Drizzling rain this late-afternoon Wednesday here in California’s Central Valley — it’s been gray just about all day (a little poetry, there) with a bright streak of sunshine around noonish, then back to overcast, finally at near dark, rain again.
Another post-thingie on guns and mass shootings and why we can’t collect some common sense and ban the way-bare minimum assault rifles — an AR-15 ain’t no such for deer huntin’ — or at least make a move to stop this frenzy of these open-public gun-downs, especially playing way-close attention to these events taking place in our schools, like an elementary school in Nashville. Of course, as anyone with any walking-around sense knows already the culprits behind these continuing horror shows — Republicans.
Even in the light of the latest — shamelessness:
No better way to condemn a mass shooting pic.twitter.com/8tsUwn1wA2
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) March 29, 2023
Elie Mystal at The Nation this morning fashioned a summary of the situation:
In a normal country, stopping this would be all we talked about. Elections to every major local, state, and federal office would turn on the single issue of which candidates have the best plan to prevent our children from being murdered. Parents of school-age children would band together in broad, multiethnic, cross-class coalitions demanding action and results. A normal country would not suffer 13 school shootings per quarter without massive social and political upheaval.
But we don’t live in a normal country. We live in a blood-soaked murder factory. We live in a country where there are more legal restrictions on where a person can bare their breasts than brandish their guns. We live in a society where people are more interested in banning books than guns. We live with state governments that will force people to give birth against their will, but shrug when actual children are killed at school.
We live like this because of the Republican Party. These school shootings are not tragedies. They are choices made by our government. Every other country on Earth has violent people with a motive to do harm to others. Every other country has people with mental health issues. Every other country has access to media and art that glorifies or trivializes violence. But these school shootings don’t happen in every other country, because every other country doesn’t have easy, nearly unfettered access to weapons of mass murder.
Everybody knows what the problem is, but Republicans won’t let us fix it. And so the white-wing media has to obfuscate and try to distract people from the solution Republicans are unwilling to let the rest of us implement.
So more people will die from preventable gun violence. More children will die. Republicans have stared at the bodies of dead children and decided that their deaths are acceptable. There is no bottom. There is no tragedy so horrific that it will shock Republicans out of their death cult.
Republicans are complicit in these murders. And so is everybody who votes for them.
Donations propped up by fascist-hypocritical bullshit:
If you believe that an AR 15 is worth more than a child you are an enemy of the American people
That’s it. That’s the tweet. https://t.co/WTHZitgeoF
— David Hogg ?? (@davidhogg111) March 29, 2023
Amanda Marcotte at Salon this morning gets insightful/descriptive on the terror-chaos fostered by Republicans nowadays — as always with Marcotte, it’s worth the time to read in full. Some snips:
This is grim stuff, but very on-brand for Republicans. They are, after all, a party still completely in the thrall of Trump, whose main campaign message is that America is a hellscape beyond redemption, and that the only viable response is about “retribution.” Last Saturday, his “burn it all down” message assumed a new metaphorical meaning, as he held a rally in Waco, Texas, on the 30th anniversary of the FBI’s standoff with a group of doomsday cultists who ultimately chose to die by fire rather than surrender their illegal weapons. Trump’s speech was a cut-rate version of the apocalyptic ravings of Waco cult leader David Koresh, full of talk of how the country is “failing,” our society has “collapsed” and the upcoming presidential election is its “final battle.” The trappings of the rally, which opened with a video montage of the Jan. 6 insurrection, only enhanced the Armageddon messaging.
No one doubts that the U.S. has problems, but none of these hysterics reflect the reality outside of Republican TV screens. Even crime, although rising in response to the global pandemic, remains exponentially lower than it was in the 1980s and ’90s. Like most of the fears that animate the right, that’s a phantasm, propped up to keep their adrenaline coursing and their rational faculties shut down.
Mass shootings, which are both legitimately terrifying and attention-grabbing, are a boon to a party that thrives on fear and anguish. Unlike most of the terror porn churned out by right-wing media, the horror of Monday’s shooting in Nashville was all too real: The shooter blowing out windows and stalking hallways. The fleeing children. The weeping parents. The cops rushing the building to take the killer out. Unlike antifa riots or the fictional fires burning down American cities, that actually happened.
Republicans and reality don’t mix. Yet there’s more to MAGA/GOPers’ crazed infatuation with guns that goes beyond the political donations and feeds that rage, fear, and anguish — self-centered hypocrisy. An ideology created for ‘white’ America, protecting ‘only’ themselves in those phony scary-fright attack points, from abortion, transgender and gay rights to gun control laws. A most-holier-than-thou stance to say the least.
In further context, Noah Berlatsky at Pubic Notice, also this morning:
The GOP has not been corrupted by capitalism. It would be more accurate to say it’s been corrupted by fascism. Guns are part of white Christofascist identity politics. The GOP supports guns as part of a principled commitment to a death cult, not because they need NRA money to win elections.
Focusing on NRA money obscures the real danger from the GOP. It also can lead gun control proponents to pursue confused and ineffective tactics. We need to understand why the GOP embraces guns if we’re ever going to have a hope of opposing them.
GOP politicians don’t treat guns like dirty stock trades, and don’t try to hide from constituents after gun votes. On the contrary, they tout their pro-gun credentials every chance they get. Rep. Andy Ogles, who represents the district where the Nashville shooting took place, sent out a Christmas card showing himself with his wife and children standing in front of a tree. They’re all grinning and holding assault weapons.
Especially in light of the horrific recent shooting, the card is ghoulish. But Ogles doesn’t see it as ghoulish, and he didn’t make it for donors. He took the image, and sent it out, because he believes his constituents will see it and identify with him. The way you show you’re a real, red-blooded, Christofascist Republican is to take pictures of yourself with a bunch of guns.
Reality kickback by Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) today during a House Oversight Committee hearing, slapping GOPers for being pieces of shit: ‘“You guys are worried about banning books — dead kids can’t read … Did the good guys with a gun stop six people from getting murdered? No … Because you guys made it easy for people who don’t deserve to have weapons, who are mentally incapable of having weapons of war, being able to buy those weapons and go into schools.”‘
And to close out another fun gun-toting time, forensic psychologist Jillian Peterson:
Books are banned, not guns, yet here we are once again…
(Illustration out front by Taylor Callery, and found here.)