It Appears America Has a Slight Gun Problem
It's getting worse. So - what can we do about it?
There are no silver linings that came with the pandemic, but if someone put a gun to my head and made me come up with one, I’d say “at least the mass shootings stopped for a bit.”
With schools and large crowds on hold — America’s AR-15’s temporarily had less targets. Less mass gatherings, less mass shootings.
But things are now back to normal in America, and angry men are buying guns and killing children again.
This week 18 kids, aged between 7 and 10, were murdered by an 18-year-old with a handgun and an AR-15 in Texas.
This father found out his daughter was dead after another kid told him:
Less than two weeks ago, an 18-year-old white man in Buffalo, New York, killed 10 people in a racist attack at a supermarket.
America is back to normal again.
The thoughts and prayers came flooding in.
Tom Cotton — as US Senator “proudly serving the state of Arkansas” — tweeted his prayers at the “unimaginable evil”:
As Bess Kalb pointed out on Twitter, Tom Cotton had happily taken $1,968,714 from the National Rifle Association of America.
“Something this horrific, children being slaughtered in their school, it does not get worse than this,” tweeted Senator Ron Johnson.
Ron had taken $1,269,486 from the NRA.
“Heartbroken”, said Governor Candidate David Perdue.
He’d taken over two million dollars from the NRA.
The NRA, keeping the people in power who keep it in power. The NRA, making sure Americans have what they need to kill children.
As with every mass shooting, there was a mystery to solve: What was responsible? Fox News suggested about 50 possible reasons for the most recent mass shooting.
None of them were guns.
They also suggested possible solutions — including setting tripwire based traps in every school.
They didn’t suggest getting rid of assault rifles.
Human stain Ted Cruz claimed he’d found the culprit: Doors.
AR-15s are made for one thing, and one thing only: Killing people.
Lots of people. Quickly. Maybe that’s why the NRA calls them “America’s Rifle”.
Strangely, they didn’t talk about “America’s Rifle” when they tweeted their prayers about the Texas shooting:
It’s all tied up with The Second Amendment. That thing that makes America… America. The right to bear arms.
That amendment was ratified on December 15, 1791 — back when guns looked like this:
They now look like this:
The guns have changed while the laws have remained frozen in time.
So as President Joe Biden tweeted meekly in support of possibly tightening gun laws — “These kinds of mass shootings rarely happen elsewhere in the world. Why are we willing to live with this carnage?” — a State Representative insinuated that if Biden tried to take his guns, the people would rise up and kill him:
It seems outrageous — a proposed civil war in a single tweet — but then a large group of Americans thought it was totally normal to storm the Capital, with nooses, chanting for necks and blood.
There’s this unwritten rule in cinema — that you don’t kill kids on screen. Adults can be mowed down by John Wick, but children are out of bounds.
Unfortunately, that rule does not hold for real children.
America loves seeing them mowed down — preferably livestreamed on Facebook or Twitch. It’s an indication gun sales are going well.
As usual, news satire site The Onion captured this recent shooting spree the most effectively.
See, each time there’s been a mass shooting, The Onion reports it with the same breathless headline:
Yesterday, they populated their entire website with nothing but those reports:
The stories rolled on and on. The mass shooting story from 2022 echoed the one from earlier in 2022, and the ones from 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 and so on.
Because it’s the same story, again and again. This one’s from 2015:
ROSEBURG, OR—In the hours following a violent rampage in southwestern Oregon in which a lone attacker killed nine individuals and seriously injured seven others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Thursday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place.
“This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,” said Ohio resident Lindsay Bennett, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations.
“It’s a shame, but what can we do? There really wasn’t anything that was going to keep this guy from snapping and killing a lot of people if that’s what he really wanted.”
You think something will change. You think America will reach some magic number of dead kids, and politicians will spring into action.
Of course there’s the added problem in America because when bodies aren’t white, they’re not part of the tally.
But regardless, the tally is still high. And climbing. Surely the idea of change will come eventually.
Figuring one didn’t need an assault rifle to keep sheep in line, there was a gun buyback scheme. “Hand in the gun you don’t actually need, and we’ll pay you for it.”
Of course there are issues with mental health — but there is in every country, and only one country decides to arm people with assault rifles… and all the gear that comes with them, like bulletproof vests and ammo.
I briefly felt hopeful at an article about a change to the Second Amendment. But — it was about the Supreme Court possibly expanding Second Amendment gun rights.
They say things get worse before they get better, but I think sometimes they just keep getting worse.
What should America do?
There are readers on Webworm from all over the planet. For those not in America, what has your country done to not be America? And for Americans — what’s the feeling in your State right now? This latest shooting spree seems to have people upset, but in my experience of America… upset rarely leads to real change.