In the latest dispatch from America’s gun-war on children and all citizens, an 18 year-old man shot and slaughtered nineteen children and three adults, including at least one teacher in Uvalde, Texas.
The murderer crashed his car near the school and officers engaged him but the good guys with guns were unable to prevent him from entering the school and unleashing America’s number one skill on those innocent kids and adults.
Just minutes after news of the latest killing hit the airwaves and social media, folk began taking up sides and pushing their viewpoint on guns, the GOP, NRA, and states like Texas that honor, worship, and push guns as much as they push their own basic brand of exceptionalism that is anything but exceptional. Was he white, Black, Christian, Muslim, an immigrant, white nationalist, or a gang member?
The school was shot up with military advanced weapons that so destroyed the children’s little bodies that officials needed to do DNA testing so they could confirm which mangled body-parts belongs to which grieving parent.
This latest mass murder is typically and uniquely American. There is nothing special about the event, the killer, or the victims. There is nothing new about the republican’s response or newly said words within the Democrat’s justifiably angry response.
We saw no new words from major news media, and we heard nothing we haven’t heard before from the talking heads on network and cable news. All the lifeless “Thoughts and Prayers” from republicans who accept hundreds of millions from the NRA meant and mean nothing.
We are barely past the white nationalist mass-murder of ten Black people in Buffalo and now the nation is being forced to already pivot to the next mass murder.
We decided as a nation that mass-murder of children was acceptable when absolutely nothing changed following the mass murder of school children in Sandy Hook. Or Santa Fe, Buffalo, Houston, or all the other cities, offices, parks, neighborhoods, or concerts that saw similar massacres.
We are a nation unable to learn and grow but we are also a nation that digs into our wrongness and legislate it with certainty. We have ceded gun authority to a Russian-funded NRA who demand fealty from their political followers to the detriment of our children and ourselves.
We have ceded sensible gun laws to religious cultists who bless guns while condemning us to die. We embolden young men with immature brains to travel across state lines to murder people, while we tell young women if you cross state lines to tend to your health and get an abortion, we will place a bounty on you, capture you, and jail you.
America has a gun addiction.
More Americans died of gun-related injuries in 2020 than any other year on record – 45,222, with 43% being murder which accounted for 79% of all murders. Active shooter or mass shooter have muddled definitions but however they are categorized, 3 dead, 4 dead, or more, the number of such incidents have become more common over the past twenty years growing from three in 2000 to 40 such incidents in 2020.
And the city, state, and federally approved carnage continues.
And as with everything in America, there is always a racial component and guns are no different. The first reports of mass shootings often find Americans breathlessly waiting to find out the race of the latest gun-toting killer so the sides can quickly push their narrative: White men are always mass murderers, and their gun worship, video games, and white supremacy is why they keep so many guns; Black people are irresponsible gun owners and rappers are bad influences; immigrants are violent and our borders should be closed.
Military weapons, handguns, white killers, Black killers, POC killers, and immigrant killers each kill the rest of us because the most significant common denominator among them are they are all men.
Men of all races and demographics use guns to murder other men, women, and children. Men vote for politicians that protect men from having to follow gun laws. And men introduce legislation and pass legislation and laws in cities and states that grant more rights to gun owners than all the rest of us.
In Texas alone, there have been eight shootings since 2009 in which at least four victims were killed. In 2018 a student opened fire at Santa Fe HS near Houston, killing 10 people and wounding another 13 – you’ve forgotten all about that I bet. We have all forgotten because mass murder isn’t as popular as the next Netflix thriller with male protagonists who are able to shoot and kill all their enemies with skill and expertise.
Just like in real life.
All the usual performative responses of “Thoughts and Prayers” are being said, proving that neither thoughts nor prayers can change legislation or gun laws. And if there is a god, she/he remains uninterested in Americans’s slow-burn suicide by gun.
What can we do? What should we do?
Doing nothing isn’t an option though it is the option most often chosen by a nation that has a delusional mythology of being brave, daring, and bold in its self-described manifest destiny.
Men should not be allowed to own or have access to guns. We have proven that men gun owners are the issue. We have hundred years of data that prove armed men are incapable of managing their emotions enough to stop them from murdering 40k-60k people every year. The evidence is clear and it is telling us to take guns away from men.
Don’t make them register, train, track, or limit the number of guns they can have, because those are not enough. We need to ban men from owning guns. Nothing less will save Americans from the deadly scourge of gun deaths by the hand of immature, angry, vengeful, racist, psychopathic, revenge-seeking man with unlimited and unmonitored access to the most deadly personal weapon ever invented.
Science has imperial data that men are incapable of being trusted with guns, rifles, or any of those military-style automatic weapons that are specifically designed to kill lots of people with exceptional efficiency.
All men. Yes, ALL. White, Black, brown, Asian, and all mixed variations. While it is true that white men vote for other white men who make the gun laws, those laws benefit “all men” because those laws grant all men access to weapons they have proven incapable of safely using, and we all suffer as a result of their violent recklessness.
The same men who vote to control women’s access to healthcare and abortion and who control the lives of all the rest of us – from cradle to grave – self-determine that only they are excused from societal oversight in the most needed area – gun safety.
But their reign of terror must come to an end. We cannot as a healthy society allow their bloody damage to continue to hold us hostage. Men have a figurative gun pointed at society all while they literally hold three-hundred million weapons at the ready for when their emotions decide they need a release.
But we know nothing will happen because men are in charge and they have decided they need guns to bolster their manhood and feelings of inadequacy. And we know they believe they need guns to prove how “powerful” they are because with guns, what would men be except humans forced to talk, discuss, listen, and debate.
The school in Uvalde, Texas, wasn’t shot up by an immigrant. It wasn’t the site of a mass murder because someone said the word “Gay.” It wasn’t attacked because Black history or Critical Race Theory was on the curriculum. It wasn’t a target because students learned about, used, and accepted different pronouns. And it wasn’t a target because sex education was being taught or prayers weren’t forced on the students.
The school was a target because… every location is a target. We are all targets.
© by Myron J. Clifton and Dear Dean Publishing. All Rights Reserved.
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Myron J. Clifton is slightly older than fifty, lives in Sacramento, California, and is an avid Bay Area sports fan. He likes comic books, telling stories about his late mom to his beloved daughter Leah, and talking to his friends.
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