Another week, another mass shooting; or three or four, in America. Mass shootings are so regular you can almost set your clock by them. You know for sure every weekend there will be news about guts splattered all over a school or mall or front yard. Hardly ever a dull moment in America when it comes to gun violence – except that the violence is so increasingly normalized to become dull.
We’re dulled down…
Gun killings are de-facto accepted as unavoidable, and we’ve become desensitized. We’re told we must further arm ourselves against gun violence, creating the dumbest circle of cause-and-effect humanity has witnessed.
“We need more guns to stop more guns, so we need more guns…”
This is nonsense and is the shame of America before the free world. Pro-gun leaders have lost their collective minds when it comes to keeping Americans safe. They display either magical thinking or abject cynicism of the electorate – or both.
The two craziest sayings have been so abused as to become memes: “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
And the usual, after every slaughter: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims…”
Both stupefied sentiments again popped up this weekend in Allen, Texas. A white Christian nationalist shooter, a dude kicked out of the military after a three-month stint, took his brainwashed ideology or his abject mental illness to the Allen mall, and with an AR-type weapon he could legally own, mowed down eight, wounding many more, and terrifying everyone.
The Allen mall slaughter again demonstrates how that “good guy with a gun” virtually never works out: Texas is Gun City Central and anyone who wants a gun can conceal-carry just about any weapon they want. All sorts walk around armed in Texas.
But you’ll notice it was the professional police that took this bad guy down. Mr. or Mrs. Texas concealed-carry gunslinger didn’t six-shooter the shooter. Paid law enforcement did the job – but not until eight were killed and more wounded.
Why can’t “good guys with guns” take out “bad guys with guns?”
It’s a no-brainer for anyone thinking beyond their muzzle: “Bad guys” have surprise on their side — and the weapons we allow them fire so rapidly bystanders can’t respond.
No one is marching into a wave of AR-15 fire. It’s run, hide, duck, cover, and … pray.
What an unfunny joke this “good guy with a gun” is, forever retold to unthinking masses, refusing to think it all the way through.
And the “thoughts and prayers” meme: They’ve got one doozy of a congressman in Allen, Texas. An election denier, a 30-year National Rifle Association promoter, a professed Christian; this conflicted thinker advised us on all these freshly dead people: Asked how he would respond to people who feel prayers aren’t “cutting it” to prevent gun violence, Rep. Keith Self replied, “Well, those are people that don’t believe in an almighty God who has, who is absolutely in control of our lives. I am a Christian and I believe that he is.”
Congressman Self denounced “those who would politicize this tragedy calling for gun restrictions,” when we should really be thinking about the victims themselves. Here is the ever-reliable NRA-approved prayer-as-a-red-herring trick.
Pathetic is the part where he says God is completely in control of our lives, deciding who is shot and who is not. That fatalism may be an article of faith for some, but others of faith counter, “God gives us agency to make good decisions for ourselves.”
We CAN make policy that will protect us.
To say senseless slaughter is God’s will is not only insane, but also lazy thinking and bowing to one’s NRA contributors!
Texas purposefully allows nearly any “adult” to buy just about any type of weapon. Texas spews guns all over their state, not God.
Yet, when a loose screw starts firing, it’s God who apparently controls the trigger from His heavenly abode.
Hand a box of knives to a little kid, and the resulting cuts are God’s will.
Leave bottles of rat poison around the house and the kid’s poisoning was God’s doing.
Hand out guns like candy and the high-powered slaughter we just caused is really God controlling our lives.
Ask yourself, is it really God’s will that we continue stupid gun proliferation?
To Congressman Self, I offer up my own thought and prayer: “Oh God, who controls our lives, please control us to sanely restrict the guns you’ve previously allowed to terminate our lives. Dear God, give us not more guns, but rather, grant us courage to create peace through policy.”
Good guys with guns aren’t saving us. And God is said to suffer us the consequences of our own ass-stupid gun proliferation. The ONLY thing that’s going save us from gun violence is the sane and courageous policy we create ourselves.
“God, grant us courage to overcome politicians proliferating our ever-increasing plague of predictable gun-fueled mayhem.”
Gary Horton’s “Full Speed to Port!” has appeared in The Signal since 2006. The opinions expressed in his column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Signal or its editorial board.