Records are made to be broken. This time a mass shooting in Las Vegas has left at least 59 people dead and more than 500 injured.
What do America’s senators and congresspeople have to offer? The usual threadbare boilerplate expressions of “thoughts and prayers” for victims and their families. Thoughts and prayers bought and paid for by the National Rifle Association.
As each new ritual of horror plays out, always we are left with a conclusion that each one is comparatively worse than the last, and each seeming to reinforce incremental progressions beyond previous models for minimizing prevention and maximizing carnage. Now we get a prohibitively expensive arsenal with fully automatic weapons and plentiful high-capacity magazines, a swanky hotel suite overlooking a densely-packed fishbowl of targets, and a totally confounding nondescript, wealthy, white shooter with no social media profile to speak of.
Apparently a nonreligious, apolitical and unaffiliated lone-wolf whose only speculative motive – at this point – seems possibly to be a perversely suicidal escape from the boredom of a comfortable retirement, and living the enviably affluent and decidedly footloose lifestyle of a gambler with a girlfriend. If that’s not the American Dream incarnate, then at minimum, he was holding a straight flush in the game of life. Yet all of that drove him to what?…….genocide? Perhaps he just didn’t like Mondays? A tragic mystery of mind-fucking proportions, is this.
It almost behooves a moderately contorted imagination to wonder or speculate that this was some demented prototype of transmortal performance art; the act of a man intent upon shoving a nation’s nose into its own compost of insane 2nd Amendment idolatry and progressively destructive gun policies and laws. This attack even reduces to laughable, any further notion that if all 22,000 people in that crowd were also armed, that they would have been any less defenseless against a hailstorm of bullets.
Is this a remedial course in our fledgling millennium’s spiraling reversals to the definition of a “perfect crime”? No longer a crime that goes undetected; but now, a motiveless crime so utterly repellent and malignant to global witnesses, that it reduces the perceived humanity of all Americans to that of ineffectual rubes? One that magnifies through exploitation thereof, every slipshod and corrupting political gizmo and feckless legal thingamabob that our legislatures can affix to the margins of our Constitution? A crime that universally trumpets the retreat of all allusions to individuals’ well-being within a civilized culture?
We have recurrent massacres because we are awash in firearms and also because we are a deeply violent society. Nothing so deeply rooted in our culture can be easily changed. But we could change it. We cannot and do not because at the end of the day we accept it.
Since any action on guns is ruled out, we’re left with more or less emotive versions of “thoughts and prayers.”— Josh Marshall
The U.S. House of Representatives is poised to pass – as early as this week – a provision called the Hearing Protection Act, legalizing the sale and use of gun silencers . Legislation that would make it more difficult to identify where gunshots are coming from during a mass shooting like the one that took place in Las Vegas Sunday night.
Kris Brown, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said in a statement after the bill passed out of committee;
“Law enforcement and military experts have told the American people and Congress they oppose this bill, and that there are very effective hearing protection devices already available on the open market. Keeping guns out of dangerous hands and stopping school shootings, ambushes of police and other mass shootings before they can start is the priority for the American people – not making it harder to detect a shooting once it starts.“
With weapons sales in a slump, the gun lobby and NRA handed this money-maker proposal off to the Go-Fuck-Yourself Party to sneak over the goal line, tucked under the jersey of a larger bi-partisan “Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act.”
Then of course is the manner of weaponry. The party of NRA marionettes wants to assure that America has the best equipped terrorists and mass murderers, by rolling back firearms regulations and expanding gun rights to the mentally ill and to suspected domestic terrorists. All quite sensible, don’t you see? –Luskus Delph
Your prayers are unanswered, Your idols absurd. — Keith Reid