I’m cooked from a week of soul-ripping horror and other assorted mayhem that I and just about every journalist in the nation traipsed through this week, but I refuse to fold yet and let absurdity win the day, again.
You only need to know one horrible thing from the Uvalde, Texas massacre to understand how wrong Republican political obstinacy has become.
A little girl in a classroom in Uvalde covered herself in her just-murdered friend’s fresh blood and laid still in hopes that the gunman in her school would pass her over as already dead. She surreptitiously called 911 and begged police to come rescue her and other terrified students. Meanwhile, just on the other side of the classroom door, 19 “good guys with guns” waited for almost an hour for the school custodian to let them into the room to take out the mass murderer. It was after he killed 21 people, mostly children, and injured others.
And the nearly unanimous Republican response to this new nightmare, after decades of nightmares almost exactly like it, including right here in Aurora?
“The existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens,” former President Donald Trump told an accepting audience at an annual National Rifle Association convention, held in Houston on the heels of nearly back-to-back grisly mass murderers.
Evil? Like, the Devil made this week’s mass murderer run out and buy military assault rifles and systematically execute a room full of children and teachers?
It’s not surprising that the same people who offer only thoughts and prayers to parents — who stand outside schools or grocery stores, waiting to find out if the most important person in their lives was shot to death as the price we must pay to ensure Texans can hunt varmints with assault rifles — are the same people who think Beezlebub tells people to take their semi-automatic assault weapons to school and kill everyone.
It’s increasingly difficult to discern who is more mentally unstable these days, the mass shooters or those who defend their rights to “legally bear arms,” until they become mass murderers or just shoot a few people they don’t like.
Trump and GOP Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbot and GOP Colorado Congressperson Lauren Boebert and NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre and GOP South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem — and are you seeing a pattern here — insist that the only solution to more gun violence is more and less-restricted guns.
If you don’t see the lunacy in this, you might not only have a problem, you are the problem.
These people insist that we cannot control rampant gun violence that terrorizes every student and parent in the country, so we must arm ourselves and our children and cower in fear, waiting for a fellow student, a teacher or a stranger to open fire in yet another classroom.
Noem told a cavern full of NRA members that “calls to further restrict gun access are ‘all about control, and it is garbage. I’m not buying it for a second and you shouldn’t, either,’” the AP reported.
Hell, yes, it’s about control. It’s about controlling the distribution of one of the most deadly devices ever invented and profited on, guns. It’s about controlling them in the same way we control deadly drugs, deadly explosives, deadly toxins and even deadly cars.
It’s about keeping terrified children, awash in their friends’ blood, from having to plead with police to come save them before they’re murdered themselves.
The answer from Cruz and thousands of elected Republican leaders is to “harden” schools to make it more difficult to get inside and execute dozens of little boys and girls.
So, these determined gunmen can then, what, drive to the nearest grocery store and massacre people there?
“At least it wasn’t all children this time,” is the best we can hope for in the United States?
In every modern democracy in the world, the rights of parents are given huge deference in how they treat, and mistreat, their own children. But nowhere in decent parts of the world are adults permitted to abuse other people’s children.
That’s exactly what these misfit Republicans are doing. By obstinately resisting even the most innocuous gun control measures, people like Boebert, Abbot and Cruz have shown repeatedly they are incapable of being trusted to be responsible for all of our children and ourselves.
The lives of your children, your loved ones, your friends, your own life and those of people you’ve never met are less important to these GOP extremists than their unshakable gun worship.
Cruz, speaking at the NRA convention, blamed the nation’s endless shooting massacres on poor character and bad parenting, ironically excluding himself and others like him.
I frequently take this test when assessing people’s character. Would you entrust the person to take care of your own child? How about your dog? A neighbor’s hamster?
How do you feel about Congressperson Lauren Boebert as a parenting figure after she infamously last Christmas posed her own young children armed with assault rifles as they mugged for the camera in front of the Christmas tree to create a lurid holiday card?
To claim that sating some sordid ammophila outweighs the lives of innocent children, innocent grocery shoppers or movie goers is so bent that even listening to the gun lobby’s sadistic defense of its principles is offensive and abusive to normal people.
“Classroom doors should be hardened to make them lockable from the inside and closed to intruders from the outside,” Trump said.
That’s exactly what school officials in Uvalde did, just like almost every school in Texas. It’s how the gunman was able to lock out police while he murdered children and teachers inside the classrooms.
It’s all yet another distraction, waiting for your horror to fade.
Take it from the surviving victims of the Aurora theater shooting and the hundreds of friends and families of those who didn’t make it out of that cinema alive almost 10 years ago. The horror and the terror never ends. The losses never fade. And each time another gunman terrorizes and massacres another venue, it inches closer to our turn. Your turn. Your children. Your life.
Don’t let these warped Republicans tell you we’re the only nation on the planet that must suffer like this, or that we’re just one mental-health center or one armed cop at school away from fixing it.
It’s the guns.