|These mass-shooting incidents are so frequent and so similar, is it any wonder some people think they may be... intentional?|
Yesterday was a whirlwind of snow and cats and ice and hail and biscohitos and all sorts of peripheral things that had to be done or got through somehow (snowy/icy mountain passes in blizzard-like conditions aren't the most fun to drive, etc.) so we missed yesterday's Big Story of the mass slaughter of school kids in Connecticut until well into the afternoon.
We sat stunned and horrified as the news trickled in through our computers and then came to dominate the television for the rest of the day and into the night.
Once again America is subjected to the bloodfest and slaughter in supposedly safe and sanitized public spaces -- in this case an elementary school in an upscale suburb of New York. Almost 30 are dead now, most of them children in a kindergarten class -- a class that was initially reported to have been taught by the shooter's mother who was reported to have been killed in the massacre.
Some truly idiotic woman was on the NBC news feed that we were watching, counseling America on how to talk to your children about this incident, pointing out how rare they are, how "this has never happened before" and how everyone is doing everything they can to "keep our children safe," and how important it was to make sure children were not exposed to the wall-to-wall coverage of this "very unusual" incident.
It was just bullshit. Even the anchor was dumbfounded by her counseling crap. As if children today don't have access to news.
This is the second mass shooting in a week, in an ostensibly safe place, by a young adult shooter who apparently had mental health problems before he went on his very public rampage using very lethal (and legal) armament. Then killing himself. Conveniently exiting the scene, in a manner of speaking, before the investigation even gets under way.
The usual suspects are now hammering away at one another on the internet and in the media over the question of when is the "right time" to discuss gun control and the problem of gun violence in this country -- assuming, of course, that you believe that gun violence is a problem. Apparently some Americans don't.
The President's spokesmouth cautioned the assembled media flacks that "now is not the time" to open a discussion about... well... this.
It is literally never the "right time."
I've been using the term "homicidal cruelty" to describe the attitude of Our Betters toward the rest of us, particularly in the context of the entirely out of touch -- and embarrassing -- Fiscal Cliff arguments going on in DC. The entire political and media class has been obsessed with a singular objective for months now: how to ensure that social insurance programs and benefits are cut enough that there is significant "pain" among the recipients -- to show the "markets" that the politicians are "serious" about deficit reduction.
People are dying and death rates -- among seniors especially -- will increase as a result. That is supposed to be an "unfortunate but necessary" consequence of "getting serious about the debt." It's shameful, and the spectacle of Our Betters nattering on endlessly about the "necessity" of this "shared sacrifice" is sickening.
But there you are, that's the American ruling class today. They are intent on imposing their homicidal cruelty as extensively as possible on as many people as possible as their bounden right and duty. They are obsessed with doing it. NOW!
So here's another mass slaughter essentially in the backyard of the New York media market (which has helped generate the kind of wall-to-wall coverage of it we've seen) and the upshot has been strange and ugly.
The slaughter itself is horrifying. Here we are -- again -- with another young man who has mental health issues and access to high powered weapons who somehow snaps and goes on a shooting rampage killing however many he can (in this case, including his mother and dozens of elementary school children) before killing himself.
The upshot is not to try to "fix it" -- or even to discuss what happened from the standpoint of "fixing it" -- but to instead celebrate the militarization of the police, the lockdowns of schools (just like they were prisons), and to reassure one another that even though these incidents are inevitable -- due to "freedom" -- we can rest assured that the authorities are doing everything in their power to keep us safe.
No, what they have been doing for a long time now is essentially allowing these incidents to occur on a regular basis. They have such a salutary effect on the public, after all. The mass shooting incident, which is practically unique to the United States, has the effect of inspiring ever greater numbers of the People to fear and dread, panic in some cases, and that effect enables their acquiescence and dependency on authority for their "safety." Except they aren't "safe." Anywhere. Ever. For there will be another mass killing soon enough, and another and another. And still more.
Because it is never the right time to discuss or do anything about the orgy of bloodletting in this country. Never.
Bloodlust and bloodletting is the price we pay for "freedom," you see.
Ending the slaughter means the end of "freedom..."
No other country has anything close to the American level of constant slaughter and bloodletting -- unless they are engaged in a civil war (or in some cases resistance against invasion, aggression, and occupation.) Of course the marketing and easy availability of firearms makes the constant killing remarkably simple to accomplish if that's what someone wants to do. There is really nothing standing in the way, certainly not social opprobrium or more than minor legal impediments. Guns and their marketing are among America's major industries, after all. It's considered rude and unpleasant to dispute the value of the personal armament industry, and any attempt to curb the industry and the resulting bloodletting is met with fierce resistance and ever greater levels of financial support for candidates who support the industry.
The tens of thousands killed and injured by gun violence and gun accidents in this country every year are victims of a low-level civil war that seems to be maintained relentlessly... and we might ask why. Who benefits? Apart from the politicians and the gun industry, of course.
Why do the People permit it? Or do they have a voice and a choice?
I'd say no.
Most Americans have nothing to do with guns, but they can't ultimate avoid gun violence -- whether the vicarious sort that comes via the media or for real -- because of the relentless determination on the part of some of Our Betters to ensure and enable it, and to make sure that it is glamorized in entertainment and publicized extravagantly.
"Freedom" you see. But freedom for whom to do what? Freedom for a certain category of predator and/or mentally ill individual to go on a rampage and cause mayhem and misery. How very useful.
It is, isn't it?
And aren't we lucky that it can only be curbed by curbing American "freedom."
[And in case you didn't notice, everything you know about this incident -- or knew yesterday, anyway -- is wrong. Where does all the early misinformation come from...?]