I used to read stories about how the Medellin Cartel in Mexico could kill anyone they wanted with impunity. Between corruption and fear, nobody would do anything. This seemed like the definition of a failed state.
So I guess we are one. Sandy Hook. Parkland. Buffalo. Pulse. And now the latest school shooting in Texas. But between the gun lobby, the gun industry and the politicians—mostly Republican these days—who refuse to cross them (or in some cases are fellow true believers) the only way we can think of to protect kids is to teach them to duck better.
The right wing tells us passing laws to stop this sort of thing won’t work … but they have no problem passing laws to protect Supreme Court justices from peaceful protest. In the words of Kieran Healy, “It’s all a matter of whose families are worth protecting, and for what. They get extensive security, you get thoughts, prayers, and the idea that aw shucks it’s just impossible to stop bad people from doing bad things.”
Case in point, Fox News’ Mark Levin concludes the obvious solution is to bring back school prayer: ““It’s not so terrible to have a prayer in school, is it? Even a silent prayer. To think about a higher authority, learn the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are common sense.” As I’m sure he knows, “Judeo-Christian principles” — and the pretense conservatives value Judeo as much as Christian gets thinner all the time — have never stopped violence. Christians in this country owned slaves. Lynched blacks under Jim Crow. Killed Muslims.
Okay, there’s one other acceptable solution, more men with guns at schools. Never mind that even in a country with as many guns as this one (need I remind y’all the last shooting was in Texas, a pro-gun state), the mythical Good Man With A Gun has almost never stopped a shooter before the bodies piled up? And now a study says armed school guards aren’t the answer:
“An armed officer on the scene was the number one factor associated with increased casualties after the perpetrators’ use of assault rifles or submachine guns.
The well-documented weapons effect explains that the presence of a weapon increases aggression. Whenever firearms are present, there is room for error, and even highly trained officers get split-second decisions wrong. Prior research suggests that many school shooters are actively suicidal, intending to die in the act, so an armed officer may be an incentive rather than a deterrent.4 The majority of shooters who target schools are students of the school, calling into question the effectiveness of hardened security and active shooter drills. Instead, schools must invest in resources to prevent shootings before they occur.”
Even the NRA knows it’s a lie: Trump’s address to their conference last year was a no-guns-allowed crowd.
Rep. Paul Gosar, ever-slimy Arizona Republican, declared the shooter was a “transsexual leftist illegal alien,” then deleted the tweet. Anyone think the gun lobby will be on his case for “politicizing” the shooting the way they are with Biden? I don’t.
Allie Beth Stuckey, a female anti-feminist who gets a couple of mentions in Undead Sexist Cliches, acknowledges that almost all shooters are male, then concludes society’s to blame: “Our denial of innate gender differences, coupled with the demonizing of masculine strength, don’t help. There is nothing more dangerous than a man with nothing to do and no one to live for. There is also nothing more beneficial to a community than a man with purpose and love.” So the goal is not to stop shootings but make men feel good about themselves again! Which is not a new thought, and it’s still bullshit.
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