This world is thick with souls having to live in a low grade existential terror every day of their lives—in places like Yemen where the sounds from above could be benign or could very well be bringing death-dealing drones. Or perhaps the Rohingya Muslims who flee those who would burn down their villages and murder them in a parade of murky genocide. These are the horrific realities in our year 2017; no linear human advancement has occurred in the lives of so many. Technological advances often simply mean more efficient means of killing are available (and often from distant shores).
But here in the United States we have a different type of victimhood which hijacks the very notion of what it is to be a victim. The NRA, for one, perpetrates the notion that every single person (well, every white male that is–that’s the unstated, but steeped message) with a trigger finger is at risk of societal collapse without semi-automatic phallic weaponry at the ready. The most bizarre thing about this is that of all the groups most at risk for violence in this world, those who truly have dangerous situations aren’t the ones typically falling into this line of thinking. It’s often the middle aged or older white males that have this unshakeable need for weapons that have the ability to take out innocents in massive fashion. Because of their fear, we are all held hostage. We have to live in a world that allows unhinged individuals to easily acquire weapons (because they are freaking everywhere)…… to murder first graders, to murder people just wanting to get together to listen to some festival country music. They say we have a major shooting (4 or more shot) 9 out of every 10 days now. So now we all get to live with that dark cloud of fear anytime we want to gather together. Instead of a happy collection of individuals we have a group of sitting ducks.
This tyranny from the ridiculously fearful is translating into a situation for the rest of us that equals a reasonable fear—that one of these nuts will exorcise their internal pain with a cheap add on (legal) accessory that allows one to have an automatic weapon. Or just do their horrible deeds with the mediocre killing power of a semi-automatic.
These guys are not at an elevated risk which would require them to be able to kill upwards of 50 people in 10 minutes. But they are putting the rest of us at risk from their fearful ways. And it’s not just about guns; it’s about the very power structure at the top of our government, the types of individuals who land there as politicians– they push a ridiculously inflated military budget as if that massive overspending protects us from a real threat. But the real threats to most Americans: diabetes, work insecurity/stress, constant fear of falling from the precarious perch of mortgages, college tuition, and god knows what else—that fear isn’t addressed. But hell, we can overspend at the Lockheed Martin company store by 1000 fold cuz, you know—freedom+fear+corruption—a toxic, heady mix.
One of the very clear predictors for these types of mass shootings are previous domestic violence issues in the background of the killer. Again, here’s the group terrorizing others, but they seem to believe they need the weaponry. The vulnerable are the ones they attack. And under the current administration, the paltry protections for those at risk continue to be eroded in numerous spheres.
Those really facing dangerous assaults of any kind are belittled and delegitimzed while the aggressors are emboldened. Comedian Megan Amran astutely commented that Betsy Devos would like boys to be equipped with fake rape accusation whistles in case a crazy girl accuses them of rape. It’s getting that loony. So it covers a wide assortment of situations–mainly an inability to see who is most at risk of all sorts of violence. An Occam’s Razor of who is most likely to be cut by the razor. Oh no, now I’ve done it. The gun crowd will saw if we didn’t have assault type guns, people would just be killing each other with Occam’s razors.
Another great example of those unable to confront their own distorted fearful worldview can be seen in the seemingly superficial, but truly telling feud going on over at the NFL. The staid, right leaning fans who are incensed by a small gesture to bring about awareness of racial chasms still existing in the nation show again, an unreasonable fear. By changing the narrative to be about ‘disrespecting the military” these people show they are too frightened to confront what the protest is even about. And a more layered issue—I’ll admit I had no idea until recently that the third verse of the song in question discusses taking down the slaves who went to fight with the UK in an attempt to flee their chains. I don’t really care for that song knowing that. Kneel during it, sit,–maybe quit playing it after you read all the lyrics. I don’t expect others to glorify their oppression. I’m weird that way. If you are proud of a family member in the service, find a better way to show it than glazed-eye forced nationalism over a song that is pissed off about slaves desperate to escape so they help your enemy with complicated Canadian issues.
And so the privileged continue to greedily protect that privilege, all the while behaving like scared little twits. Some even use the fear inherent in those groups to gain attention and for who the hell knows what.They know their tales will be embraced by that crowd and dispersed on social media like drug resistant gonorrhea strains on Playboy mansion towels (okay that joke is stale–the old creep is dead. Just pretend I made that joke in 1985. Kajagoogoo Rocks!). Anyway, case in point: the guy who said he was attacked with a knife by an antifa member in a Colorado parking lot because he had something of a right-wing looking haircut. Spoiler: He should have picked a parking lot without cameras as the setting for his story. Nobody attacked Joshua Witt except his own damn self with a new pocketknife he bought and cut his hand with. He was charged with making a false report. I think he should also have some sort of citation for the haircut.
We do seem to be at an impasse. But it’s not an impasse of opinions as so many would frame it. It’s a continued humoring of the hysterical old white guys who need to show a little bravery and quit leaning on killing machines that only symbolize their pathetic weakness and fear. And this is how it needs to be discussed from now on. The rest of us, those brave enough to face our days without automatic and semi-automatic weapons, need to call down these terrified members of society so we can get on with living. We’ve all humored these guys long enough.