We have had two mass shootings in two days. The following things strike me:
Politicians are all out there (once again) saying that they are saddened and devastated. I’m over it. I’m over the sadness, and the expressions of devastation, the thoughts and the prayers. These are hollow words now and I can’t believe that people like Kevin McCarthy can stand before a camera and mouth this garbage without choking while taking millions from the NRA.
I know everybody wants desperately to hang onto something positive in situations like this, but turning every mass shooting into an awards ceremony for first-responders and a national press conference for every local political figure is not only unhelpful it is insulting. And, it is a delusional act.
The fact that it took one minute for police to arrive in Ohio is irrelevant. What’s relevant is that these shootings happened and keep happening and will happen. All the praise in the world heaped on first responders doesn’t change the fact that we have created a society where there is so much hate, hate stoked by an entire administration, for political gain. And, this hate and resentment is being purposefully directed at brown and black people every day. It must stop.
This cannot be allowed to be the “15 minutes of fame” for every local politician and law enforcement official congratulating themselves for response times. It’s just not enough.
In addition, we have created a society in which a “well regulated militia” has been transformed by people who claim their respect for original intent into every half wit violent imbecile owning an AK-47.
The young man who did the shooting in El Paso left behind a Facebook page and photographs and published a manifesto just before the shooting. The media is already congratulating itself for not showing the face of this man, not releasing the manifesto in full, and not showing dead or wounded people.
The American public needs to see this depravity. They need to see the dead bodies and the struggling wounded. Every time this happens, we spend hours and hours looking at ambulances with their lights flashing and law enforcement people talking to each other. The media sees itself as denying the shooter publicity and sparing the public the sight of the violence.
In doing so, however, the media sanitizes the event. When you think of Sandy Hook, you don’t remember the dead bodies of children because you never saw them. There are no dead bodies to any of these events, no wounded. This presentation only further distances the populace from the reality of what is going on in this country.
We do not need the “manifesto” buried, or characterized in intellectual terms. We need the manifesto, read out, or printed so it can be read. We need to absorb the hatred and violence in such a document. We need to see this young man’s face so that people will realize he is someone we know, someone we live next door to, not some mythical monster easily spotted in everyday life. People need to realize that their next-door neighbor, the “hunter,” the “gun collector,” the animal abuser, the racist, the wife beater can easily be the next terrorist. People have to stop looking the other way when these guys talk hate.
Everybody I know now, avoids talking about politics. “You’re just depressing people.” I am told. “It upsets me.” “You are ruining lunch.” This is a country where people think, think they have the luxury of not talking politics. That must change.
Every news outlet should be showing or publishing that photo of the shooters’ guns arranged to say “TRUMP.” And, we must talk politics. However divisive, upsetting, disturbing it is, WE MUST DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS SOCIETY WE HAVE CREATED.