A Tale of Mass Shootings & Cowardice
American conservatives are arguing themselves into national ruination. They are presently fighting for a madman’s right to purchase, possess, and kill citizens with weapons they ought never to have been able to obtain in the first place.
When an actor, a member of the Hollywood “elite,” so they’re called, stands up to decry the deaths of murdered children at the hands of mass shooters, the actor is dismissed as a puppet who is disconnected from everyday life. Unless that is, the puppet in question is Ronald Reagan or Donald Trump.
When a pediatrician-turned-mortician details the horrors bullets from an assault rifle can enact on the body of a first-grader, he is ignored because physicians are expected to care for the living only and have no business speaking on the corpses of dead children. When the same physician describes the entry and exit wounds these weapons produce on human flesh, they describe entry wounds as the size of dimes and the exit wounds the size of oranges, but conservative sycophants decry the physician’s lack gun and caliber expertise, better explaining to us that entry wounds are the size of quarters and exit wounds the size of grapefruits instead.
Because his coins and fruits are mixed up, he is dismissed altogether.
Should a minister decry gun violence on American city streets, bringing awareness to the problematic gun culture evident in America, and thus the moral implications of such an ease of access to guns, the clergyman and clergywoman are dismissed as a Bible thumpers whose sole purpose ought to be the gospel of the cross, resurrection, and ascension. Speaking on anything other than these three is considered above their social pay grade. “God,” they retort, “wants us to have guns.”
But of course, conservatives will call on these ministers shortly after a mass shooting has taken place to share their thoughts and prayers and minister eulogies to broken families.
Politicians who petition for a change in policy, law, and culture, are dismissed as serfs of the “enemies of our people.” American conservatives explain to conservative masses that if anyone is going to kill Americans, it will be Americans. Russians, “the Chinese,” and liberal socialist shit-hole countrymen best not dare kill a single American child lest they suffer the wrath of America’s youngest military men who are shipped overseas overnight with more AR-15 and M1 assault rifles with which to kill innocent men, women, and children in non-white countries with impunity. Mass shooters are condemned at home but praised abroad, you know.
This is the American way.
When an American man decries the prevalence of mass shootings within his country he is considered effeminate for not promoting a gung-ho John Waynian form of toxic masculinity that gets things done, packs a heavy silver on his side, and stands at the door of his home protecting his family against uninvited neighbors and strangers. Therefore his critique of gun culture is critiqued by gun worshippers.
When an American woman decries the prevalence of mass shootings in her country she is seen as too masculine for her time and ought not to speak of things women understand very little about. “You see,” They say, “Women understand the kitchen, the bed, and at times, under the guidance of her husband, she learns how to raise children unto the service of the Lord.” Therefore her arguments are dismissed as the hysterics of an unruly and bewitched feminist.
When an American child decries the prevalence of mass shootings and the killer she is powerless against — since the resource officers and local police department officers who are sworn to protect her seldom do — she’s dismissed as ignorant, uninformed, and considered too-young-to-know-anything-about-the-real-world due to her age. Her opinion would matter once she receives an education from a respectable Ivy League school in two decades or so.
When educated Americans decry the prevalence of mass shootings they’re dismissed as intellectuals, intelligentsia, statisticians, “professors” and teachers of “anti-American critical studies” and arts that speak so critically of “our American way of life” where their critique, however accurate, must be repudiated on the basis that it makes America look bad.
American conservatives will find every which reason, or non-reason to dismiss, fault, and malign anyone who dares confront their near sensual obsession with guns and their saintly protection of a mass killers’ right to have uninterrupted access to guns. Killers need saints too, you know. Their saints are devils, however. American conservatives are, to our detriment, unable to tell the difference.
There will be a discussion about the second amendment and push back because the second amendment allowed for muskets, not AR-15s. “But the world is changing and we must change with it, therefore it was a musket yesterday and an AR today, fellow countryman! We must be armed to thwart tyranny!”
But they’re unwilling to allow the common American the right to own semi-nuclear weapons because that, they muse, superciliously so, “Would be too much.”
And in regards to assault rifles and pistols with the capability of automatic fire, they say, “You see, there is no need for such unrestrained firepower in the hand of civilians. Instead of a man holding the trigger back, firing his hundreds of bullets per minute, we rather he pulls the trigger with the minor inconvenience of having to pull on it once more if he wants the weapon to fire again. It makes more sense, that way. Increases the accuracy of every shot, you see.”
They are seldom willing to discuss the target or targets of those bullets. One person per trigger pull. That’s the safety net.
So if actors, physicians, clergy, politicians, men, women, and children are unable to break into the cyclical broken psyche of American conservatives in an attempt to quicken them to the reality that their ineptness is killing Americans, and their children, who, then, should we ask, can convince them to change?
We are left with human beings, divested of their identifiable qualities, sex, gender, income, education, faith, philosophy, and allegiances. Human beings begging, beseeching, screaming from the bottom of their hearts for some, any, even the slightest action in the mind, and then in the heart, and lastly, in policy and culture within American society to halt mass killings.
American conservatives, you guessed it, will, in due time, dehumanize their fellow human beings before dismissing them altogether. One cannot consider the arguments of another if one does not consider them a human, to begin with.
We have come to a point, I believe, where American conservatives are unable to feel enough discomfort from the deaths of innocent children to do anything about it. It is cruel on my part to believe there is humanity left in this group of people who on one side decry the evils of abortion whilst placing weapons in the hands of madmen (indirectly) or shrinking in the presence of madmen (directly), as killers walk into schools to kill scores of children uninterrupted. Pro-life whilst promoting pro-gun culture is the greatest epoch of lunacy the world has ever seen.
There is no argument strong enough, no mass shooting horrible enough, no number of dead children high enough, no mass killing of minorities horrific enough, and no number of open-casket funerals and wakes shocking enough to move the mind, heart, and will of these walking dead demagogues in power to halt mass shootings.
They are showing their fellow countrymen that the only way change happens in America is when weapons are used to enact that change. American society was born out of violence and American society may, in a near future, implode as a result of the same disorder.
We are now past discussing legislation that will thwart these mass shootings. We are now at a place where some Americans are, in their emotional turmoil, considering mass shootings to end mass shootings.
Men stand outside the homes of judges with weapons in hand, waiting, itching, and twisting at the chance to right wrongs with wrongs because previous and lasting wrongs were never righted, to begin with.
Justice is beginning to feel and sound a lot like vengeance because so few with so much power become catatonic when they’re most needed.
Are we beyond revolutions? Is America too great for its second revolutionary war? Was Ramses an Egyptian god? He’s dead and Egypt’s military might is no more. Was Nebuchadnezzar the lion of the east? Babylon lies in ruins. Was Alexander, great? He was but his expansionist kingdom is no more. Was Augustus mighty over Rome? Where then, is that eternal empire? Was The Ottoman Empire indomitable? Where is that empire today? And what of the British? The British Empire is a democracy, its monarch sapped of her executive powers.
And what of America with its imperialistic corporate oligarchy that stretches the world over, its military might unmatched, its wealth superseding that of the world, and its influence and culture spreading from horizon to horizon, is it too great to fall?
Have we not seen this before? Is America truly too great to fall?
Every kingdom on this planet has risen to glory through violence and has also been crushed by the same.
I am no prophet, just a weary observer, and with my limited understanding of history and peoples and languages and faiths and movements and revolutionary characters, I can say that we are not far from witnessing the collapse of this American empire, at the hands of none other than Americans with guns.
Unless she experiences a national revolutionary understanding of weapons, that she can move forward without this diseased obsession with guns and the ease by which one may acquire them to commit heinous crimes in mass, she, too, will fall into the annals of yet another dejected, destroyed, and forgotten kingdom.
A victim of her people.
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Photo taken by Jay Rembert.