So here we are, America. Eighteen school shootings this calendar year and we’re barely halfway through February. We’re averaging one every 60 hours, more or less. Next one should hit by Monday, so set your watch. We slaughter our children with a carefree abandon that you won’t find in any other country – not even ones in the middle of civil wars.
Because for all the “family values” rhetoric that gets vomited across the media by politicians and their sycophants, we really don’t give a damn about our children, do we?
No, we don’t.
I see you getting ready to tear me a new one, tell me to go to hell, tell me how awful I am as a human being for daring to suggest such a thing. And you know what? Fuck you. Fuck you and your guns and your “thoughts and prayers” and your willingness to let this slaughter continue so long as you can live your life and keep your precious, precious firearms.
Seriously. Fuck. You.
If we actually gave a damn about our children this country would look very different.
We’d have sensible gun laws, the kind that EVERY CIVILIZED NATION IN THE WORLD HAS ALREADY. Isn’t amazing how few “mentally ill” or “lone wolf” people slaughter multitudes in places where guns are regulated? We would do everything we could to keep high-powered weapons off the street, to make sure that random idiots can’t kill masses of people in the blink of an eye. But no. We love our guns. We love them more than we love our children and it’s not even close. Guns are works of craftsmanship, but children can be manufactured by unskilled labor. If your first reaction to a school shooting is to defend your right to own a gun, you are morally sick and should fuck right off now. And if that makes you angry, you can fuck right off twice.
We’d have an actual commitment to helping people with mental health issues rather than stigmatizing them, denying them they help they need to stay in control, and then blaming them when they spiral out of control.
We’d have a social safety net worthy of the name. There would be intense social and governmental efforts to keep children from starving in a nation defined by plenty. To make sure they have health care. To alleviate the kind of poverty you get when the top 1% of the population controls more wealth than the bottom half combined. But no. We are perfectly willing to take all that away in order to give that 1% even more of our wealth, and we call it freedom.
We’d put immense efforts into public education so that all American children – not just the wealthy or the fanatically religious – could have better opportunities in their lives, could make something of themselves. Instead we have an entire political party dedicated to dismantling nearly two centuries of hard work and achievement and reserving education as a privilege for the few rather than a right of the many.
We’d have an economy that rewards people who work rather than people who move money around, one that taxes fairly and uses that money to benefit American citizens rather than pays people to move jobs out of the country and hoard wealth. We'd invest in our future. We’d give our kids an economy worth participating in, in other words.
Notice that none of this is happening today, and we have a government and an entire sector of American society that is actively working to make it less likely for it to happen.
We could solve this problem. Every civilized nation on earth already has. We could solve this if we wanted to. We’re Americans, dammit. These colors do not run. We do the hard things that make the world a better place, or at least we used to.
Now we’re a nation of cowards hiding behind our guns.
Now we’re a nation of wannabe heroes who think they’re going to Save The Day by Shooting The Bad Guy, when every trained law enforcement officer and soldier knows that this is utter horseshit, that all those wannabes will do is turn a massacre into a bigger massacre.
When Americans decide that we care more about our children than our guns, things will change. Until then, no.