Mass Shootings in the World We Have Made

I think it's a mistake to divorce guns and gun violence from their inherent sexuality.
I think it’s a mistake to divorce guns and gun violence from their inherent sexuality.

As mass shootings in the United States accumulate, the media and social media pile on with the shallow, temporary solutions. We hear everything from “when are we going to outlaw these weapons of death?” to “guns don’t kill people any more than spoons make people fat.”

They all miss the point. In many respects, America is a terrible place. It is so shallow and so self-absorbed and so arrogant. How can you elect a turd like Donald Trump without being a nation of morons?

  • The love of money. Nothing matters more to Americans than money. Nothing. Not children, not the environment, not art, not science. Money.
  • The love of pornography. Most of the pornography used by Americans is vulgar, demeaning and and violent toward women. It’s not erotic.
  • The NRA. My wife is an NRA member as was her father before her, but their rhetoric brings her shame.

    To hear some gun nuts talk about guns "saving lives" misses an entire category of reality: you can't save lives by taking them. In this image are five rifle cartridges, non of which cure cancer, give depressed teenagers hope, or offer blood transfusions to battlefield casualties.
    To hear some gun nuts talk about guns “saving lives” misses an entire category of reality: you can’t save lives by taking them. In this image are five rifle cartridges, non of which cure cancer, give depressed teenagers hope, or offer blood transfusions to battlefield casualties.
  • The love of food. Fat bodies equal empty souls. You wouldn’t eat yourself into a diabetic coma 21 times a week if you had a purpose or a soul.
  • The naive idolization of powerful figures like firefighters and soldiers. Here’s a fact you might not like: some soldiers aren’t heroes; they’re bloodthirsty douchebags who can’t wait to kill brown foreigners or political enemies. Think I’m wrong? Timothy McVeigh.
  • Wars. “America… we’re gonna free the shit out of you.”
  • Hollywood. One example: our society spent $9 billion to watch nine movies with the word “Wars” in the title of all of them. The deaths in these movies were mostly bloodless and faceless, and were viewed mostly by children.
  • Video games. Their violence doesn’t desensitize us to death. It sanitizes and whitewashes death. When was the last time you saw a soldier in Afghanistan respawn five seconds after he was killed?
  • Gun ownership is out of context. Read: gun worship. “Guns save lives” is a bitter non-sequitur. Seat belts save lives. If guns make people safer, why can’t civilians carry them in the White House? The Capital? Public schools? City Hall? I was armed the last time you saw me (when it was legal to do so.) Was I violent? Did I empty my 9mm into that rude waitress? That bully in junior high? The dickhead kid who cut me off in traffic? Have any of our guns ever killed anyone? Anything? Also, there is no rhetoric as ridiculous as the argument that guns are a “god-given right.” Show me the Bible verse.
  • Every soul. As much as everyone loves to hate mass shooters, every one of them was once an innocent child who deserved a chance to be happy. Every one of them a baby, a toddler, a four-year-old. Consider how much more could be accomplished by loving them when they are four instead of hating them when they are 19.

“You ask, ‘why?’ I say, ‘Why bother?'” ~Natural Born Killers

As a classic liberal, the narrative you might expect from me is the “no one needs an assault rifle” trope, but that doesn’t address the real problems: emptiness, neediness, shallowness, unoriginality, ignorance, ugliness.

…and bigotry, which you can’t have without self-loathing. No bigot loves life. There are no happy bigots.

I hate to say this about my home, but we are a nation of fundamentalist idiots who believe in violence; violent entertainment, violent sexuality, violent hearts and minds.

The next time you thumb-type “we should lock him up and throw away the key” needs to be the last time.

We truly do believe absurdities and commit atrocities.

Imagine 15 minutes of non-stop laughter in the board room at the corporation that makes this product. "I know. We'll tell them there were no fat cave men!"
Imagine 15 minutes of non-stop laughter in the board room at the corporation that makes this product. “I know. We’ll tell them there were no fat cave men!”
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8 Comments

  1. This was good. Really good. You should be a writer.

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  2. To be honest, my sympathy toward even “law-abiding” citizenry that has armed itself to the teeth sinks lower after the NRA’s repeated success in hijacking our politicians/intimidating them into silence with money. I hear people bragging about how many guns they own and they sound to me like they’re just itching for the opportunity to use them on the first person who disagrees with them about almost anything. For me, it all comes down to this: how many people can I accidentally kill with a gun in order for me to spend the rest of my natural life in jail? Just one. How many guns, therefore, do I really need? Why do I need more than is absolutely necessary for me to spend the rest of my life serving out a murder or manslaughter sentence? No gun will help me produce a better photograph, write a better paragraph. Why redirect so much of my meager personal economy into more guns?
    I agree, guns are incredibly sexy. They feel good in the hand. There is the powerful satisfaction that comes from sliding a bullet into the chamber. When you can properly and safely handle/manage/maintain/carry/arm a gun, there’s no greater feeling of competence, especially for men – we’re the hero of our own James Bond story, right? Who doesn’t want that?
    Yet because there are children in my house, and because children frequently kill themselves when they access “daddy’s gun,” and because my feelings of responsibility outweigh my desire to be James Bond, I keep our pistol locked away and out of sight. I have the keys on my person at all times. To maintain the gun safely in my house, I render it ineffective as an ready instrument of self-defense. I might not be able to get to it in time to stave off an intruder, though I can guarantee 911 will be on the phone as I am trying to reach my gun. But I have a greater certainty that no young person will pick up my gun (accidentally or otherwise) and blow out his or her brains. That gives me a more meaningful sense of security.
    Yes, this country is sick, and 98.9 percent of our entertainment industry is sick. I’m sick, too. I crave more guns even as, intellectually, I know they are part of the problem simply because of their dangerous attractiveness. The NRA should be ashamed of itself, it is not the same organization that my grandfather believed in and belonged to a generation ago. Or, maybe it is. My grandfather was a racist who believed guns were necessary to stamp out the inevitable race wars that would sweep America, if not in his lifetime, than in mine. He certainly did believe that, and he certainly was a staunch member of the NRA. Maybe his vision of an armed (white) populace reacting against the rise of the black man is finally coming to fruition.
    (Pardon the rambling – I’m responding to a strong and well-written blog piece, obviously.)

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  3. I don’t know what the answer is to guns or to gun control. To my mind, there is no gun control, not in this country. There pretty much are no rules – it’s Thunderdome, to quote George Costanza. I don’t know anybody – certainly not in south Arkansas – who’s been constrained by any gun law; they own and buy whatever they want. I occasionally hear that supplies have run short on certain types of ammo, and of course the conspiracy theorists say that is because the government is rationing certain bullets, shells, etc. It’s all bullshit. We are a nation of guns and we can have all the firepower we want, and we do have. It has nothing to do with self-defense and everything to do with ego.
    I’ve heard for years that the government/liberals are “coming to get our guns.” It didn’t happen under Clinton and it didn’t happen under Obama and it will never happen. It won’t even happen under Trump. Yet that is the rationale used the NRA, the “slippery slope” argument. But I think anyone with half a functioning brain cell knows the government will never be coming after anybody’s guns. There will be all-out nuclear war before that ever happens.
    I’ve been to gun ranges all over Arkansas, fired a multitude of guns, and seen the kinds of firepower that guys in ball caps and camo shirts bring to the party. I will never believe that gun ownership is at risk in this country. When it comes to guns, we do anything and buy anything we want.

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  4. I know so many people who just want to get drunk and blow shit away with their expensive new firearms. They’re the first ones to say they are our first line of defense against brown people, black people, and lib ruls. To me, they’re the problem. There’s nothing wrong with an individual carrying with the intent to protect one’s self or loved ones. Just to be clear. I’m just saying, there’s a line.

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  5. Interesting bytes… I think perhaps I will write a line-by-line response on my own blog. (There’s too much to unpack for a single comment.) But…

    ” ‘Guns save lives’ is a bitter non-sequitur.”

    I think they mean “guns save SPECIFIC lives”, by which they mean their own lives (in their bloody fantasies of peppering the bad guys with hot lead slugs). Obviously, in order to make an omelet, they’re willing to shoot several eggs.

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  6. Good read. There is not just one simple answer to the train wreck that is America right now, but you hit in some of the most important points.

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