December 16, 2012

More guns? Really?

Well, here we are again.  Another mass shooting.  Another discussion where people on the right say that "it isn't the right time to talk about gun violence or control," and another time where we decide to discuss only the issues of mental health treatment.  And I get that part, especially, and think that we need to devote far more resources to mental health and general health treatment.

But the right has already said that we need more guns in the mix.  Michigan just authorized more guns, and Nevada wants to add more.  Oklahoma authorized more legalized carry and on the talk shows, idiots like Louis Gohmert said that all of this would be better if the Principal had a gun in her office.  (Protection Or Peril? Gun Possession Of Questionable Value In An Assault, Study Finds).

A), as I posted on Facebook, I am tired of any discussion that includes the NRA.  They revealed themselves to be irresponsible when they defended everything from cop killer bullets to guns that could evade x-ray, and then catapulted the anti-government movement with the "jack booted thug" name for the ATF.  They aren't the voice of reasonable and responsible gun owners.  They may have been at one time, but no longer.

B) Mental illness may be a big factor here, but we need to stop assuming that because some white kid goes shooting that it is mental illness and not some other factor of privilege and resentment.  Easier, I guess, to believe that only mentally ill people would do this kind of evil thing, but we know from history that sane people can do amazingly awful things.

C) We have to be able to talk about reducing some access to mass killing machines.  This TPM reader talks about the slide from the NRA defending hunting rights to the gun culture of today--which is paranoid, about hoarding guns, and actually sells the idea that you should buy a gun to protect yourself because a Black president is dangerous to you.  That people can easily buy Kevlar vests, clips that hold unbelievable amount of rounds, and bullets that are far more dangerous--and do so with ease--should bother all of us.  Including gun owners.

D) And my most amazing anger is reserved for idiots like Mike Huckabee, who famously already blamed this last shooting on "removing God from the classroom."  Hey, fuckwad, if your God can be removed from the classroom by a bureaucrat or elderly justice, what kind of God is he or she?  Or is he or she the kid of God who pouts because his privilege has been revoked, and so decides to let 20 children die in a fit of spite?  Unbelievable stupidity, and Mike Huckabee is still talked about as a GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE!  Jesus Christ.  Surely Christians can think some of this through.

I am tired of guns, and I am really tired of people who seem to worship guns.

1 comment:

leighton said...

B) I think I basically agree with this. There are pathologies that lead people to kill, or abet killers, without those pathologies rising to the level of a formal diagnosis in DSM-V. My argument is that making health care (mental and otherwise) easily available will make people less desperate, and people who aren't desperate are less likely to commit crimes in general. But after reading the commentaries on TPM, I am coming to agree that when discussing gun massacres specifically, mental health care issues may not be the most important causal factor.

C) Yep.

D) This one is a mess. I'm not sure what frustrates me more: that this monstrous god doesn't exist but evangelicals like Huckabee act like it does, or that evangelicals like Huckabee sincerely believe this god exists and worship it anyway.

E) I am also angry in all of this at the sheer incompetence of the press corps who rush to report the latest gossip and half-assed Google searches as verified facts. Roger Ebert argued back in 2003 that this constant coverage is a big reason spree killers do what they do. I think this is a contributing factor much like the unavailablility of mental health care, but probably less of a factor than the split reality of survivalist gun collectors.

But I still have to rant about this dereliction of duty on the part of journalists. Imagine if there were an ongoing crisis in the U.S. - an unpredicted volcanic eruption or major earthquake, a nuclear disaster, a new deadly infectious disease. How many people would be hurt or killed because they trusted that authorities who are supposed to verify claims before making them actually do their jobs?