cw: mass shooting

/Tag: cw: mass shooting

Fear and loathing.

But most of all, I’m sorry that you think that because I said I don’t care about you or your right to own your toys, I should be afraid of you. I am not afraid of you. I will never be afraid of you. Because if you need to own sixty guns, you’re a coward. If you need to assert how tough and manly and violent you are, you’re afraid. Because your fear bleeds through every one of your pathetic, uninspired, unimaginative words. You call for civil war, violent revolution, rising up, and then the moment there’s a mass shooting, you move fast to avoid being blamed for it. […]

You don’t matter. You’ll never matter. You know you don’t matter. And that’s why you need a controversial object in your home to reassure you that somehow, someday, you might be able to prove your worth in a fantasy home invasion or public shoot-out.

Jenny Trout on guns.

2018-04-05T08:37:42+10:005th April, 2018|Tags: culture, cw: gun violence, cw: mass shooting|

Origin story.

The logic [of John Lott’s theory of Mutually Assured Massacre] goes something like this. If most people are unarmed, the guy who’s carrying has tremendous power and can kill more or less with impunity, at least in the immediate aftermath of a shooting. No one can shoot back. But if everyone is armed or any given person might be armed, you’re going to be a lot more cautious about going for your firearm and shooting someone. Because they might be armed too. They might shoot back. Or the person next to them might be armed. If everyone is armed, everyone will be on their best behavior. Because they’re all equal in terms of lethal violence. Shootings will go down, not up.

In the abstract, where no humans actually exist, there’s actually a compelling logic to this. If I know you’re armed, I’ll be on my best behavior. You will too because you know I’m armed. Of course, in practice, almost everything is wrong with this logic. It relies on an extremely crude version of economic rational action and an even cruder form of game theory. This is particularly the case when you realize that the fraught, angry situations where people impulsively kill other people are by definition not rational. This doesn’t even get into situations like school shootings where the assailant usually intends to die in the massacre. It also doesn’t get into accidents, misunderstandings. It’s completely nuts.

But this basic concept: more guns, paradoxically, means more safety informs almost every aspect of current pro-gun politics.

Josh Marshall on the “good guy” with a gun.

The point here is that the whole core argument of the pro-gun lobby in the US, i.e. that everyone carrying around guns makes society more “safe”, is traceable back to a couple of shitty books written by one asshole in the late 1990s.

2018-02-23T14:08:37+10:0023rd February, 2018|Tags: cw: mass shooting, politics, usa|

The New Moloch.

That horror cannot be blamed just on one unhinged person. It was the sacrifice we as a culture made, and continually make, to our demonic god. We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily—sometimes, as at Sandy Hook, by directly throwing them into the fire-hose of bullets from our protected private killing machines, sometimes by blighting our children’s lives by the death of a parent, a schoolmate, a teacher, a protector. Sometimes this is done by mass killings (eight this year), sometimes by private offerings to the god (thousands this year).

The gun is not a mere tool, a bit of technology, a political issue, a point of debate. It is an object of reverence. Devotion to it precludes interruption with the sacrifices it entails. Like most gods, it does what it will, and cannot be questioned. Its acolytes think it is capable only of good things. It guarantees life and safety and freedom. It even guarantees law. Law grows from it. Then how can law question it?

Its power to do good is matched by its incapacity to do anything wrong. It cannot kill. Thwarting the god is what kills. If it seems to kill, that is only because the god’s bottomless appetite for death has not been adequately fed. The answer to problems caused by guns is more guns, millions of guns, guns everywhere, carried openly, carried secretly, in bars, in churches, in offices, in government buildings. Only the lack of guns can be a curse, not their beneficent omnipresence.

Adoration of Moloch permeates the country, imposing a hushed silence as he works his will. One cannot question his rites, even as the blood is gushing through the idol’s teeth. The White House spokesman invokes the silence of traditional in religious ceremony. “It is not the time” to question Moloch. No time is right for showing disrespect for Moloch.

Garry Wills in 2012.

2018-07-27T14:30:16+10:0016th February, 2018|Tags: culture, cw: mass shooting, politics, usa|

No.

I know it’s wild that a bunch of people just died and we’re all in our feelings, but let us never forget several essential items: 1. White men are the most common culprits of domestic terrorism in this country. Full stop. 2. People who murder in this way chose to murder in this way. This “incident” did not happen to them. They happened to other people. 3. People who choose to end their lives as a tool of mass violence do not get to have a public eulogy in which they are memorialized fondly for whatever the fuck they did before they decided to aim indiscriminately into the crowd.

Kim Selling is having none of your eulogizing.

2018-02-08T08:42:25+10:0010th October, 2017|Tags: culture, cw: mass shooting, newsphobia, usa|

The Rules.

Rule 1. The measures to be debated must bear some relationship to the massacre that triggered the debate. […]

Rule 2. The debate must focus on unusual weapons and accessories: bump stocks, for example, the villain of the moment. […]

Rule 3. The debate must always honor the “responsible gun owners” who buy weapons for reasonable self-defense. […]

Rule 4. Gun ownership is always to be discussed as a rational choice motivated by reasonable concerns for personal safety.

David Frum on the gun debate.

This is Frum questioning the unwritten rules of how the US media covers the so-called “gun debate” in the wake of a mass shooting.

Also, I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: 50% of the US’s guns are owned by 3% of its population, and 78% of Americans don’t own guns at all (in Australia, by contrast, it’s around 94%).

2018-09-05T13:13:15+10:009th October, 2017|Tags: culture, cw: mass shooting, politics, usa|

Mass shootings are so frequent in America that the political responses to them have become ritualized to the point of parody. The social-media accounts of the N.R.A.—which kicked off last weekend by retweeting a picture of a machine gun, to celebrate #FullAutoFriday—go dark. The politicians funded by the N.R.A.—mostly Republicans—tweet “thoughts and prayers” to the victims. The House Speaker, Paul Ryan, said, “The whole country stands united in our shock, in our condolences, and in our prayers.” He ordered flags at the Capitol to be lowered. “Keeping #LasVegas in our thoughts this morning after the horrific news,” the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, tweeted. A tweet from President Trump was a model of the form: “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!”

The politicians, mostly Democrats, who think that an epidemic of mass shootings requires government action issue angry pleas for action. “This must stop,” the Connecticut senator Chris Murphy in a statement said. “It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren’t public policy responses to this epidemic. There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference. It’s time for Congress to get off its ass and do something.”

The New Yorker on the ritual.

The US’s gun violence epidemic is horrifying in that it’s a problem unique to the US and for which the solutions are well-known and implemented in pretty much every other country in the world. But the problem isn’t policy-based. It’s cultural. There’s something sick at the heart of American culture. Something thoughts and prayers aren’t going to fix.

America’s gun violence is the horrifying intersection between capitalist big money and right-wing paranoia. It is a handful of mega-corporations using propaganda to incite a minority of the country into holding the majority hostage with the threat of violence and, make no mistake, that is exactly what it is. Legislators are reluctant to move on gun control because they, rightly, fear for their lives. So they prevaricate. Hold up mealy mouthed platitudes about hunting trips as children and “responsible ownership” as shields. Please, don’t shoot me too.

And, meanwhile, people die.

Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Talking about “lone wolves” isn’t enough. Holding gun manufacturers accountable will be a start. Gutting or repealing or rewriting the Second Amendment–yeah, I said it, not that the Second Amendment means what anyone thinks it means, but whatever–will be a start. Do I think that’s going to happen? Not unless America elects goddamn Superman–someone immune to bullets, in other words–as President.

You want to talk about terrorism? This is terrorism. Corporately funded terrorism. And I’m afraid it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

2017-11-16T11:32:29+10:003rd October, 2017|Tags: culture, cw: mass shooting, cw: violence, politics, usa|