Whenever an American is killed, the nation mourns. But are sympathy, thoughts, prayers and
grief good enough?
If you’re a narcissistic, gun grabbing Democrat politician or liberal Hollywood personality, definitely not. It’s uncanny, as soon as news of a shooting (mass or singular) is released, Americans are conditioned to endure a wave of reactions from both parties. Republicans invariably express sympathy, pass along thoughts and prayers -- which is a sincere notion, not just a perfunctory dismissal gesture -- and decry the senseless nature of human tragedies for which there are no easy explanations.
And if there are obvious motives for the murders (relayed by the guilty themselves or those who know them), conservatives identify the evidence and call for societal changes that might help prevent the next occurrence. These are the heartbreaks we don’t hear about every day, because they never took place. The difference could be attributed to diligent parenting or terrific police work or the heroic efforts of a teacher or psychologist or mental health specialist whose intervention staved off what otherwise would’ve resulted in innocent lives lost, just like the ones who perished at the hands of a perpetrator.
Random incidents aren’t justification for the blame game, either. Further, trust in the justice system (whether merited or not) must suffice for the victims. The prosecutors represent us.
Then there’re the celebrity opportunists who perceive a fresh chance to open more wounds, court more votes from the terrified and judgmental sheep and capitalize on isolated outrages to move their political agendas. These things are as predictable as the tides. Rahm Emanuel is typically credited for his “Never let a good crisis go to waste” quote, but the thinking has been around as long as there’ve been politicians to shamelessly exploit misery and citizens gullible enough to fall for the phony raw emotions.
Need an example? Former president Barack Obama wrote at Medium.com last week:
“…[I]n addition to grief, [Michelle and I] are also feeling a deep, familiar outrage that we as a nation continue to tolerate these kinds of random, senseless acts day in and day out without taking any significant action — an outrage that people in Colorado have known far too often over the years…
“It is long past time for those with the power to fight this epidemic of gun violence to do so. It will take time to root out the disaffection, racism and misogyny that fuels so many of these senseless acts of violence. But we can make it harder for those with hate in their hearts to buy weapons of war. We can overcome opposition by cowardly politicians and the pressure of a gun lobby that opposes any limit on the ability of anyone to assemble an arsenal. We can, and we must.
“A once-in-a-century pandemic cannot be the only thing that slows mass shootings in this country. We shouldn’t have to choose between one type of tragedy and another. It’s time for leaders everywhere to listen to the American people when they say enough is enough — because this is a normal we can no longer afford.”
No longer afford? You mean we could “afford” it before? Doesn’t make sense, does it?
Is this just Obama being Obama? Or is there something deeper here? Well, if the Big “O” and his ilk are going over-the-top tasteless in pinning a firearms-related murder spree on “cowardly politicians” (translation: Republicans) and “pressure of a gun lobby”, then we can toss out a little envelope-pushing rhetorical speculation of our own, can’t we? How about this scenario?
--Imagine there’s a news report of a shooting somewhere across the country. Liberals like Obama drop whatever they’re doing, jog to the TV (no doubt pre-tuned to CNN) and laser focus on the details.
Obama (anxious as a poker player in Vegas): “Where was it? Come on, come on, tell me, tell me...” [Reporter mentions Colorado] “YES! Chock up another score for the kooks out in high country! Did this guy think he was Batman too, just like the screwball who shot up the movie theater that time? And we got miles and miles of gun control leverage from Columbine, didn’t we? Remember Bill Clinton? All the lip biting in the world couldn’t get us another assault weapons ban though. We need more dead kids! Where did the shooting take place, in a bitter clinger-type church or something?”
[News voice: “The shooter killed ten in a supermarket. Witnesses said he appeared to be a white male in his twenties.”]
Obama: “BING! Again! Another Trump-loving white supremacist gun nut going off the rails. Get Chuck Schumer on the phone! Dredge up that bill from last time. Tell ‘em to get it on the floor and be sure to demonize anyone who opposes it as an uncaring defender of senseless murder. Hurry up! You know people are gonna forget about this by next Tuesday. With the media still obsessing over COVID deaths, ten corpses sounds like a pittance against a half-million. Hurry! Hurry!”
[News voice: “The Colorado shootings follow a week after eight, including six Asian women, were mercilessly gunned down by a white man in Atlanta, Georgia. President Biden and Vice President Harris are doing everything they can to highlight increasing white supremacist violence against innocent, defenseless Asians because Donald Trump demonized the coronavirus as originating in China, an unproven theory and likely false, just like his claims of election fraud.”]
“This IS my lucky day!” Obama exclaimed, thrusting his fist into the air, accompanied by a tremendous rush of spine-tingling adrenaline. “Michelle, hold that order of Fritos and diet soda that I told you to bring me. I gotta get typin’ on my Medium.com account so the sheep out there don’t get complacent and stop judging when the actual facts come out. What if the guy turned out to be a light-skinned Muslim born in Syria? That would be awful! And Americans are already getting wise to the Atlanta thing, since everything indicates that the guy was a sex addict or something, not a race-crazed hater.
“Maybe we should call up Bill Clinton, since he knows everything there is to know about sex addiction. Get moving, darn it! Sheesh, what do I gotta do, wait for the truth! Not doing it!”
--This little scene isn’t any more off-base than what Democrats claim is in the minds of conservatives and liberty-lovers who revere the Constitution, its Second Amendment, and the reasons behind the Founders’ solemn protection of gun rights. It’s rare when additional government intervention would’ve prevented an individual from acting. Liberals can’t prove it -- they just want guns taken away to make themselves feel better about supposedly “doing something” to extinguish an intangible problem.
National concealed carry would be a good start towards deterring this type of media attention-seeking attack. But allowing citizens to responsibly carry firearms would be like admitting a good guy with a gun is the best way to stop the madness. It ain’t “gun free zones” or weapons bans -- or universal background checks. Can’t they see it? But to join with groups like Gun Owners of America or the NRA to enforce the current laws (of which there are books full of ‘em) or enact new policies would be to concede defeat.
Until that time, we’ll need to settle for thoughts, prayers and grief. Democrats will keep up the faux pontificating and (hopefully) Republicans will continue to defend the lawful rights of gun owners. Obama will wait for the next shooting to pop off and play the blame game again. He’s probably already got his speech prepared for when the moment arrives.