I have nothing to say, nothing to add, nothing… NOTHING. What can you say after a tragedy like the shooting up of six and seven year old kids, leaving twenty of them dead along with six adult members of their school staff in Newtown, CT yesterday. Well, the White House tells us “this is not the day to talk about gun control.”
No. Of course not. Why would it be? After all… this isn’t Britain, where one similar incident at a school in Dunblane, Scotland resulted in the banning of virtually all private hand guns in the country ( country which in its worst days had a tiny fraction of the gun violence we do). No need to worry about that here. No, it’s not about “the Second Amendment.” The Constitution is, as you know, ostensibly a piece of wet toilet paper taken out occasionally to justify what the powerful want… when parts of it are irritating to the interests of the powerful, we can simply ignore them (like, say, the Fifth Amendment’s due process of law requirements before deprivation of life or liberty or the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment or the prohibition on suspension of habeas corpus, etc.)… whereas the Second Amendment is very useful to the powerful, as it keeps many otherwise potentially troublesome [White] people believing that widespread gun ownership somehow protects them from tyranny (I know… if I weren’t crying about the Connecticut massacre, I’d be laughing my ass off).
No. This is America. Where money is our most important value. More important than justice. Than the environment. Than fairness. Than anything, including human life– including the lives of children. (But see, “September 11th”… where investment bankers’ lives are at issue, a “national response” will be forthcoming, albeit an extremely profitable and counterproductive one.)
Yesterday morning, I listened to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! air the comments of a number of peace activists trying to bring the (usually) women and children victims of American drone strikes in Afghanistan into our national consciousness. Afghanistan or Connecticut… the murder of children is, aside from insane, evil… whether perpetrated by an immature pissed-off twenty year old asshole (who evidently couldn’t buy a gun himself, so he used his mother’s extensive gun collection, and, as is the case in an outrageously large number of gun deaths [here’s a Harvard study… YMMV], used a gun against its owner, killing his mother first)… or perpetrated by our own government as part of its permanent war [with bipartisan Congressional support, of course] against everyone, everywhere… hey, evil is evil regardless of which flag is waving.
But…but… TD… what are you saying? I said it above: I have nothing. This particular mass murder of young children will be played as a media circus for a few days, and then we’ll all resume our slumber, with perhaps some of us wondering which mall, or school, or work place, or street corner will be the next site of a massacre… and guns (and money) will remain inviolate, because the powerful wish it so, and the rather deranged national narrative will go on, as before, unquestioned. [Or, the Mayan predictions of an Apocalypse will be real… not how I’d bet…] I’ve said it many times– self-reliance is the way to go, where possible. No, not “I better get a gun for self-protection.” Ain’t no such thing, at the end of the day, as security. Security of any kind is, like most of our core beliefs, an illusion. All you can really do is just play the odds. I thank the Cosmos that I live in New York City, a place enlightened enough to have rather strict gun control laws. Notwithstanding the level of violence here, it could be far higher were we as stupid on this issue as most of the rest of the country. But then… so what? All someone needs to do is to obtain their guns in, say, Connecticut, less than an hour from here by car. All any of us can do is play the odds, and hope that the powerful wake up one day and see things somewhat differently.
In America, that’s just not how you bet. No… I still got nothing.