what it’s come to

The deadliest mass shooting in a house of worship. That’s how the massacre at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas was described last night on the evening news. We’ve reached the point at which we find it necessary to categorize our mass shootings.

The deadliest mass shooting at a college campus, the deadliest mass shooting at a shopping mall, the deadliest mass shooting at a festival, the deadliest mass shooting at a public school, the deadliest mass shooting at a place of employment.

We’ve had two of these deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history within the last 35 days. In the 309 days of 2017 we’ve had 307 mass shootings (remember, not all mass shootings are mass murders). We’ve made mass shooting ridiculously easy to commit. Semi-auto weapons are readily available, high-capacity magazines can be found without any fuss, bump-stocks that permit even more rapid firing have become somewhat scarce because people bought them up after the Las Vegas massacre, bulletproof tactical gear — vests, helmets, masks, gloves, trousers — can be purchased online or very likely at some local shop. If you have an active credit card, you too equip yourself in the latest mass murderer style.

Ruger AR-556

And we don’t much care who can buy all that gear. Devin Patrick Kelley had no trouble buying a complete mass murder outfit, even though he’d been court-martialed for assaulting his wife and child, did a year in military detention, and got his ass kicked out of the Air Force. He also apparently had a misdemeanor conviction for cruelty to animals. Didn’t slow him down at all when it came to buying a semi-auto rifle. We make it easy because, you know, a man has to be able to protect his family in case some nut decides to start shooting up a church.

And hey, it’s just as easy to mourn the dead. A few thoughts, a few prayers, that’s all it takes. Oh, and the promise to remember the dead. Comrade Trump his ownself said this about the victims:

“All of America is praying to God to help the wounded and the families — we will never ever leave their side.”

Except that, yeah, we’ll absolutely leave their side. Of course, we will — just as soon as the next ‘deadliest mass shooting at a location to be determined’ takes place. Trump is always saying pointless shit like that. We “will never ever forget the beautiful lives that have been taken from us.” That was the eight people killed a few days ago as they rode bicycles down a bike path in Manhattan. And this: “We will NEVER FORGET the victims who lost their lives one year ago today in the horrific #PulseNightClub shooting.” The hashtag, of course, because this was TwitterTrump. And again: “We mourn them, we honor them and we pledge to never, ever forget their names.” The victims and first responders who died on 9/11. And this: “So wonderful to be in Las Vegas yesterday and meet with people, from police to doctors to the victims themselves, who I will never forget.” Yeah, so fucking wonderful, I’m sure that’s what the victims of the Mandalay Bay shooting thought. And also this: “We will never forget the 241 American service members killed by Hizballah.” Sure, Donald.

First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas

Does anybody really believe Donald J. Trump remembers the names of any of the Pulse nightclub murders, or the names of the cyclists in Manhattan, or the names of any of the Marines who were killed in Beirut? Does anybody really think Trump was even aware of the Marines killed in Beirut in 1983 until a speechwriter coughed up that fact for a speech on terrorism?

We will always forget their names. Always. We will always leave their sides. Always. As a nation we will never remember for very long, because there’s always a brand new horror ready to crowd out the old one. The nine men and women slaughtered in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston in 2015? Now they’re just victims of the second deadliest mass shooting in a house of worship. Nobody remembers who came in second.

I am sincerely sorry for the victims of the Sutherland Springs massacre. I’m gutted with hopelessness over their tragic, pointless deaths — just as I’ve been for so many other victims of so many other mass murders. I’m genuinely sorry, but I’m also disgusted. I suspect many (or most) of that Texas congregation voted for politicians who believe that this sort of routine shedding of innocent blood is the price we have to pay for our national firearm fetish. And you know what it says in the Bible. ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’

That’s a pretty grim, tough approach. The apostle Paul wasn’t a very forgiving guy. You broke it, you bought it. Me, I’m more inclined to take the Socratic tack; I prefer the gospel according to e e cummings.

and what i want to know is
how do you like your blue-eyed boy
Mister Death
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7 thoughts on “what it’s come to

  1. ” God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

    I’m sure they will pass a legislation allowing church goers to bring firearms in places of worship.

    I feel sad that this was the first thing that came into my mind after reading where this tragic event took place.

    I’m afraid one mass shooting a month will become the norm, rather than the exception. This is the sad state we’re in right now.

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  2. Why are you bashing Trump for this? Do you think Obama remembers the names of all of the Fort Hood victims? You know, that “work place violence” incident that happened while he was president? Can you not leave you bias against Trump for one second to pen a piece that is about something entirely different?

    Let’s not forget in all of this it was an armed citizen that stopped more deaths from happening. This man intent on killing was going to kill no matter what. Why do leftist want to take away from law abiding citizens that ability to protect themselves against those who wish to do them harm?

    Guns are not the problem, they never have been the problem. Today the media plays a large role in this as these killers know that their evil will be played out over and over again on the airwaves and the internet for all to see. Many will post their motives, manifestos, etc. A platform has been created for the mass killer to be heard whether they kill by gun, truck, knife, or any other means.

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    • Why are you bashing Trump for this?

      Because Trump is a facile nitwit who consistently says facile nitwittish stuff. He appears to be almost completely without empathy.

      Let’s not forget in all of this it was an armed citizen that stopped more deaths from happening.

      Well, no. The armed citizen didn’t prevent a single death in the church. Kelley was leaving the church when he was accosted. Maybe the ‘good guy’ with a gun prevented other deaths; we just don’t know what Kelley had planned next. But also remember this: up until the point at which he opened fire on the people in the church, Kelley was a still a law-abiding gun owner.

      Guns are not the problem

      Yes and no. Guns, in and of themselves, aren’t the problem. They only exacerbate the problem. Guns only permit mass murderers to rack up massive body counts quicker. On the other hand, the easy access to firearms and high-cap magazines ARE a serious problem. I like guns, but they’re much too easy to own by far too many people who shouldn’t be allowed to own them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The truth is you’ll never stop bad guys from doing terrible things. So the only other option is to make it as hard as you possibly can for bad guys to do terrible things to the most amount of people in a short amount of time. Other countries that have figured that out have limited the damage, and all but eliminated the event we know in the United States as the mass shooting.

    So, we need tougher national gun laws. It isn’t really even complicated.

    The NRA nuts and Trump cultists (not surprisingly, the same people) will battle that tooth and nail, in the name of the generally misunderstood and, at any rate, outdated 2nd amendment. Luckily, nearly 2/3 of Americans now believe in tougher gun laws. Equally as fortunate, only 1/3 of Americans now believe Trump is a capable president. It is just as easy to find the dividing line as it is to see the solution.

    So we’ll keep fighting, Greg, for a better America. Good piece. Solid.

    Liked by 1 person

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