“I will not name the shooter. I will not give him credit for this horrific act of cowardice.” John Hanlin, Douglas County Sheriff
And many other peanuts.
There’s a new way to deflect any discussion about gun control after yet another mass shooting. Rather than actually engage in thoughtful discussion about gun control and, I don’t know, do something about it for once, we’re going to offer up our prayers and tears and recognize those who have fallen, support the families of the victims and deny martyrdom to the criminal who committed the crime. The mentally ill, white man who shot up this week’s target of choice, a community college in Oregon, shall remain nameless. So sayeth the sheriff (who did not get shot and certainly not by me who is fundamentally against firearm ownership) and basically everyone else who wants to feel better about themselves but doesn’t want to do much more about the social cancer killing 380 people so far this year and injuring over 1,000.
Nope. We’re not naming names.
Nope. We’re not going to change.
Nope. There is no problem here.
None. At all.
Except there is.
And we should likely do something about it.
As of today, we have ticked 275 boxes off our calendars. As of today, there have been 294 mass shootings in the United States. Is this acceptable? Can we really sit around and feel comfortable with our ability, as a society, to responsibly manage firearms?
Now, I know those pro-gun types are going to thump their chests and drag out the whole Second Amendment argument. Very well. You just won’t ever feel safe in your own homes without your well-regulated militia, will you? Do you mind if I ask you a very serious question, then? When is the last time your well-regulated militia assembled to discuss battle strategy? Are your learning materials coming from Annapolis or West Point? Who is the General? Do you have a secret handshake or get to wear a hat like Fred Flintstone’s Loyal Order of the Water Buffalo? Going bowling with your buddies while secretly wishing you were hanging with The Dude and Donny doesn’t count, either. I really want to know about your well-regulated militia. Please leave feedback in the comments below for my edification. Thank you.
As for the individualists out there looking for an argument – you are not an island. You are not entirely self-sufficient. When you drive on the road you built entirely by yourself, live entirely off the grid, rely on no one, then you can moan about your individualistic rights to owning a gun. Until then, shut your foodholes and accept the fact that you are, indeed, not the sun and Earth does not orbit around you. You, individualist, may actually have to do something selfless for once in your life. I know, here’s a hanky. It’s tough out there for a pimp. But really, I can empathize. Shit, I can sympathize. I used to smoke like a motherfucking chimney and when I had to start huddling under an umbrella in the rain because you didn’t like that my second hand smoke could kill you, I wasn’t upset with you, personally. I recognized that I had a very dangerous hobby/habit that I needed to surrender. And I did. And I’m better for it. You will be, too. Trust.
To speak to the naming of the names, the next time there is a mass shooting (because there will be a next time), I think, instead of acting pious and saying “I’m not going to allow the shooter a moment’s glory or let him be a martyr. Noooooo sirreee, Bob!” I think we should start naming donors to the NRA. I think we should start naming the lobbyists. I think we should start naming the Congressfolk on the take. If we’re not going to name the perpetrator, let’s name the accomplices, instead. Maybe, once everyone realizes the blood is on their hands too, they will take a long, hard look in the mirror, man up, put down their inane instruments of death and finally accept the fact that their little toys are dangerously stupid and offer little value to the greater good.