The gundamental breakdown of America slaughtered another 26 people in Texas on Sunday. I used to think gun prohibition would be the “magic bullet” solution, pun intended. Now I realize that’s like trying to return a meteorite to sender. We get to live with the impact and scar forever.
So all you lascivious hoplophiles, please read on, as no one here has come for your second amendment. I wish you’d all get on faster with that revolution and defense from government tyranny thing though.
I think “gundamental breakdown” works well to represent the sweet spot, Venn diagram intersection of mental health breaking in America, along with Americans getting gunned down. How soon will we start saying “gun bless America”? Should we start saying, “don’t cry over spilled blood”? Let’s forget about guns, taking them away, solutions, mass shootings and all that for a second. Can we first admit and come to terms with the fact that we’re a bloodthirsty, murderous beast of a culture? That we pawned the soul of our society long ago, in exchange for a cornucopia of blood, bodies, and bullets? We’ve allowed the most repulsive, uncontrollable and savage aspects of our ancient, primal id to crush any inkling of compassion and kindness, which separates man from animal.
Norwegians already use the word “Texas” to mean crazy. In a decade or so, might the world call someone “American” to indicate someone is insane or having a gundamental breakdown? Our inability to address an issue that costs human lives, and seeming indifference to it, screams sheer lunacy. People die in mass shootings, again, Again and AGAIN. And we do nothing. Can we all get together around a campfire and sing Kumbaya maybe? At least that’s doing something, anything, compared to the spiritual flatulence of “thoughts and prayers.” I digress.
A supposedly great, magical and legendary country can’t summon the courage to first admit that we’re homicidal maniacs, then develop a solution? We’ve brought democracy to the world (even if at the end of a gun), gone to the moon and invented the internet. We can achieve powerful, amazing things when we want, when we’re unified. Unfortunately, each side of the debate, thinks the other is wrong, when in fact, both are right. Another gundamental breakdown.
Unless it involves conspiracy theories. Too bad there’s not a vaccine for that. I couldn’t believe the conspiracy theories coming out after the Las Vegas massacre. I used to love conspiracy theories. Because they allow you to be lazy. You don’t have to think. They insulate your soft mind from harsh, cruel reality. They’re the equivalent of getting stoned and plopping into a beanbag for your brain. The reality facing us, is much, much scarier, and that reality is chaos. We live in a society, country and culture rife with chaos. Alan Moore said it best:
“The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory, is that conspiracy theorists believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is actually chaotic. The truth is that it is not The Iluminati, or The Jewish Banking Conspiracy, or the Gray Alien Theory.
The truth is far more frightening – Nobody is in control.
The world is rudderless.”
In the rudderless wake of the Las Vegas massacre, I discovered the following, brilliant piece by Jim Wright, a retired US Navy Chief Warrant Officer, freelance writer and author/curator of Stonekettle Station. Regardless of which side of the gun debate you find yourself on, this will stoke your cognitive functioning, challenge, and maybe even threaten your ideologies. God forbid, it may enable us to entertain differing perspectives and at least have a goddamn conversation about the vicious problem shredding the spirit of America. He last edited the piece, after the Las Vegas shooting, and hasn’t had time I imagine, to update again, after the gundamental breakdown in Texas, which is the 4th largest on record.
The Seven Stages of Gun Violence
I stopped updating this for every mass shooting.
Because I was updating it every other day.
So now I update it only when the mass killing breaks some kind of record or is otherwise notable. Last time that happened was June 14, 2017. We didn’t even make 6 months.
Congratulations on the slaughter, America. Heck of a job.
It’s now been two three four five years since I first wrote this on the day after a madman stepped into a darkened movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and started killing people. Since then more than ten twenty sixty ninety one hundred and fifty two hundred thousand Americans have died from gun violence, three seven ten twenty fifty times more than died on September 11th, 2001, more than twenty times all the military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, twice the number of Americans killed in Vietnam. There have been so many mass shootings between the day I wrote this and now that I’ve lost track, one killing blurs into another and the bloody rampages seem to be our new national pastime.
I got a lot of email regarding this post over the years.
A lot of people told me I was wrong, some in less than flattering terms. Some threatened to beat me bloody or kill me to make their point.
Those people are not only fools, they are damned fools.