Grayish-cloud overcast this late-afternoon Friday here in California’s Central Valley — and way-cooler, too, then the previous few days. Supposedly, we’re in a small cool space until next week when the fire of summer is rekindled again.
I don’t look forward to the next 90 days or so, weather/environment/outside ambiance is concerned, and not just the sweaty, heavy air, but fire season, too. Times don’t look promising.
In the context of fire — the shit smell off the Uvalde, TX, school shooting continues to grind forward and the stink comes from officials who really don’t want to open up about the poor performance of local police — the FBI is hot on an investigative hunt for the reality of Tuesday’s mass shooting of 19 elementary school students and two teachers. The horror of America right now is indeed on the shoulders of every Republican walking around right now.
This is a good look at what needs to be done — at least, media-wise:
Gun laws and the availability of weapons of war to every asshole 18-years-old and above is beyond ludicrous. However, as long as Republicans have a heavy-handed draw on law-making, then we are indeed f*cked in a shooting gallery. In every aspect of life, Republicans and their cruelty-is-the-point bullshit, and freedums!
Expanding on that, a couple of op/ed pieces at The New Times — first Michelle Goldberg this morning wrote of a broke-down, but heavily-armed America that might be beyond repair, and boiling with right-wing-influenced armed violence:
These days, it’s barely remarkable when Republicans issue what sound like threats against those who’d dare curtail their private arsenals.
“I have news for the embarrassment that claims to be our president — try to take our guns and you’ll learn why the Second Amendment was written in the first place,” Randy Fine, a state representative in Florida, tweeted on Wednesday.
It will be impossible to do anything about guns in this country, at least at a national level, as long as Democrats depend on the cooperation of a party that holds in reserve the possibility of insurrection.
The slaughter of children in Texas has done little to alter this dynamic.
She continues with a bleak picture of our immediate future:
The horrifying irony, the hideous ratchet, is that the more America is besieged by senseless violence, the more the paramilitary wing of the American right is strengthened.
Gun sales tend to rise after mass shootings. Republicans responded to the massacre in Uvalde by doubling down on calls to arm teachers and “harden” schools.
An article in The Federalist argued that parents must home-school so that kids can learn “in a controlled environment where guns can be safely carried for self-defense or locked away when not in use.”
It’s a vision of a society — if you can call it that — where every family is a fortress.
More at the link. Not encouraging.
Neither was Paul Krugman, who yesterday also at the Times aimed at Republican hypocritical power plays with mass shootings in their long-time crap of guns deter other guns — interesting highlights:
Actually, if you take the proposals by Cruz, Patrick and others literally, they amount to a call for turning the land of the free into a giant armed camp. There are around 130,000 K-12 schools in America; there are close to 40,000 supermarkets; there are many other venues that might offer prey for mass killers.
So protecting all these public spaces Republican-style would require creating a heavily armed, effectively military domestic defense force — heavily armed because it would face attackers with body armor and semiautomatic weapons — that would be at least as big as the Marine Corps.
OK, I think everyone realizes that none of what Republicans are saying about how to respond to mass shootings will translate into actual policy proposals. They’re barely even trying to make sense.
Instead, they’re just making noise to drown out rational discussion until the latest atrocity fades from the news cycle.
The truth is that conservatives consider mass shootings, and for that matter America’s astonishingly high overall rate of gun deaths, as an acceptable price for pursuing their ideology.
But what is that ideology? I’d argue that while talk about America’s unique gun culture isn’t exactly wrong, it’s too narrow. What we’re really looking at here is a broad assault on the very idea of civic duty — on the idea that people should follow certain rules, accept some restrictions on their behavior, to protect the lives of their fellow citizens.
In other words, we should think of vehement opposition to gun regulations as a phenomenon closely linked to vehement (and highly partisan) opposition to mask mandates and vaccination in the face of a deadly pandemic, vehement opposition to environmental rules like the ban on phosphates in detergent, and more.
We’re in for some rough road ahead — or maybe no road at all, just a dense path of major ugliness.
In the short term, however, there is some slice of optimism:
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) May 27, 2022
Protest the shit out of the NRA convention in Houston, but don’t expect much. I’m a natural-born pessimist, so leave it at that.
In the shadow of repetitive horror, here we are once again…
(Illustration out front: Pablo Picasso’s ‘The Weeping Woman [La Femme qui pleure],’ found here)