Gun violence hasn't gone away, and gun nuts are making their insane presence known on social media.
The USA continues to be distracted from a major ailment. Gun violence isn’t going away. People are still dying needlessly from this American plague. As per usual, there are flare ups on social media regarding guns, and as per usual, gun nuts are making their insane presence known.
Here’s the part where we say that not all gun owners are gun nuts. Not that it matters. The usual motley assortment of gun zealots will attempt to virtually shout down this piece. They always do. That is their right, First Amendment and stuff, even if they refuse to recognize that same right from anyone else. Indeed, they regularly threaten those who oppose them.
But the gun violence issue still manages to stay in the news, although it’s so common now it doesn’t seem to be considered very important. Even when a Florida man killed his own daughter and six grandchildren, including a 3 month old child, say again, 3 month old child, it barely registered a blip in the evening news. Two days later it was a forgotten story, buried under dozens of screaming and hysterical headlines.
Instead, focus was given to Ebola and subsequent paranoia over an outbreak at that time. Darrell Issa couldn’t even pronounce the disease correctly, let alone get the name of an origin nation right, but we’re all supposed to believe he’s some kind of authority on the subject. ISIS had center stage for a while, but they’ve lost traction on the American psyche.
Hell, Renee Zellweger took over the headlines from gun violence when she showed up in public with an altered face. This brought Americans of all political stripes together in order to say mean things about her. Caitlyn Jenner is doing the same thing more recently.
This seems to be a commentary on how Americans have resigned themselves to constant shootings. One doesn’t see that attitude in other countries. Canadians are still talking about a surprise mass shooting in New Brunswick last year. But not only are shootings much bigger news in Canada, how Canadians handle those shootings is considerably different than Americans do.
A surprise attack in Canada’s capital led to a soldier shot in the back and killed, and a gun battle within the very halls of Parliament themselves. Unthinkable. The Canadian reaction was one of shock and sadness, but not hysteria. There was instead a renewed sense of solidarity from America’s northern neighbors.
After a two year campaign to push Benghazi as the President’s or Hillary Clinton’s fault, Americans don’t get to make fun of Canadians anymore. That nation defined the Ottawa shootings as an attack on them, not an attack by them. And there’s Darrel Issa, Mr. Benghazi, still talking, unable to pronounce “Ebola” correctly after months of headlines.
Hold up a minute, just think on this; Darrell Issa represents you. He represents America. Whether you like it or not, Issa makes us all look like ignorant fools.
Cue Fox News, who immediately cranked up the right wing hysteria machine. To them, the Ottawa shooting meant the gun control debate would be sparked again, and that was clearly a bad thing. And what does an attack on Canada really mean for us, anyway? John McCain will probably extoll the virtues of a border fence to secure us from the Canadian threat on his next round of weekly Sunday show appearances.
On Twitter, gun nuts rolled in force. “False flag” this and “More guns” that. The usual insane ridiculousness and utter hyperbole. One fellow sat on the hashtag for the Ottawa shootings, telling everyone that the Canadian guards weren’t given working guns, and that’s why they were killed.
Again, just take a minute here; there are people out there saying that the soldiers guarding Canada’s Parliamentary were not given operable weapons. As a friend of this writer said in reaction,“What does he think the Canadians killed the shooter with? Baseball bats?”
Here we have the big difference between Canada, indeed, the rest of the world, and the United States; gun nuts. Yeah, it’s a derogatory term, because these people deserve no respect. A small but extremely vocal portion of the American populace using insane arguments and blatant mistruths to form the narrative on guns in America.
What’s truly frightening about this isn’t that their arguments are so insane, but they have been repeated so often that they have become so commonplace as to be accepted without challenge. Gun advocate John R. Lott Jr., gets to not only continue with a gun advocate career after being exposed as a fraud, but leads the charge against common sense regulations for weapons responsibility. We can’t be surprised about an unfettered amount of absolute insanity from that faction of Americans.
And if massive intellectual dishonesty works for Lott, then it does for the NRA too. On the one hand, they have their pet Republicans block the nomination of the Surgeon General because he correctly believes America’s gun violence is a health hazard. The NRA says doctors should not be allowed to ask patients about their guns.
Then they turn right around and say gun violence is a mental health issue, and something doctors should be screening their patients for. And, OMG, Ebola! That’s the real killer of Americans! Where’s the Surgeon General? Why isn’t he doing anything? Get Darrell Issa on this!
Pretty simple math, America, lies work. Hell, they not only work, they work well. The moral is to keep hitting your message, even if it’s been debunked. John Lott has never been seriously held accountable for his fraudulent data about firearms. Indeed, his “research” is the cornerstone of gun lobby talking points. As a result, gun nuts are empowered to spout off blatant mistruths. Call them on it and they’ll just repeat it.
This very piece is sure to see the same commenters that previous writings on the subject attracted. Here are their arguments in a nutshell: “Nuh-UH!”
Anyway, there’s been another shooting recently. And gun nuts are once again riding hashtags, directing bile at anyone calling for something to be done. Same as it ever has been. They are empowered by the fraudulence of John R. Lott, the ignorance of Darrell Issa, the greedy fear mongers at Fox News, and most importantly, the apathy of the American Electorate.
Yes, America, this is ultimately all of our faults that deception, ignorance and gleeful hatred runs rampant like it does. Bill Maher once said that people don’t vote to say “thank you,” but to say “fuck you.” This is the result.
We could blame Fox News, but the people who watch it are the real issue. We could blame Darrell Issa, but the people who voted for him are responsible for putting him in power. We could blame John R. Lott, but that we aren’t holding him accountable for his fraudulence means we’re all complicit in his continued success.
This is not to say what’s done is done. This is certainly not to say that nothing can be done. But when Americans choose to abstain from voting then they can expect more of the same insanity. So much more. When a country has a low voter turnout, it is extremists who win.
Gun nuts do not represent the vast majority of American hearts and minds, but they’re going to be at the polling stations every Election Day. They will continue to keep a stranglehold on all national conversations this way. Not showing up to vote only gives them a clear path to do so.
Just remember what happens when there’s low voter turnout:
“Obamacare is going to kill us! Obstructionism. Benghazi! Sequester. The Shutdown. Nothing getting done. Benghazi! Screaming about Syria but not doing anything about it. Lawsuits against the President for issuing fewer Executive Orders than the average President and then having the gall to ask him to do it again to solve the child refugee crisis at the border.
Benghazi! Screaming about ISIS but not doing anything about it. Obamacare is, like, really bad. Immigrants from Mexico are ISIS militants! Beng- Oh, wait, we were wrong? Okay forget it. Ebola! Immigrants from Mexico are giving us Ebola! Obamacare is- Oh wait, it’s working? Okay forget it. Ebola!”
And all along, swimming like an unseen monster just under the surface, gun violence. Far more Americans have died from the ongoing national domestic gun violence epidemic than ISIS and Ebola combined can ever hope to match. Every time the furor over guns dies down a bit, that monster casually snatches a few more victims. Children. Women. Men.
And all the while, the gun nuts howl like loons to distract us. They ramble about spoons making you fat. Cars. Criminals. Terrorists. Obama’s comin’ fer ma gunz! Molon Labe! Twisted interpretations of the Constitution, its Amendments, and/or the Bible. Right wing pundits help out with hysteria over Benghazi and Ebola.
No, they’re never going to stop. Gun nuts are nothing if not a dedicated bunch. The insanity will continue, the distractions will pile up. When you do nothing, when you abstain from voting, they gain more power, and the gun violence epidemic will continue unchecked. That’s how they like it, and how they want it.
You can choose to do nothing. Or you can choose to say enough.