Pardon my cynicism but once again, even before the bodies had been taken to the Roseburg morgue, the airwaves were aflame with the usual and very predictable venting. They started with Fb memes that generally began: “Our thoughts and prayers. . .”
Everybody tried to spin the tragedy to fit their particular agenda. Of course, Obama and other assorted libs used the sad event to lobby for gun control—and to vent their anger toward the NRA and recalcitrant repubs and conservatives in general. For a few moments it appeared that the President was so upset that he had actually stepped out of his self-absorbed narcissism and vented real feelings. Then I watched about three minutes of an outraged Sean Hannity blathering on about the President wasting no time in politicizing the tragedy—as if he was any less guilty of the same thing.
And predictably, conservative talk radio lobbied for the NRA and the arming of students and faculty on campuses, and voiced the usual, but in my opinion, bizarre speculation that if the community college hadn’t been a “gun free” zone someone could’ve taken the shooter down before the body count mounted. Or perhaps knowing that every other student was armed he wouldn’t have picked that school as a target in the first place. There was the usual blather about Second Amendment rights and how the Founding Fathers had wisely foreseen the need for sub-machine guns with banana clips.
Even the GOP’s overtly Christian candidates, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee, whom I support, appear to have caved into the NRA. It all struck me as so sad. And so repetitive. Clearly our nation has reached Malcolm Gladwell’s iconic tipping point. . .or well, at least I personally have. The problem of mass murder by firearms begs for a sane solution and it’s clear there will be none—we’re over the edge, folks.
Does anybody remember the Isla Vista shootings? No, you don’t. Fifteen months ago I wrote a blog titled “Packing Heat” in response to that slaughter in the Santa Barbara area. Some madman shot, stabbed and ran over six victims and maimed a dozen others. You can google Isla Vista Massacre or Shootings and read all about it again. You don’t remember it because there have been several more horrific incidents since then and the whole mass shootings thing has sadly become kind of commonplace.
And then there are the predictable “news” interviews with talking heads and various experts on violence, the Constitution, society, mental illness, etc. I admit channel surfing to try to ascertain the true dimensions of the story, and to read something about the shooter’s motive. Apparently he asked the victims what their religion was and the ones who answered “Christian” got shot in the head and the ones who didn’t got shot in the leg, and so for some Christians it was another example of persecution and martyrdom. To me it seems a stretch to think of it as martyrdom—but perhaps it is.
Good thing they didn’t interview me as an expert on mental health and anger management. I’d have likely sounded like a bad imitation of the “Church Lady” because I’d have answered: “Satan.” I’ve blogged before about the pervasive, satanic spirit of fear that afflicts our society and how in my view it’s spiritual warfare and how it’s led many religious folk who should know better to become obsessive about staying “safe”—thus being armed to the teeth and wanting to carry firearms into every venue.
Also, in the opening lines of my blog “Packing Heat” I mention a statistic from a couple years back that the U.S. recorded 8,875 deaths from firearms as opposed to 58 in the United Kingdom. That’s 153 to one. . .end of discussion! There are now 90 guns for every 100 adults in this country. We are armed to the teeth and as the Fb memes and bumper stickers proclaim the authorities will have to “pry the gun from my cold dead hand.” We have entered a new dark age of barbarism and anarchy.
Guns are not the problem in my opinion. The real culprit is the media—specifically television. I say ban the sale of TVs, or if that seems too extreme go back to like it was when I was a kid—three channels to pick from, no reality shows, minimal violence, no newsy infotainment and 30-min of reporting on what’s really important in the world—like say, Netanyahu’s speech at the U.N. which was largely pushed aside because a deranged, fame-obsessed jerk perpetrated another mass murder.