Nick Bilton, over at Vanity Fair’s The Hive, is a proud alumn of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the school that was the location of the most recent (as I write this, but who knows now?) gun atrocity. While the article is a great read, a couple of paragraphs jumped out at me:
“…School shootings are now a terrible recurring event in our culture that are beyond comprehension. And the political right responds to them with an alarmingly consistent message, often obfuscating or dodging—saying it’s too soon to discuss gun control after a mass shooting, or that the victims’ families need time to mourn first. It’s a way of circumnavigating the main argument—how can you separate the issues of gun control and gun violence—and punting, hoping that some inane meme from a Donald Trump tweet will distract us all and change the subject. Given the recurrence of these events, some Republican politicians, of course, have their response perfected. They offer their “thoughts and prayers” for the victims. Politicians like Marco Rubio tweet verses from the bible. Trump blames mass shootings on mental illness, while scolding victims for not reporting him earlier. Florida Governor Rick Scott, who said after the Orlando nightclub massacre that “we will do everything in our power to make sure this never happens again,” puts out a new statement: “I’m going to do everything I can to make sure this never happens again.” Meanwhile, the N.R.A. keeps supporting these politicians and getting them into office. Days from now, when fiery emotions have turned to complacency, the N.R.A. will fight back against gun control, saying that Hollywood is to blame with all their gun-toting violent movies. Or maybe it’s the fault of video games. Whatever it is, it’s not guns that kill people.
“Which is—to be frank—complete and utter bullshit. America is not the only country in the world where people suffer from mental illnesses. America is not the only country with violent video games or movies full of dramatic shootouts. Yet America is the only country in the world with more than 300 million guns. We are the only country where you can be in high school and legally buy an AR-15 assault rifle, the civilian version of the fully-automatic M-16. The same gun that could be—and is and was—used in war. And America is the only country in the world where high-school students actually do buy AR-15 assault rifles and murder innocent students.”
Not to be too blunt (OK, I’m being blunt) the Republicans have made the calculation that dead kids don’t vote, so fuck ’em. Republicans want the sweet, sweet NRA blood money. The tactic is going to be about mental health. Some headlines:
- Speaker Ryan wants to fix possible legal gaps on guns and mental health
- Trump Calls For Mental Health Action After Shooting; His Budget Would Cut Programs
- Florida lawmakers rally around mental health proposals but dodge gun control
It’s all craven, of course, and they won’t fund it, of course, and time will pass until the next slaughter, which of course no one could have predicted.
Dead kids don’t vote, but we do.
Vote them out. Vote them all out.