Crystal-clear skies, a shitload of sunshine, and warming temperatures this Wednesday late-morning here in California’s Central Valley — feels like a slow review of a coming hot-ass summer.
Meanwhile in the actual reality of America nowadays — one of the more-shitty, sadly-shocking entities I’ve seen today, and we’re still shy of the noon hour (h/t Digby):
This is an actual ad from the FBI. pic.twitter.com/JNr5rCF392
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) May 9, 2023
An extremely well-made production, frightfully breaking the fourth wall of filmmaking, a nice, funny aspect to ‘The Office,’ or ‘Modern Family,’ not in a realistic scene from an average, run-of-the-mill mass shooting. We’re in the throes of something beyond marvel compared to the rest of the top counties of the world. Despite America being America, we’re near savages. Right-wing gun lovers attached like violent parasites to Republican politicians will apparently keep these scenarios flowing — not only in FBI ads but in real, actual public spaces from schools to shopping malls to places in between — and the bodies will continue to pile up.
Until we what?
Do as Serbia did after two horrific mass shootings — Kris Brown, activist, lawyer, and president of the Brady Campaign, at the Guardian this morning:
Last week, Serbia experienced two separate mass shootings that killed more than a dozen people, including children. Serbia, a nation tied for the third highest rate of gun ownership in the world, was shaken by this violence. Unlike here at home, mass shootings are not a daily occurrence.
It did not take long for the Serbian president, Aleksandar Vucic, to take swift action. A mere day after these senseless shootings, Vucic announced several measures that would prevent further tragedy. The measures include a ban on new gun permits, tougher penalties for illegal weapons possession, psychological checks of gun owners and an amnesty for the surrender of illegal weapons.
It only took two days, after two horrific mass shootings, for Serbia to act. Why, after more than 200 mass shootings in 2023 alone, has the United States failed to take similar sweeping action, or much action at all?
Day after day, the US experiences senseless gun violence and yet it’s generally accepted that lawmakers will do little to prevent the next mass shooting. This is despite Americans making it clear they don’t want empty chairs at their dinner tables, and don’t want their children to share experiences and trauma with war veterans. Simply put, most Americans want action to be taken on gun violence.
The difference between Serbia’s action and the US’s inaction boils down to the gun industry’s political influence. The US can’t take the sweeping actions favored by the majority of Americans, including even universal background checks, because a small – but powerful – minority of lawmakers have adopted the gun lobby’s complete opposition to sensible gun laws and regulations. The gun lobby – and not just the NRA – has spent decades making this possible by funneling endless supplies of donations to political candidates as well as by creating an extremist view of the second amendment that is antagonistic towards any and all firearm restrictions and safeguards.
Serbia has clearly taken note from the successes of these other nations that put people over guns. What will it take for the American legislators beholden to the gun lobby’s money and influence to do the same? It doesn’t have to be like this. Americans don’t have to live paralyzed in fear of whether our schools, our places of worship, our healthcare facilities or our malls will be the stage of the next national tragedy. The US government can in fact stop gun violence like other countries have, but only if our policymakers start answering to the people, not the industry.
Other nations have experienced mass shootings, but in the US too many of our legislators are dependent on gun industry donations and support to take the bold action needed to save lives.
So far this year, there’s been 22 mass shootings (defined as four or more people killed), supposedly on the road to a yearly record. Via USAToday on Monday: ‘In a given year, the U.S. typically sees six mass shootings in a public place, and the most the country has ever witnessed was 10 in a year, according to James Alan Fox, a professor at Northeastern University who has studied mass killings for 40 years.
The massacre at Premium Outlets in Allen, Texas, on Saturday already marks the sixth public mass killing of 2023 ? about one-third of the way through the calendar year. That’s not a good sign, Fox said.
“Those are the kinds of events that make headlines, scare people and make them look around when they go into a supermarket or retail store,” Fox said.‘
Onward backward to real mass shootings:
Run or hide, or not, yet once again here we are…