Zealots — The battle is joined

Zealots

The battle is joined

June 25th, 2022

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

Nothing exposes the utter ethical and logical bankruptcy of zealotry than the two decisions the once-and-not-bright-future Supreme Court handed down this week.

First, they celebrated the ever-growing piles of dead children by ruling that states could not put any limitations on concealed-carry except, of course, for “sensitive areas” such as…the Supreme Court. They don’t want to have to take the same risks they want to impose on the rest of us.

Then two days later the Court struck down Roe vs. Wade, ruling that states had the right to put limitations on abortion, including making it illegal under any and all circumstances.

So in the space of just 48 hours, the Court ruled that the Court could not impose limitations on the second amendment, and then ruled that states could impose limitations on the ninth and fourteenth amendments.

The first ruling ensures greater numbers of dead people, including children. The second was done in the nebulous name of “saving children.” It’s the kind of inconsistency that lies at the heart of the zealot’s mindset.

Zealotry is hard to tell apart from insanity. Zealotry is an externalized morality and intellect, one aptly described by Voltaire who said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” Most (but far from all) zealots aren’t lacking sanity—they merely reject it.

Donald Trump isn’t a zealot. It’s perhaps an interesting paradox that nihilism is a good emotional defense against zealotry. If you believe in nothing, you are much less likely to believe absurdities, right? Of course, the drawback is that nihilists also commit atrocities, and unlike many zealots, do so with the full recognition of what their actions entail—they just don’t care. In fact they may even enjoy the suffering they cause.

Trump is a nihilist posing as a zealot. So today, he praised the court ruling on abortion as “God made the decision.” Of course, he then went on to take the credit from God, saying that the decision wouldn’t have been possible without his three disgraceful Supreme Court picks. Anyone who thinks God and Trump are interchangeable on any level has one shit God. They already had a shit President.

The zealots control the Court. They have a stranglehold on Congress. They threaten to take over the entire country in the next six months. It’s not something new in history: Zealots have taken over many countries in history, and the result, without exception, is misery, deprivation, and slaughter. All the worst “revolutionary governments” in history were controlled and largely were composed of zealots; revolutionary France, Nazi Germany, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Kampuchea, Lenin’s Russia, Pinochet’s Chile, Iran’s Islamic Republic, Cromwell’s England…the list is endless.

Usually countries so afflicted need decades to recover. Some, such as the Congo or Cambodia, never do fully recover.

When zealots take over, personal and legal freedoms cease to exist. The same people who like to claim rights are God-given don’t hesitate to ensure they are God-taken, and as always, God is an obliging doormat who shares all of a zealot’s most cherished beliefs.

The Court decisions this week show how close to the maw of authoritarian zealotry America has already come. Clarence Thomas, disgraced justice on that same court, publicly stated in his decision that the court now needs to “revisit” rulings upholding the right to contraception and same-sex marriages. No word on how the esteemed judge feels about mixed-race marriages or laws against slavery.

States run by zealots are rushing to put laws into effect that make it criminal to give or receive abortions, to travel to other states for abortions, or to even advocate for the right to an abortion. Some are trying to outlaw “morning after” pills, along with contraception. A couple of states are trying to fig leaf their assault on the rights and freedoms of women by promising to expand state assistance to mothers and their young children, but in the few cases where any details are available, the measures are ridiculously inadequate, showing their mitigation measures to be nothing more than a half-hearted swipe at the pretense that they are “caring about the children.”

The hearings by the January 6th Select Committee, and the reception they are getting, show that there are still many people in America who value justice and freedom and rationality.

I think we’re going to need every single one of those types of people. This isn’t just an assault on rights and freedoms; it’s the opening shot in a war that can only be prevented by enough people facing the zealots down and saying, “Enough.”

Zealots won’t back off. They won’t settle for a half loaf. They’ll take it all, and laugh at your suffering.

Resist as hard as you can now, or you will be fighting for “life, liberty and freedom” later—and it won’t be cheap.

But don’t despair. We’re not dead yet. Voltaire also said, “‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.”

Sing as you resist.

Head Hardening — Idiot “solutions” to school shootings

Head Hardening

Idiot “solutions” to school shootings

May 29th 2022

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

A friend of mine wrote me and said, “Twenty bucks says if that classroom had been full of little white girls those Rangers would’ve charged in guns a-blazin’.” Given that murdering a white person in America is seen as a far more serious crime than murdering someone who isn’t white, that may well be true. I’m sure that among the sociopaths who are trying to downplay the shootings at Robb Elementary, there are some who would be taking a different approach if the victims had been “little white girls.” Not that it would be easy to tell their race or gender after an AR-15 was done with them.

But what I said to my friend was “That was kinda my first thought, too—until I discovered the town clowns were 90% Hispanic themselves. That was almost a relief; cowardly and incompetent was bad enough without throwing racism into the mix.” There’s damn few things you can say about the shooting that don’t sicken the soul, but for once it wasn’t the racist impulse that is rapidly destroying America.

The morally and ethically dead imbeciles have come out on full parade, of course. I won’t bother with the Trumps or the Congressional trolls; they just want attention and the only attention they deserve is a loud “Fuck YOU!” But the gun apologists in general have been trying their usual efforts to defray the situation in any way they can.

I’ve had several people tell me that the teachers need to be armed. You hear that pretty much every time this happens, which means you hear it a lot.

Let’s suppose the two teachers in the classroom had been armed. They could not safely carry guns on their persons, not surrounded by 30 inquisitive and clever kids who would be daring one another to figure out how to get the gun off the teacher. OK, the girls, not so much, but if you think knowing the teacher had a gun wouldn’t be taken by the boys as a challenge, then you don’t know kids very well.

Putting the gun somewhere out of sight wouldn’t work, either. Even if the kids didn’t know about the gun, they get into everything. The same day as the shooting, a second grader, age 7, showed up at a Sacramento school with a loaded handgun. The parents probably thought the gun was safely hidden. But kids get into everything.

So put the gun in a safe. That way, the teacher can fumble for a key or try to remember a combination while trying to shield kids from explosive rounds where even a shot to a limb would be fatal. Piece of cake, right? There’s a reason we pay teachers as lavishly as we do, and it isn’t to educate the kids. Yes, that was sarcasm.

Sort of. Remember Texas is one of those states that refuses to teach about civics, sex, or history. Even math books get banned for failing political purity tests. About all teachers can tell the kids is that Santa Claus founded the Confederacy to prepare the land for the second coming of Jesus.

One guy—and I hope to fuck he was kidding, but somehow I doubt it—suggested arming the kids. Well, maybe not the fourth-graders. I think he had in mind high school kids. Because 15-year-olds are known for their good judgment and emotional stability. So you have thirty kids with guns, and a shooter shows up, and thirty kids greet him by pulling thirty weapons. That’ll show him, right?

Except in the panic and confusion, kids will fire in wrong, if not totally random directions, making it impossible to guess who the original shooter was. (And NONE of the kids kindly furnished guns by Governor Abbott will turn out to be shooters themselves?). If the shooter is from outside, all he has to do is duck back out into the hallway and wait for the shooting and massive crossfire to end, and then nip around and pick off the survivors, if any.

Another bit of idiocy being flung around is “harden the schools.” Part of it is having armed guards around. Well, Robb Elementary did have an armed guard. He was out fucking off somewhere, and there are unconfirmed reports he might have been the one who left the door open that the gunman used for entry. Nearly every school that has been shot up since before Columbine—dozens of them—had armed guards. There isn’t an instance where they’ve avoided a single death, and far too many where they bullied and arrested and threatened young kids for minor disciplinary transgressions. People want a cross between Officer Friendly and the Batman, but what they get is some retired buffoon whose only accomplishment as a cop was not getting fired over thirty years.

One suggestion that left me slapping my forehead in complete abandonment of hope for humanity was that they only have ONE entrance and exit to a school, and it be locked. Likewise all the classrooms. One door. Locked.

Because schools never catch fire, no place ever gets earthquakes, and there’s never any other kind of emergency that might require a fast and orderly evacuation of the school.

And a would-be school shooter would grin at the notion that the school had very thoughtfully created a killing field for him, a blind cul-de-sac full of kids who had absolutely no place to go, save where the shooter was standing.

Of course, thanks to the NRA and the gun industry, shooters don’t even have to enter the classrooms. The can just stroll down the hallway, firing into the walls. Random semi-automatic bursts through drywall will kill kids by the dozens. If he wants to see the carnage, well, there’s aren’t many door locks that can stand up to an AR-15. The gun, after all, is designed to kill large numbers of people very quickly. You don’t even have to have a good aim.

The only solution—and it won’t happen overnight—is to ban weapons beyond those for home defense, or hunting. Weapons of mass destruction like AR-15s must be banned. And gun owners should be licensed, and their weapons registered. That won’t stop the carnage, but it will start to slow it down some.

If these changes aren’t made, than reflect on the fact that in a couple of more years, we’ll be looking at Robb Elementary as “the good old days.” and wonder how we’re supposed to educate our surviving kids.

Because it’s going to get worse. Much worse.

GOP Gun Bravado — Justifying piles of dead kids

GOP Gun Bravado

Justifying piles of dead kids

May 25th 2022

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

Stephen King tweeted today, “The cable news washing machine is asking what motivated Salvador Ramos to kill all those children. The answer is simple: He did it because he could.”

King is in the unfortunate position of feeling some responsibility for school shootings. Back in 1977—yes, 45 years ago—he wrote a novel, “Rage” under the pseudonym of Richard Bachmann. School shootings were nearly unheard of back then, and King wrote it both as a horror story and as a cautionary tale. He’s not to blame for the horror that envelops our lives now, no more so than “All Quiet on the Western Front” was responsible for World War II.

But King is an expert on the dark side of human nature, and when he wrote “Rage,” he knew the potential was there. Unlike stories about vampires and other-dimensional westerns, this depended on just three elements: the rage that lies within many teens, the vulnerability of school children, and the American love affair with guns. King felt responsibility because at heart he’s a decent human being: but the school shootings we’ve seen would have happened whether he wrote “Rage” or not.

But there’s the thing: even if some child assassin stood up and declared, “Yes, I shot those kids because I was inspired by ‘Rage,’” King’s moral and ethical positions would still be better than that of nearly every elected Republican in the country.

Yes, King described a possible horror with considerable psychological and mental accuracy; there’s a reason he’s one of the best-selling authors of all time. He accurately portrays the human condition. But as school shootings became common, he acknowledged his role, and took “Rage” out of active sales. And he has been one of the strongest voices in the country for gun control.

Compare to the heartless, gutless, cowardly Republicans who lean on increasingly empty talking points to justify their inaction in the face of the ongoing slaughter of children. (Read that line again and ask if it’s even possible for a human to find a lower stance to take.) None of them will say, “It’s time to address the problem.” Most will try to pretend it isn’t a problem they can address, and prattle on about mental illness, or video games, or protecting us from government—yes, the same government they are a part off. Kids are getting shot to protect them from government officials who let them get shot because second amendment, which is there to protect the kids from feckless politicians like…um, them.

The reason it has taken so long to identify the dead is that AR-15 bullets, which turn humans into hamburger, left many of the bodies unrecognizable. They had to depend on DNA for a lot of the piles of guts on the classroom floor. Lots of closed-casket funerals coming up, thanks to the Republican Party.

As many have pointed out, other countries have people who are mentally ill, video games, and have oppressive governments. If you want to annoy one of those paranoid nuts who believe the constitution was written by people who wanted the government they created overthrown violently, just point out that the USSR, one of the most repressive regimes on Earth, fell to an unarmed populace with only a few dozen shots being fired. Meanwhile, we have idiots running around pretending they can protect us from the military, robbers, and apparently, ten-year-old children.

There’s no lower position a human can take. They would need to climb a very tall ladder just to reach the level of cowardly filth.

But they are cowards. The best way to change their minds is to make them open to the same risks they inflict on us.

Therefore, I call on the NRA to allow anyone who wants to to carry a loaded weapon into their convention Friday. Just like they can just about anywhere else in Texas. I don’t want to see more death, so I’ll be happy to keep my fingers crossed for them. I’m sure the NRA will welcome all thoughts and prayers, both in advance and in the event of any bloody aftermath.

Republican politicians, tell your guards and police escort to take a few weeks off. Go out like a normal person, and take the same risks that you want the rest of us to take. Is that too much to ask?

They let our children die because they are moral and ethical cowards. There is no inner humanity to reach within them. Abbott, Cruz and Trump made that clear already this week. Let Trump bloviate to the NRA with a room full of loaded guns and no Secret Service. Oh, they can have a security guard—he’s entitled to the same amount of protection school children can get. He can have fun explaining how he was the greatest president of all time because one of his first acts was to make it easier for the mentally ill to get guns, all the time sweating profusely whilst scanning the room, ready to duck behind his little wood rostrum In The Event Of. The amount of grotesque gun bravado espoused by this lot will vanish quickly.

I don’t want an assassination—that would only make things worse. But I do want him to feel the same fear every schoolkid is feeling tonight.

They are cowards, these gun heroes. Trump alone is a novel of cowardice in action.

Make them take the same risks the rest of us face, and watch them cave like Halloween pumpkins in January. Unlike King, who is courageous, they will crumble if they have to accept responsibility for their actions.

Massie Delusion — Witless Congressman promotes gun lobby’s biggest lie

Massie Delusion

Witless Congressman promotes gun lobby’s biggest lie

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

February 13th, 2022

Ignorant Republican Buffoon is nearly a triply redundant phrase when it comes to describing some members of Congress. Some are stupid. Some are vile. Far too many combine all traits and produce a loud braying that is dangerous to American democracy.

Thomas Massie, (Gun Nut-KY) is one of those. He attracted notice just before Xmas when he sent out a card featuring his family, including young children, brandishing weapons of mass destruction. Nothing says “Peace and Love for the Holidays” like a little girl with a Mac-10. I wonder how many of her classmates will die because there’s so many children with access to so much firepower. He also attributed this quote to Voltaire: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” While it’s not difficult to imagine Voltaire saying something like that, the quote was actually from a neo-Nazi pedophile, one Kevin Alfred Strom, who said it in terms of Jews secretly ruling the world. Interesting role model you got there, Tommy.

More recently, he made the outlandish claim that “Over 70% of Americans who died with COVID, died on Medicare.” I’ve got news for you, Tommy. Ninety-nine percent of all humans that ever lived breathed oxygen and are now dead. Better stop breathing oxygen, Tommy.

So Tommy has a well-worn record for being vile and ignorant.

But he managed to top himself over the week end, as part of his pose of willing, crawling subservience in the name of Donald J. Trump and gun nuts everywhere.

According to David Badash at the New Civil Rights Movement, “A U.S. Congressman is calling on Americans to own ‘sufficient’ weaponry to overthrow the government, suggesting they should do so “if 30 to 40 percent agree” the nation is living under ‘tyranny.’

“If 30 to 40 percent could agree that this was legitimate tyranny and it needed to be thrown off they need to have sufficient power without asking for extra permission – it should be right there and completely available to them in their living room in order to effect the change,” U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said in a video (below) posted by Right Wing Watch.

It really scary how many gun nuts believe that nonsense. Oh, 30 to 40% of the general population would be enough to foment a revolution, but the United States is nowhere near that now. For all the romantic nonsense about colonists having guns to fight the British with, the fact is deaths by gunfire were well under 10,000 on all sides, with greater numbers coming from hypothermia, infection, and non-gun wounds. It will be of interest to anti-vaxxers to know that during that same 8.3 year period, over 130,000 colonists died of smallpox.

Gun nuts love to claim that the Second Amendment exists to empower the people to overthrow the government. They always quote the second part, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” but leave out “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” That collection of gun industry whores and Russian spies that make up the NRA literally leave out that first part.

Other gun nuts claim that the militia exists to fight the government. This even has some backing from amongst the Founders, with James Madison arguing, “a standing army… would be opposed [by] a militia.” and “would be able to repel the danger” of a federal army.

In the end, they decided to make the militia a federal force, under Article I, Section 8, Clause 16 of the U.S. Constitution, which states: “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.” Obviously the militia isn’t meant to overthrow the federal or state governments if the only entities that can finance them, equip them, appoint their officers and call them out are the same governments the gun nuts say the militia is there to overthrow!

Instead, the Founders decided to limit the federal force. Article I, Section 8, Clause 12:

[The Congress shall have Power . . . ] To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; . . . “

If there is a mechanism meant to overthrow the federal government, it is there. Just don’t provide new funding for the US military for more than two more years. I doubt that will popular amongst the strutters and cringers of the far right, who hate federal power but love federal military might. (Honestly, have any of them ever actually thought this through?)

That state militia even exist was a sop to the South, who wanted people to raise slave gangs to capture runaways and rebellionists without having to go to the trouble of deputizing them. They existed to capture or shoot slaves for reading or having unapproved churches, not overthrowing the government.

The civilian militia are even sillier. I can’t imagine any of them lasting 5 seconds against a platoon of Marines, or SEALS. Even with all those guns.

Tallyrand has been credited with the line, “Treason is mostly a matter of timing.” Fire on the government and have popular support and win, and you’re a hero. Rebel foolishly and without popular support, and you’re a bullet-riddled corpse in a gutter whose next-of-kin might disavow.

If violence does arise, it will be extremely bloody, and even if it’s just 5% of the population, it might destabilize the country enough that it collapses. Why do you think the NRA gets so much support from the Putin regime, and why is it financed by corporate fascists intent on seizing control of the country?

Massie is an idiot, and would remain so even if he read this. But people have the ability to keep the idiots in check. Now is a good time to start.

 

Crux – Nation may finally reach tipping point on gun violence

August 5th 2019

Of course, Trump tried to blame it on video games and television shows. It’s an excuse easily discredited by noting that many other nations have television and video games, but don’t routinely have mass shootings, or even the background hum of some 25,000 gun deaths every year.

Trump passed along his condolences to Toledo, which the town no doubt appreciated, although they were probably a bit perplexed; the recent mass shooting in Ohio was in Dayton, not Toledo. Nor was it in Bowling Green, another Ohio town cited by this administration for a terrorist attack that never actually happened.

OK, Trump is insincere and an idiot, and a patsy to the gun industry, but we all knew that already. It says it all, really that he’s going to El Paso, winner of the mass murder of the week award, against the wishes of the community. It’s bad enough that a lot of people in El Paso believe that Trump’s hateful rhetoric against ‘invaders’ directly led to this week’s Walmart shooting, but Trump had been there several months earlier for an anti-immigrant rally, ironic enough, but then he turned around and stiffed the city for $470,000 in security costs.

Think about that: he went to El Paso to inveigh against people who resembled 80% of the population of that town, ripped them off on the costs of protecting his sorry ass, provoked this mass shooting, and now wants to come and do them the favor of telling them, “Toledo, we stand behind you!”

Nearly lost in the glare of the two latest mass murders were two ones earlier in the week: In northern Mississippi, a shooter shot up a Walmart, killing two employees and wounding a cop. Walmart has already announced that their policy of gleefully selling weapons of mass destruction to lunatics and Nazis will not be interrupted by these little setbacks.

Then some clown shot up the Gilroy Garlic Festival. I’ve been to (and greatly enjoyed) the Garlic Fest. Not only that, but just a couple of days earlier I went to a Logging Heritage festival in my town, and it looked just like the Gilroy affair; tents and pavilions and happy people in bright summer wear in the blazing sun, having a great time. The shadow of a gunsel darkened that happy memory.

Still, as horrible as this past week has been, some sort of seismic shift has occurred in the country.

The media is openly referring to the attack in El Paso as a terrorist attack by the greatest security threat America faces: white nationalists and Nazis. The three other attacks, not ideologically or racially motivated, demonstrate the massive problem America has with guns. We have 219 mass shootings (three or more casualties in one incident) this year, the highest rate ever.

America is finally calling the problems what they are: weapons of mass destruction being sold to lunatics and Nazis. The Gilroy shooter was brought down by police in a minute; the shooter in El Paso in less than three minutes; the shooter in Dayton in 31 seconds. Less than five minutes aggregate, and at least 34 dead, over 60 injured. The El Paso shooter faced a mall full of people, many of whom practiced open carry. Didn’t help. It took the police to take him down. If any of the John Wayne wannabees took any action to defend their friends and loved ones, nobody else noticed. In Dayton, despite the incredibly fast response of police, the reason the death toll wasn’t much higher was because one very brave man, apparently a bouncer for the Ned Peppers bar, wrested the long gun from the shooter’s hands and stalled him long enough for cops to shoot the gunsel. Reports differ on whether the bouncer was killed by the shooter or simply injured by shrapnel when the cops shot the bastard. But between him and the fact that cops were nearby and reacted with unbelievable speed, hundreds of lives may have been saved. The shooter had multiple 100 round clips of .223s, a jolly little projectile that turns about a cubic foot of a human body into hamburger on impact and even a shot to an arm or leg can kill due to hydrostatic shock. They have one purpose—to kill humans. Although the Nazis who own so many of them prefer to think of their targets as subhumans.

But it’s changing. Oh, the vast majority of Republicans still cower in steaming puddles of their own moral cowardice, but some are finally standing up and saying, “This must end.” And Democrats and the media are calling the mass shootings what they are: terrorism. Even the non-ideological shooters, like the piece of shit in Dayton, are trying to send a message to the public and instill a culture of fear.

Even if the message is “I’m an alienated loser, a sexual cripple and a religious nut, but I can still scare you with my guns,” it’s terrorism. And it’s a far bigger problem than Islamic radicals. Or refugees from torn lands and their children.

The media, and the Democrats, are no making no bones about it. Republicans have tried to defuse it, blaming everything but the guns and nuts, and are openly being called out on the whorish cowardice that underlies their blind defense of the NRA and the murderous clowns who amass large arsenals against what they see as the coming Great Racial Holy War.

People are tired of sacrificing their right to go to the movies, the local fair, their church, the local Walmart, or just out on the street to these vicious little sociopaths who, minus their weapons of war, would be nothing more than noisy nuisances.

You can feel it. It ends here.

Obama and Gun Sanity

Obama and Gun Sanity

The prez comes out with 23 executive orders and 13 proposals for Congress

 

© Bryan Zepp Jamieson

January 16th 2013

 

 

To hear the far right tell it, North Korea, led by the reanimated corpse of Adolf Hitler, has invaded America and is making every school child turn in any relatives who have guns. Discussion areas throughout the web erupted with an amazing variety of paranoid conspiracy theories, ranging from claims the shootings at Sandy Hook were faked by the administration as an excuse to burn the Constitution (yes, really) to claims that doctors would be forced to turn in any patients who owned guns.

The reality is considerably closer to actual sanity. The 23 executive orders are relatively mild, and most amount to nothing more than window dressing. Even the one about doctors falls far short of Matt Drudge’s paranoid babble: it consists merely of sending a letter to doctors letting them know that it is not illegal to report patients who the doctors feel present a real risk of gun violence. To that end, he feels doctors should feel free to ask about weapons in the home, something the GOP has tried to outlaw.

Continue reading “Obama and Gun Sanity”

Guns and Kids

Guns and Kids

Newtown, old problem

© Bryan Zepp Jamieson

December 14th 2012

 Imagine the uproar, if in the wake of the Newtown shootings today, someone had gotten in front of the cameras and said, “Well, you know, they are just a bunch of American kids. They’d have gotten shot sooner or later, so why is everyone so excited?”

Every time someone says, “There’s nothing to be done. The gun nut lobby is too powerful.” they are really saying, “Well, you know, they are just a bunch of American kids. They’d have gotten shot sooner or later, so why is everyone so excited?” Can’t beat the NRA. People have a right to defend themselves, and if a few kids get greased, well, what the fuck? Ain’t my right to defend myself more important than a bunch of stupid kids?

Even more disgraceful are the handful of preachers who have jumped in to declaim that if America were just a bit more Christian, those kids wouldn’t have gotten shot. Jesus loves the little children, but he doesn’t mind blowing a few of them to hamburger if it makes the backsliders in the pews sit up and pay attention.

The fatalism I can almost understand. It’s a type of fatalism that would appall a Frenchman, but at least it’s a human reaction. The preachers ought to dragged out of their churches and sodomized with their own bibles.

I’m sure the NRA and their apologists will be going full throttle over the next few days, proclaiming that hundreds of millions of gun owners did not go out and kill a bunch of children. Although on an average day, 25 of them will go out and kill someone, and most of the victims will be wives, ex-girlfriends, family, or neighbors. There’s a decent chance that one of the 25 victims will be a child—about once every four days, a child under the age of 16 dies from a gun-related homicide.

They’ll point out that gun laws don’t keep kids safe, and point to China, where a nut went on the rampage nearly simultaneously with the Newtown killer and attacked 22 school children with a knife. And it’s true—both China and America have horrible records when it comes to protecting the mentally ill from themselves, and society from them. Americans often have the notion that anyone who is claiming mental illness is trying to pull some kind of fast one, getting SSI for nothing. How do the crazy survive when the surrounding society is nearly as crazy?

One little difference between Newtown and the Chinese attack: in China, all the kids lived. None even sustained life-threatening injuries. They were scarred for life, mentally and in some cases physically, but they are all alive. I wonder how many parents of children at that Chinese school are looking at the news from America tonight and thinking, “It could have been much worse.”

The problem isn’t guns. The gun nuts are right when they say “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” Americans are surprised when I point out that nearly as high a percentage of Canadians own guns as in America. Canada’s gun homicide and gun-related violence stats are, by American standards, negligible.

The problem is the attitudes towards guns. The gun manufacturers who fund the NRA shameless play on fear, assuring one and all through their deadly little lobby that guns are an American’s only hope to defend against blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Obama, Commies, Socialists, criminals, crazies, kids wearing hoodies, rival sports team fans, whatever.

Society is scary. Guns make it less scary.

Guns can solve your social problems.

It’s what informs those lunatic “stand your ground” laws. The message is clear enough: your right to use guns against whatever frightens you is far more important than any actual violence. We can all be Charlton Heston, who could kill the bad guys on screen and never face repercussions. Justice comes too late for you to save yourself. You must kill first.

After all, there are many criminals out there who kill.

It isn’t the screen glorification of violence that does it. After all, they watch the same movies and play the same video games in the UK and Canada. They read the same news about mass shootings in America, and less frequently, at home. They don’t run out and buy a bunch of guns because their NRA meeting talked about home invasion, or the President is black.

We’ll never know what went through the head of the Newtown shooter other than police bullets. Maybe he was mad at mom and thought he would make her feel bad. Maybe it was because of the election. Or maybe his goddamn dog told him those kids were possessed by Satan. But he knew this: guns could solve his problems. He might have been so screwed up he looked at children at play and saw the old ones of Cthulhu, but he knew what the all-American answer was. Guns. And big powerful ones, judging from the carnage.

“Well, you know, they are just a bunch of American kids. They’d have gotten shot sooner or later, so why is everyone so excited?”

Hey, no problem. Just start issuing school kids guns, so they are in a position to return fire.

After all, an armed society is a polite society, right?

Sleep tight, keep your gun close by. After all, there’s probably a lunatic with a bunch of guns in your neighborhood.

It might even be you, one day.

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