It’s been awhile since I wrote about an American mass shooting. The reason is genuinely horrible: they’ve become so commonplace that we’re *almost* getting used to them. That’s an appalling place to find ourselves in, but that’s how things stand in the summer of 2019.
The El Paso shooting is particularly horrific: the shooter went to that Walmart because so many people cross the border to shop there. It’s what happens when Mexicans are demonized by a sitting president* for his short-term political advantage. As always, the GOP is offering thoughts and prayers without informing the public what will happen when they stop thinking and praying. We all know the answer to that: nada, bupkis, nothing.
It’s not just the ascendancy of white nationalism that’s causing this. It enjoyed a comeback in after Bill Clinton’s election victory in 1992 as well: Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was a white nationalist. The difference is that 1994 saw the last piece of major gun control legislation passed: the assault weapons ban, which was allowed the expire during the Beavis-Duce administration,
We keep hoping that there will be an inflection point in the ongoing gun violence crisis. This could be the beginning of one: the NRA is imploding because of internal strife and drama. It’s unclear if they will have the resources to be a major player in the 2020 election cycle.
It’s time for another full-court press to restore the assault weapons ban. It won’t pass Moscow Mitch’s Senate but it could prove to be a powerful issue in 2020.
The right is fond of talking about American exceptionalism. Is this what they have in mind?
As long as there are military-style assault weapons in the hands of civilians, I’ll keep writing the Still Comfortably Numb series:
2015: Still Confortably Numb.
2019: Post Mayhem Rituals.
I’m not sure how I missed 2018. I must have been numb. I still am.
Update: I did write a mass shooting post in 2018. It was one of my better efforts: Kristallnacht In Broad Daylight.