You.Click.Nada.Boom!

Here’s one more entry relating to a few of my other gun control issue posts: since the Colorado shooting at the cineplex, yesterday another crazed gunman killed six members of a Sikh mosque in Wisconsin. Then, today, the Arizona shooter who killed several people and wounded many others, including congresswoman Gabby Giffords (who has since resigned her seat owing to her head injury) was in court, where he plea-bargained to a life-without-parole sentence. So, in a little over two weeks, there has been two shoot-em-ups by deranged men, totaling 18 dead and dozens wounded, plus a sentencing of another mass killer from about 18 months ago in Tucson. Certainly, there’s been other incidents here and there. Murder/suicides of entire families.  A disgruntled worker goes home, gets his gun(s) and offers a ballistic rebuttal to a perceived affront. We’ve become somewhat crazed shooter fatigued by these tragic occasions. They are always reported solemnly by the talking hairdos of the mass media, but how much more slap-in-the-face, visceral shock and revulsion can be mustered up anymore, unless one is personally connected to  one of the victims? Or, the incident has occurred nearby to one’s home, creating a geographic too-close- for-comfort, chill-down-the-spine factor. Otherwise, these news reports are likely met with a default level of sympathetic angst, possibly using up less emotional currency than the loss of a family dog or cat: Oh, dear. How terribly sad…

We are a nation immersed in an NRA/2nd Amendment “right to bear arms”, socio-political-economic stew. Many find the dish to their liking, ever fewer, though, have no appetite for it. As I safely assumed after the Wisconsin shootings, neither President Obama or Mitt Romney will even address the issue of gun control reforms, including outlawing the possession of assault weapons (which once were banned, but the K-Street, NRA lobbyists again got their way). That’s what a stranglehold the gun lobby has on our wimpy, wussy, spineless “leaders” in elected office. And if our elected officials are spineless, then the press is gutless, since no one even seems inclined to push hard questions about the gun issue. The body counts mount, but the 800 pound, pistol-packing gorilla in the room isn’t acknowledged. 

These horror stories will always be breathless, headline news , but the die is cast on what is permissible discourse regarding what’s on the surface and what lies beneath.  Now, it’s always the same reporting template: some guy was apparently really angry. He bought some weapons. He showed up…….breaking news!  But how the mentally unstable killer got the arsenal is not part of the story much at all anymore. Guns are apparently going to remain as easy as ever to obtain, even for the ticking time bombs who commit the atrocities. But that’s not to be discussed, evidently.  If even our president can’t muster a line or two of lip service in deference to the mere idea that assault weapons need to be banned, then the stories no longer possess any real political energy. It’s simply a matter of crime & punishment, plus armchair psychoanalysis left to play out. If the killer doesn’t blow his brains out at the scene or the police don’t empty a clip into him (and is it not always men who do this?) then the story becomes will he explain his motivation? Regardless, even dead the narrative will shift to what could have motivated him? Why didn’t anyone see this coming?  What triggered the violence?

Trigger? Right. That’s what fires the weapon…

So, just hope you don’t get in the way of the next dramatic, violent expression of exasperation popping up in a mall or restaurant or theater or public building. Oh, but wait! I forgot. If we all could be packing heat (and we’re heading in that direction) then when the shooter reveals himself (hopefully without using a smoke screen, a Kevlar vest and a gas mask) we could finally have some real justice, and “gun control” will be an expression a few election cycles from now that will never be uttered again as part of a anti-gun argument. If it is invoked by someone, he’d be immediately labelled a fringe radical, anti-2nd Amendment type, someone who’s thinking is outside the mainstream, someone who perceives the world as out of whack and he as right as rain. Just the type that likely harbors hatreds, resentments and becomes ultimately unhinged and ready to act out. Then, news flash!….he was angry, he was armed heavily…he showed up….and…

About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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