The Weekend’s Rampage

I will not call it a tragedy for that removes the sense of an actor with agency that performed this senseless murdering. I also will not go deep into the gun control debate, on that front both sides present few minds left to persuade. There is one prediction I will make, but without a time line, and that is unless things change the forces of gun control will eventually have their way. To me the logic is simple and inevitable, people, mainly men, will keep doing this, people will keep dying, and only one party in our two party system will keep advancing a solution. Eventually that solution, regardless of its efficacy, will be implemented. The conservative offers nothing to prevent such murders except platitudes and resistance to change, that is a holding action and given a limitless number of incidents it is a holding action that must fail. Lots of people will be murdered and I doubt that the GOP will ever break out of their siege tactics.

One thing I do want to address is the charge that is being thrown about that the NRA has bought the GOP politicians and that ‘follow the money’ explains their lack of action. This gets the cause and effect back to front. The NRA gives these politicians money because they already support the sort of things the NRA wants.

To put it in counter example; how much money would it take to get Diane Feinstein to vote the NRA way? Or how much to get Elizabeth Warren to push legislation in favor of big business and banks? You can’t buy those votes; it would destroy the politicians’ credibility with their constituents and their conscience.

The charge that the politicians are bought on a subject so emotional and so important to their voters is really just a charge that the politicians are bad people and your politicians are noble following principals over lucre. By the way that works perfectly in reverse as well, the conservative change that the Democratic Party is own by the trail lawyers is a way to avoiding the idea that the Liberals might be in favor of civil actions as a manner equalizing the power between individuals and corporations. The Democrats are ‘bought’ by the trial lawyer and the Republicans aren’t ‘bought’ by the NRA, both are political actors serving the interests, however much you may not agree with those interests, of their constituents.

The de-legitimization of the opposition is virus killing our democracy.


4 thoughts on “The Weekend’s Rampage”

  1. Gun-control certainly spotlights the problem of hyper polarization and tribalism of current American politics.

    This otherization of the opposing side, this failure to understand or even care about the true motives of the other side is demonstrated very strongly in the gun-control controversy. The old dumb accusations against the NRA being a tool of the “gun industry” and motivated by profit falls into that category.

    It certainly demonstrates a failure of imagination, to reject the idea that the other side really believes what they say they believe. More recently the usual suspects have even taken to accusing the NRA of being terrorists, or white supremacists!

  2. Eventually the forces of gun control will have their way? Because only they are proposing a “solution”? The evidence of U.S. history does not support that conclusion.

    It’s not as if this situation is a novel U.S. condition, mass public shootings have paralleled and been part of the ‘modern’ gun-control debate since the beginning. And by modern debate I mean the thread which one can easily trace from today back to the early 1960’s. Since in 1966 there was the mass shooting at the University of Texas.

    In the last 55 years crime rates have skyrocketed and fallen back down. Presidents and politicians have been shot at, wounded and killed. Gun control laws at the Federal and State Level have been passed AND repealed. The computer technology revolution has overturned the old established media order of public discourse. And the two major political parties have morphed and sifted into two more polarized camps.

    That’s a lot of history.

    Yet today the forces of gun-control are farther from eventual victory than they have ever been. At best they are stalemated at the Federal Level, having lost multiple critical Supreme Court decisions. And at the State Level they are in retreat except in less than a dozen States. More people legally own more guns of greater combat capability than ever, and more people legally carry guns in public for self-defense than ever.

    All that despite the continuing problem of mass public shootings.

    And every shocking incident of murder in those States and Cities where gun-control politics still reign supreme, provides more proof to the rest of the nation of the failure of gun-control laws to produce positive results. And every new expansion of gun-control laws in those anti-gun States demonstrates the insatiable appetite of the gun-control advocates for ever more extreme laws.

    California has been and continues to be the great counter-example to the nation at large. Some of the most recent examples of shocking mass public shootings have been here in California. Despite California’s laundry list of strict gun-control laws which have been in place for decades. And regardless of that legacy of failure, the advocates of California gun-control are continuing to press forward with ever more extreme laws.

    I expect the latest atrocity in Las Vegas will only accelerate that process of failure in California.

    1. Assume the chain of spree-shooting mass killer continues for the indefinite future. There are two major paths socially that might play out;
      1) Each event adds a little more to the outrage and anger that lingers and remains in the public’s perceptions.
      2) Each event’s added outrage and anger is transitory and fades.
      If 2 is correct sure, nothing will ever change because things revert to ground state after each mass killing. There’s an argument for that, particularly after Sandy Hook.
      If 1 is correct, and that’s my assumption, eventually that built up anger bursts and, without some form of intervention for release of social pressures, then there is a sudden and likely radical change in the societal and political reaction.
      You can assume 2 is correct, no one can prove you right or wrong, that’t the nature of speculating about the future. I’d bet on 1.

Comments are closed.