servitude. So she goes out and purchases military-grade weapons systems designed to kill multiple enemy targets with great efficacy by highly trained infantry soldiers. The irony being, of course, that it was her darling little half-wit moron son who actually murdered her—and 25 others—and not some imaginary rampaging negro criminal she armed herself against.
Moreover I am sure some psycho working for Bushmaster Arms, the maker of the rifle used in these killings, it patting himself on the back that this little shitbag Lanza, largely untrained and unskilled in tactical close quarter combat, killed 27 of the 28 targets he engaged, himself included. That is killing power! Now Lanza’s dead mother can savor for eternity just how many rampaging criminal “scum” she could have bagged with her arsenal given the chance.
From this point forward I will only refer to guns of all sorts as “murder machines.” That is the only proper context for which they should be defined.
If it were my dead kid on one those morgue slabs in Newtown, CT, I’d drive to Washington, DC and shove my foot up the ass of Wayne LaPierre and all the other vile scumbags of the NRA and other pro-arms advocacy groups. They have romanticized the gun far beyond its rational utility in the hands of civilians, and we all pay dearly for this grand delusion. Some pay with the blood of their beautiful babies.
People are right, we need to address insanity as much as guns, and to me, the greatest insanity is the idea we need to own guns to be free. Or that we’d all be safer if everyone were armed. Yeah, just what we need, to become Somalia. Talk about insanity. Is this really the type of society we want to build and live in?
It has to end. We must disarm this country now.