There’s been another massacre in an American school. This time there are 17 dead and many more lives changed forever. There are of course the seemingly mandatory and nauseating calls for prayer, as if some distant deaf deity would suddenly begin to hear and take pity. That will not happen. It has not happened until now and therefore we have no reason to believe that this latest bunch of school kids (gunned down in a place that is supposed to be safe and foster learning and mutual respect) will awaken the great imaginary Oz in the sky. There is no other nation in the world where this happens so regularly. American exceptionalism. There is no other country in the world with an incarceration rate like ours. American racism. The truth is, Americans don’t care that their children are routinely murdered at school. If they cared, they would do something about it. They would do more than pray, but they don’t. American nihilism.
Those who are opposed to gun control will argue that those who are hell-bent on having access to firearms will find illegal means of obtaining them. They could be right, but we’ll never know as long as the NRA fills the pockets of those on Capitol Hill. Just as long as those pockets remain lined with free-flowing cash from weapons manufacturers, those depraved and money hungry power-merchants that we masochistically elect to represent our interests will continue to stress the role of mental illness over their own culpability in the murder of America’s children. Yet, I wonder, how we would even know that those with unsound minds would still get their hands on weapons if they weren’t so readily available? How can that conclusion be drawn when we haven’t even given it a shot; not even a test run!? Gun control saves lives and there are enough examples around the world to prove it, but there is little money to be made from this fact and so Senator John McCain (R-Ariz), Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), and Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) who have collectively received more than $14 million directly from the NRA according to a recent New York Times article, will continue to stuff their coffers with cash as American children pay the interest with their lives.
Why can there be no limits on the right to arms? There are limits to speech. Even limits to assembly. One can’t just scream out “fire” in a crowded cinema as it would likely cause panic, then a stampede, and then who knows what horrors could unfold!?! Public safety would be at risk. Guns are clearly a public safety risk. We recognize that there are limits to speech, so why is it that any attempt to control the firearms industry is seen as a kind of deeply un-American act of treason? Is it maybe because those who are getting fat and filthy rich off of the murders of innocent children are worried that they might lose some of that power and privilege that allows them to do nothing but send out messages of prayer and other empty, politically advantageous sound bites every time children are murdered at school by angry young men with guns?
I don’t wish to downplay the role of mental illness in all of this. Obviously, someone has to be pretty mentally ill to just start killing people at school. Of course the combination of mental illness and easy access to firearms is a deadly combination. This is another area in which America is unique. What are the odds that this latest episode will change anything…I’d say not very good. Some things seem to never change. In America, boys cry bullets, the truly insightful commit tongue suicide, and innocents are murdered at school. That’s just the way is, and I for one, am utterly disgusted.