The 18th American school shooting of 2018 took place on the 45th day of the year.
Let that one sink in.
As Parkland joins Columbine and Newtown in the pantheon of modern American horrors, the predictable cavalcade of “thoughts and prayers” pour in from solemn pundits and politicians who, if history is any guide, will do absolutely nothing to prevent the next rampage.
Get this: When mass shootings occurred in Australia and the United Kingdom, the adults in the room got together and—I shit you not—said “gee, that’s unacceptable,” changed their gun laws, and put an end to it.
Here in the United States, our “leaders” activate a slightly different plan:
Political Mass Shooting Protocol
Step 1: Focus on the perpetrator as a sick aberration in an otherwise peachy-keen world of consumerist goodness, to deflect attention away from a sick, corrupt, soul-sucking, materialistic, militaristic, violence-gourged society hardwired to produce alienated, violent people. (If that fails: Look, Russia!!!)
Step 2: Indulge in a self-serving, click-baity orgy of “thoughts and prayers.”
Step 3: Wait until the next news cycle buries the story.
Step 4: Continue to take bribes from the NRA.
Step 5: Repeat Steps 1-4 after next mass slaughter.
Offering thoughts and prayers to families of mass shooting victims is the gateway cliché to the gun culture’s go-to rebuttal of calls to end the madness: “Now is not the time to politicize this shooting...” Well, when pray tell is the fucking time?! After the next bloodbath? Or the next? Or the next? Or perhaps only when their children are killed?
Of course there’s nothing wrong with well-meaning thoughts and prayers directed toward the families of this tragedy. But if your thoughts and prayers are nothing more than a self-aggrandizing posture parroted from the NRA script and aligned with the agenda of maintaining the status quo, then you’re guaranteeing the next mass shooting, you’re sentencing millions of kids and teachers to live in terror, and you’re demonstrating your prioritization of corporate profits over the lives of American children.
It’s really as simple as that.
“No, but 2nd Amendment!, and Government Tyranny!, and Founding Fathers!, and blah blah blah...”
Sorry–just more scripts and smoke screens. Seventeen dead children and their families don’t give a flying fuck about gun ads disguised as a civics lesson.
The United States is the only country in the world where mass shootings happen on a regular basis, and it can be fixed the same way other countries have fixed it if the “leaders” of this country cared more about its people than about their own profit and power. Until they do, fuck their “thoughts and prayers.” We don’t need them. We need sensible gun control, and we need it now. And as the late great Bill Hicks used to say:
CASE. FUCKING. CLOSED.
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