John at Americablog:
Americans do a great job of proclaiming our collective shock and outrage when some nut for the gazillionth time opens fire on a crowd of innocent bystanders at a movie theater, a college, a high school, a museum, or a post office, but at some point, if we aren’t going to do anything about it, maybe it’s time we stopped the charade of pretending we actually care.
How man times does someone have to drown in front of us, while you do nothing, before it’s time to conclude that perhaps we are part of the problem?
Ed Kilgore at Washington Monthly:
We could debate for hours why this is the case—maybe it’s desensitization, maybe it’s a feeling of remoteness from the events, maybe people think wackos will get around gun laws anyway, or maybe people really are buying the gun lobby’s argument that more folks packing heat is their best protection against gun violence. But the evidence is pretty clear: last night’s events won’t change public opinion.
Kathleen Geier, also as Washington Monthly:
Here we are, a day after the horrifying events that took place in Aurora, Colorado, and the thing that chills me to the bone is how ordinary it has come to seem. A deranged gunman coolly and methodically shoots up a college campus, a high school, a military base, a museum, a supermarket at a meet-and-greet with a local Congresswoman. Anywhere from one to several dozen people die, and many more than that are seriously injured. These outbursts of lethal violence occurring at such familiar American institutions and shattering the peaceful, quotidian activities of everyday life that were taking place there once seemed shocking. Now they seem almost banal — oh god, one of these nuts again? How many were killed this time? And does anyone have a clue why?
Even as we come to learn how this happened and who’s responsible, we may never understand what leads anyone to terrorize their fellow human beings. Such evil is senseless—beyond reason. But while we will never know fully what causes someone to take the life of another, we do know what makes that life worth living.The people we lost in Aurora loved, and were loved. They were mothers and fathers; husbands and wives; sisters and brothers; sons and daughters; friends and neighbors. They had hopes for the future and dreams that were not yet fulfilled. And if there’s anything to take away from this tragedy, it’s a reminder that life is fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious. And what matters in the end are not the small and trivial things which often consume our lives. It’s how we choose to treat one another, and love one another. It’s what we do on a daily basis to give our lives meaning and to give our lives purpose. That’s what matters. That’s why we’re here.
And let’s not forgot three right-wing sacks of shit:
Louis Gohmert, in the running for dumbest person in Congress:
“You know what really gets me, as a Christian, is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs, and then some senseless crazy act of a derelict takes place. People say where was God in all of this? We’ve threatened high school graduation participations, if they use God’s name, they’re going to be jailed. I mean that kind of stuff. Where was God? What have we done with God? We don’t want him around. I kind of like his protective hand being present.”
And Rick Warren:
When students are taught they are no different from animals, they act like it.
And Bryan Fischer of the hate group American Family Association:
Chick-fil-A provides free meals to first responders in CO. Let’s see Big Gay demonize that.
There’s something about the myth of redemptive violence that keeps tugging at my thoughts. How many of these shooters have experiences that lead them to believe that if only they could commit a truly heroic act of violence then their suffering would be alleviating and even redeemed? Whether it was the Columbine shooters or the guy at the Holocaust museum or the guy who shot up a Unitarian church or the loser who shot Rep. Giffords, so many of them seem to think their act of violence will resolve something.
We as Americans need to stop being afraid of having the difficult discussion about violence in our midst. We may have to give up our sacred cows. I have yet to hear a story of a gun wielding person stopping one of these acts of violence so maybe packing heat isn’t the answer. Stopping violence doesn’t mean stopping a shooting as it occurs, it means preventing the shooting. It means examining society and figuring out why the shooting occurs and making sure it doesn’t occur.