Monday, August 6, 2012

Turning the Page Too Often

Sikh temple shooter Wade Michael Page ironically belonged to a rock band named "End Apathy." If you can't suss out why that's so ironic, then perhaps you shouldn't be reading this.

But if you're endowed enough intellectually, then you'll immediately appreciate the irony of a man belonging to a group named "End Apathy" going out one fine day and carrying out, for no known reason, the latest act of right wing domestic terrorism in a string that never seems to end our collective apathy.

And as with the Aurora theater shooting two and a half weeks ago, we may never know what twisted motive Wade Michael Page had for walking into a Sihk temple filled with peaceful Indian Americans during their Sunday worship and murdering six people and critically injuring an Oak Creek Wisconsin police officer. Perhaps, as with the ignorant, misguided cretin who killed a Sihk man on September 15, 2001 in retaliation for September 11th, Page never looked beyond the distinctive turbans of Sihk males and assumed they were Muslim.

Despite the wearisome pattern (alienated white male, in this case, a right wing skinhead white supremacist), we're told by 2nd amendment advocates that "this isn't the appropriate time" to talk about gun control, to, if you'll pardon the pun, turn the page.

Personally, I don't know what better time there is to discuss gun control than after the slaughter of innocents who simply wanted to see a movie in Colorado or attend service in their house of worship in Wisconsin, or to a youth retreat in Norway. And with 24 hour news cycles in today's media, we cannot wait for Congress to come back in five weeks to get around to doing something about it. We need to think first, then talk secondly, then pressure Congress and the President to take a stand against the NRA and other gun-clutching lunatics who scream about freedom and government interference as if their first amendment rights were at stake.

There are no hard and fast answers let alone solutions to curb the spate of gun violence that's come to characterize this country as synonymously as baseball, apple pie and cheating on your taxes. If there were, you can be sure the NRA and other right wing special interest groups would be deploying 100 squadrons of lobbyists to Capitol Hill and spending billions to prevent their implementation.

The right wing position on gun control that's rooted as much in an addiction to incumbency as any other corrupt motive, cannot hold. But this moderate, centrist administration led by a so-called Democratic president who pretends as if gun control and mass slaughter of innocents isn't an issue even worth addressing, to judge by the complete paucity of mentions, proves that, as Yeats could have put it, the center cannot hold, either.

Another point absolutely no one is talking about is how this affects our nation's youth that obviously takes its cues from the generations that come before it. On Twitter yesterday, one woman lamented that her 13 year-old son, on hearing of the Sihk temple shooting, commented that mass shootings don't even feel like news any more. They look to us and the world we've created and recreated for guidance. And if a culture of apathy toward gun violence is all we can teach them, then perhaps that culture is partly to blame for what happened to Wade Page and other mass murderers who came before and after him.


At August 6, 2012 at 12:52 PM, Blogger prosey said...

We're on the same mental wavelength on this subject. *heavy sigh*

At August 6, 2012 at 1:11 PM, Blogger El Cid said...

Do we ever run out of pages? Does the index or backflap count?

Is it an infinitely long book? An encylopedia-style multi-volume set each as long as a thin-paged non-abridged OED?

And what happens if we ever get to this last page?

Or is it more like a diary, or journal, in which we just go out and buy another blank book and keep turning its pages.

The point being, of course, to never ever do anything.

At August 7, 2012 at 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I firmly believe, even after serving in the military, the only organizations who need assault weapons are the military and law enforcement.
It's sad that we now say "only 9 were injured" or whatever number goes in there. We should never have to say "He only killed 3 and injured 10". We need to figure out some way of defanging the NRA.


At August 7, 2012 at 12:36 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

I tend to agree, Kathy and, even then, their proper use is problematic, at best. When I was in the SEALs, I served with guys who'd wake up with a hard on at the prospect of being able to kill people with impunity. For me, killing people was a grim duty, one in which I took no joy. Some other guys, they lived for it.

Then you hear stories about that kid that was shot in the right temple while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser or getting shot in the BART while on his back or about guys like Amadou Diallo and you wonder if maybe we should disarm the cops like the bobbies in the UK. But then the criminals would still have the guns, black markets would flourish and we'd be back in the same old shit. There isn't a realistic, uniformly workable system of gun control in place in this country and it, like gay marriage and ObamaCare, are issues that give even liberals the dry heaves: When should the federal government get involved and mandate regulations?

As I said, if there was a fast and easy answer to the obvious problem of gun control, the NRA and other RW special interest groups would be permanently encamped on the Hill to prevent its legislation and passage.

At August 8, 2012 at 3:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All while our First and Fourth Amendment rights are gradually being strangled. Didn't the Second Amendment's defenders say that in order to protect the First and the Fourth, the Second has to be upheld? Looks like they tuned out once they got theirs.


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