“Outrageous”. That’s not nearly strong enough.
“Tragic”. No, Hurricane Maria was tragic. This is just another mass murder.
“Unbelievable”. No it isn’t, not anymore.
“Evil”. You bet. This word works. But I’m not talking about the deranged 26-year-old who walked into a rural Texas church and killed children, pregnant women, young men, wives, mothers, grandfathers, grandmothers, preachers and staunch Second Amendment defenders.
No, Devin Patrick Kelley was deranged. Perhaps he was evil before he became deranged, maybe not.
But of this I am sure, there is an evil chamber in America’s collective heart. We are all to blame for this evil by either trying to ignore the truth of it or by actively promoting the personal ownership of weapons of war, either because of corporate greed or hare-brained paranoia.
The reactions to this latest evil are so predictable that one needn’t even read the news to know what will be said by the very people who represent us or claim to speak sentiments on our behalf.
“Our hearts and and our prayers are with the people of Texas today,” (insert your politician of choice).
“Until all of the facts are known, we will not have a statement,” official NRA response.
“May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.” Donald J. Trump.
“Monitoring the situation?” The situation is over, Don. The people are dead. Your words, like the others, don’t indicate that the recurring slaughter by assault-like rifles is a top priority problem to be solved. And we know it can be solved, we just can’t marshall the courage to do so.
The Clown has addressed gun safety issues in this space on more than one occasion. I encourage you to read those posts before you judge this one. Those former posts are “Gun Safety and Slippery Slopes”, published July 31, 2012 and “Small Fish in A Barrel”, published December 17, 2012.
The Clown is a gun owner and also has extensive, historically-based knowledge of how the Second Amendment was debated in 1787 and finally crafted for inclusion in the Constitution in 1791. In spite of the tortured logic that many use to defend the personal ownership of combat quality weapons and ordinance, the truth of the Second Amendment is based on the post-Colonial fear of a tyrannical central government replacing the one of King George (see the Whiskey Rebellion for example) and the southern states’ fear of a slave uprising. The southern states saw what was happening in Haiti in 1791 and were mortified.
In 1791 the military’s weapons of war were the same as the weapons owned by the citizens: single-shot, muzzle loaded, inaccurate, flint-lock long guns. The authors of the Constitution could no more have imagined the semi-or-automatic, shoulder-fired infantry rifle of today than they could have predicted air flight, cars, televisions and telephones. The amendment was added when muskets were the state of the art.
Many Second Amendment defenders suggest that it will be their “patriotic” brotherhood, with their assault rifles, who will defend us from the jack boots of a tyrannical US Government. These patriots have clearly never really thought through what it’s like to be faced with the military’s helicopter gun ships, fighter aircraft, laser guided ground-to-ground missiles, heavy artillery, tanks etc. etc. etc. The balance of power between an 18th century standing army and its citizens’ militia bears no resemblance to the imbalance of power of the 21st century. These “defenders of our freedom” in our midst, with their small arsenal of semi-automatic AR-15s, et al, will never defend this country’s liberty from a government and military gone mad. They would be turned into pink mist.
However, those military-style guns are very effective in killing dozens of defenseless innocent church-goers, movie lovers, concert partiers, school children, holiday party participants or cafeteria patrons. And, as long as they remain available, with their “bump stocks” and high-capacity, easily replaced magazines, the deranged will find a way to get their hands on them for the evil acts that we are now taking for granted as the “price we pay for living in a free society”. The Clown has not only tripped over the truth of this situation, he has stepped in the bullshit that promotes it.
Australia is free. Japan is free. The UK is free. Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand, South Korea, Canada, Ireland, Belgium, etc. etc. ditto. Yet, with rare exceptions, it’s primarily our “shining city on the hill” where the deranged, who rarely get appropriate (or any) mental health treatment (thanks Ron Reagan), are able to attend gun shows or respond to an on-line sale and get their hands on a Bushmaster and then go out and lubricate the slippery slope of gun safety with the blood of the very people who the Second Amendment paranoids claim that they are armed to defend.
Oh, I can predict the response that this post will receive. It will be the same lame, unsound arguments that are always made. Those arguments are often based on a nearly religious fervor regarding gun ownership (particularly guns designed for combat). Whenever I am faced with such arguments, I now simply ignore them. None of these arguments have ever held up to rational examination. But those who have the fervor of a religion, secular or otherwise, have no time for rational.
Observoid of the Day: If you want to play with military assault rifles and maybe shoot at other humans, do what the 13th Clown did. Join the Army.