WASHINGTON — Wayne LaPierre, the executive director of the National Rifle Association, angrily accused President Obama on Tuesday of demonizing law-abiding gun owners and of wanting to put “every private personal firearms transaction right under the thumb of the federal government.”
In a fiery speech at a hunting conference in Nevada, Mr. LaPierre criticized Mr. Obama’s Inaugural Address on Monday when the president said Americans should not “mistake absolutism for principle.”
That reference, Mr. LaPierre said, was intended as an attack on the N.R.A. and gun owners who believe that the Second Amendment to the Constitution provides an absolute right to bear arms.
You and I are literally surrounded.
The gun-grabbers in the Senate are about to launch an all-out-assault on the Second Amendment. On your rights.
On your freedom.
Just the other night, President Obama urged them to act. And then he went one step further, spelling out the 23 different Executive Orders he will take to get your guns.
My friend, our freedom is under direct assault.
From those who want take your guns. From those who want to shred our Constitution, and as our good in friend Rand Paul from Kentucky says, from those who want to be King.
Let me tell you, Mitch McConnell is ready to lead the fight to protect your rights.
Will you stand with Mitch today?
Our Founders fought a revolution to secure our rights. They would have been appalled by what they heard from an American president the other day.
President Obama has the left wing media in a frenzy. And, like his old Chief of Staff, he is determined to not waste a crisis.
The gun-grabbers are in full battle mode. And they are serious.
What’s at stake?
There are almost too many schemes to list. But President Obama’s worst center around:
-The Feinstein Gun Ban, which will criminalize firearms by how they look.
-A thinly-veiled national gun registration scheme hidden under the guise of “background checks” to ensure federal government minders gain every bureaucratic tool they need for full-scale confiscation.
-An outright BAN on magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
-And that’s not even close to the end of it.
23 new Executive Orders.
It is almost hard to believe the sheer breadth and brazenness of this attempt to gut our Constitution.
Well, Mitch McConnell is not going to stand aside.
Mitch McConnell will stand and fight. He will lead the Senate Republicans against this unconstitutional agenda, and with your help, we will prevail.
But Mitch can’t do it alone.
That’s why I am asking you to sign the attached Defense of the Second Amendment pledge today to show that you stand with me in this vital fight.
Friend, from his very first run for office, Leader McConnell has always stood strong for your gun rights. Like you and me, he firmly believes that the Second Amendment protects YOU as an individual.
And, he absolutely will not let president Obama or the Senate Democrats take that right away from us.
So please help him fight back today.
Sen. Mitch McConnell
P.S. President Obama and his allies are committed to eroding your Constitutional freedoms. Please sign your pledge TODAY to let him know that we stand with Mitch McConnell in opposing this gun grab.
Tinfoil hats will be sent to every pledger by return of mail.
“I didn’t think it was possible for Sen. McConnell to set a lower bar on honesty, but he did it with that email. He’s stoking totally irrational and unjustifiable fear, clearly for political purposes.
He’s misleading the people he sends that to, because what he’s saying is absolutely dishonest. And it can also be dangerous, because people get that email who may not have been following the debate, and they all of a sudden get anxious and who knows what can happen from that kind of provocation.
….This to me is pretty much as low as you can go in terms of being irresponsible as a public official. He knows that’s not true, he’s making it up, and he’s using it for his own political benefit.
Look, not all rural white gun owners are “ignorant, racist, white trash“, I agree. But there are a significant percentage who are conspiracy kooks with a penchant for thuggish rhetoric about revolution against the Obama-communist-Muslim menace. McConnell is playing to that particular peanut gallery here, and that is indeed a dangerous move to make.
Update: two students at a Texas college get into an argument, start firing at each other, two bystanders get shot too. The college has armed guards, which didn’t help. Surprised?
Update 2: My friend Brandon Friedman reports that the mayors of the four largest Texas cities – Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin – are all at odds with Gov. Perry in that they back increased gun control.
Since reports of accidental shootings at gun shows this past Saturday filled the wires, David Waldman of Daily Kos decided to hit up teh googlez and see just how many oopsies (and not-so-oopsies) occurred on
the National Day of Service Gun Appreciation Day (because it seems no matter how many times you pump irony fulla lead that motherfucker just will not die).
Check out the tally, along with Gun Fails: A Comprehensive Collection To Commemorate ‘Gun Appreciation’ Day (via HuffPo), after the jump. Continue reading
Deranged school officials in Pennsylvania suspended a 5 year old girl for being a “terrorist threat” after she threatened to shoot herself and a friend with a Hello Kitty Bubble Gun she didn’t even have on her.
The alleged educators responsible for this are simultaneously clueless, nasty, and incompetent. In a sane educational system they would have never been allowed to assume positions of authority or would have been removed immediately after their display of ignorance. A five year old has no idea what terrorism is. When I was a kid we played cops and robbers and went “bang bang, you’re dead” hundreds of times with no apparent ill effect. Furthermore, a Hello Kitty Bubble Gun is in fact not capable of inflicting damage, which is something even the dimmest school administrator should be able to grasp, but apparently not in this case.
Not only are our schools becoming pointlessly militarized, there appears to be a concerted effort to dumb down both the administration and students, no doubt in hopes of breeding obedient, passive, drones for the 1%.
A shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride
You cannot fix stupidity with legislative action. That’s what Jazz Shaw over at Hot Air says, and boy is he right on that one — for which I hope he is properly grateful, since if one could fix stupidity through legislative action, Jazz would have to live with duct tape permanently affixed over his mouth.
I am talking about, as Jazz puts it, “those gun show shootings” (emphasis is mine):
Following the events of Gun Appreciation Day, there was a cynical, yet almost gleeful tone being taken by certain gun rights opponents at the expense of several people who were injured. The headlines speak volumes without even digging into the nasty messages underneath. 5 People Shot at 3 Different Gun Shows on Gun Appreciation Day. Holy cow! Five people were gunned down? That’s awful! I’m sure you wouldn’t go and get all snarky about shooting victims though, would you?
There were more. Shots Fired on Gun Appreciation Day. The list goes on. Unfortunately for the ghoulish brigade, it didn’t take much reading to figure out that the actual stories were far different from how they were being portrayed in the headlines. The highly charged terms “people shot” and “shots fired” leave one with the impression that gun fights were breaking out among crazed second amendment supporters, blasting their way into or out of various buildings. The reality, as you have probably already guessed, was somewhat different. First, the North Carolina show.
A man identified as Gary Lynn Wilson, 36, of Wilmington, brought the 12-gauge shotgun to the show at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds and was attempting to remove it from its case when the weapon went off shortly after 1 p.m., police said.
Linwood Hester, 50, of Durham, was struck in the left hand by birdshot, according to Joel Keith, police chief with the state Department of Agriculture. The birdshot also struck a woman identified as Janet Hoover, 54, of Benson, and Jake Alderman, a retired sheriff’s deputy from Wake Forest who was working at the event.
The owner had stupidly not ensured the weapon was unloaded before bringing it out for safety inspection – before it got into the show. Three people took some bird shot with all being treated and released at a local facility on the same day.
The second incident, in Indianapolis, concerned a guy who accidentally shot himself with his new gun after leaving the gun show. The final one was in the Buckeye state.
And in Ohio, a gun dealer in Medina was checking out a semi-automatic handgun he had bought when he accidentally pulled the trigger, injuring his friend, police said. The gun’s magazine had been removed from the firearm, but one round remained in the chamber, police said.
There were no shooting sprees, no attacks, and no “assault weapons” or extended volume magazines involved. …
Let’s deal with the dishonesty first, then the stupidity. “Five People Shot at 3 Different Gun Shows on Gun Appreciation Day.” “Shots Fired on Gun Appreciation Day.” Does anyone see anything there about being “gunned down,” “shooting sprees,” or “extended volume magazines” in those news headlines? No, neither did I. That’s because the shootings were all accidental, and that’s perfectly, instantly obvious from the way the headlines are worded. I hadn’t even read the accompanying stories, I just saw the headlines on Memeorandum, and I knew exactly what the stories were saying. On a day set aside for gun enthusiasts to revel in how wonderful guns are, three of said gun enthusiasts managed to have their guns go off accidentally and hurt five other gun enthusiasts while all were staging this showy demonstration to the nation about how safe guns are, and about how no one has to worry when they see a couple of guys parading down the street with rifles slung over their shoulders, because as everyone around them should know, they’re law-abiding citizens who are totally knowledgeable and careful about how they handle their guns, so that no one who happens to be in their vicinity needs to worry that some precaution they stupidly failed to take will result in someone getting shot.
Which brings me to the part where Jazz thanks his lucky stars stupidity isn’t against the law: In one of the incidents, the owner had not made sure his weapon was unloaded before it got into the show. Another incident involved a man who accidentally shot himself with a gun he had just bought at the gun show — but it happened after he left the gun show. Itals absolutely essential to underscore the crucial points here: What does it matter that a gun goes off inside a gun show, as long as the gun owner was not actually inside the gun show when he failed to check to see if the gun was unloaded? And what does it matter if a guy accidentally shoots himself outside the gun show where he bought the gun, as long as he wasn’t inside the gun show when he shot himself? And it was only bird shot in the gun anyway! Because of course it wasn’t sheer dumb luck that it wasn’t actual bullets in that gun — the owner planned it that way! He forgot to unload it on purpose, because he knew it was “only” birdshot! And what does any of this matter anyway when no one was killed and when all the shots were fired unintentionally? It’s not like a crazed gunman deliberately killed 20 kids with an assault rifle — now THAT would be a problem.
Although wait a minute… come to think of it, not so much. Because if a crazed gunman deliberately killed 20 kids with an assault rifle, he would be only one of a “dozen or so truly disturbed teens and young adults” who engage in these kinds of mass murder. Why worry about the imaginary dangers of guns in the hands of law-abiding men and women who just want to protect themselves and their families, or who just happen to love guns and going to gun shows?
Ted Cruz (R-TX) cares deeply about “innocent human life” — when that life is an embryo or fetus in a woman’s uterus:
Ted Cruz has fought to protect innocent human life. He played a leading role in several important cases, including defense of the partial-birth abortion ban, parental consent laws, and prohibiting state funds from going to abortion. These cases have all been part of the ongoing effort to ensure that every child in America receives the protection and respect he or she deserves.
When that life is a child outside of the womb — not so much. He calls advocates of gun control “hypocrites” because, he says, “… many of the proponents of gun control are very wealthy, live in communities where they can outsource police protection, but you have a lot of people who are worried about preserving the safety of their own home.”
“If you’re talking to a 14-year-old girl living in Anacostia who has the misfortune to get pregnant as the result of being raped by her father, to tell her that she doesn’t have a constitutional right to have an abortion unless she notifies her father and asks for his consent, I think is fundamentally wrong. …”
Yeah, in my dreams. Here’s what he really said:
“If you’re talking to a single woman living in Anacostia who has the misfortune to live next to a crack house, to tell her she doesn’t have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, I think, is fundamentally wrong. …”
Of course, no one — not one single Democrat in Congress, or Pres. Barack Obama, or any journalist, or media pundit, or gun control activist — has said, or suggested, or even hinted at suggesting, that a single woman living next to a crack house in Anacostia, or any woman, or any man, or any American does not have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. That is a lie.
But we know that Ted Cruz is motivated by only the most sincere and genuine concern for protecting and respecting innocent human life. It’s just that an egg fertilized by a rapist’s sperm is an innocent human life, whereas a six-year-old child sitting in a first-grade classroom is not.
The next time you go looking for hypocrisy, Ted Cruz, you needn’t go further than your own front door. Because if you don’t see it in your own bathroom mirror, then you don’t have the capacity to recognize it in the first place.
(With apologies to L. Frank Baum.)
Lt. Col. Jason Dempsey, writing at Foreign Policy, talks a lot of sense. He writes that the NRA’s notion that the correct way forward for America is an openly armed society would actually be a retreat to frontier violence of the kind he’s seen in Afghanistan.
The NRA’s maximalist position on guns is theoretically about freedom, but following its lead would result in less freedom, not more, and mark a step backward for the civil society that we Americans have labored so hard to build. The NRA fantasy that true safety only derives from an openly armed population is not only indulgent, it ignores both human nature and history. It is a philosophy that offers false comfort to frightened individuals and would do nothing for our collective safety.
The world is full of societies where individuals arm themselves for safety, and the instability of such countries should serve as an object lesson of what happens when our mutual trust and our willingness to engage in conversation, unarmed, is driven away by fear of both our government and our fellow citizens. Such places are invariably not more polite, as NRA leaders would have it, but much more explosive. Just look at Afghanistan, where I and thousands of other Americans have confronted the realities of a population armed and on edge.
…There are steps we can and should take to limit the potential for future events like Newtown, but we should scorn the paranoia that sees solutions in even more weapons in more public spaces. America armed would not be a place of genteel men in cowboy hats keeping everyone calm, but a nation even more on edge. Encouraging an armed populace cedes the ideas of justice and deliberation that we have worked so hard to build to a brittle strength — one that sees mortal insult in a traffic slight and where arguments are more often than not met with physical challenges.
We can respect the right of Americans to own weapons while agreeing that they should be left largely out of public life. I don’t agree with banning guns, but I categorically reject calls to embrace them more openly as a way to avoid violence.
It’s a compelling argument that should appeal to responsible gun owners. Read the whole thing.
Today, President Obama announced he would be signing Executive Orders on gun control.
TPM has the White House’s list of the orders Obama intends to sign. They’re primarily about emphasizing the federal background check system and ensuring it works better. The one that will really piss the NRA off though, because they worked so hard to defund federal research into gun crimes, is “Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.”
Needless to say the wingnut paranoids and tinfoil-hatters are already out in force on comments threads and forums across the internet – few bothering to read the list before they advocate civil war to prevent the black guy taking away their freedoms. Texas politicians are including themselves in the rush to scarify and hyperventilate, of course.
The report presented by the President urges the U.S. Congress to pass legislation to require universal background checks on all gun sales, renew the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, and eliminate restrictions on federal research into gun violence, among other recommendations. It also includes 23 important executive actions to reduce gun violence that the Obama administration will implement immediately.
“These are reforms that should have been law in this country decades ago,” said CSGV Legislative Assistant Christian Heyne, who lost his mother in a gun-related homicide. “In the wake of the gruesome mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, we now have the opportunity to make sure future generations of Americans will not have to endure similar horrors.”
Along with partners in the gun violence prevention movement, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence will now mobilize grassroots activists across the country to support the White House’s recommendations.
“The response to Newtown is like nothing we have ever seen,” said Heyne. “We have been stretched beyond capacity by the flood of phone calls, emails, and social media messages we are receiving daily. Americans are asking what they can do to make a difference. We now know exactly what to tell them. ‘Contact your Members of Congress—not once, but repeatedly—and tell them you want to see the White House’s recommendations acted on immediately.’ As the President said today, ‘This time must be different.’”
“We were critical of this President for nothing doing enough in his first term to address America’s epidemic of gun violence,” said Horwitz. “Today, those concerns were laid to rest.”
By the way, one of Obama’s directives will give “law enforcement, schools, mental health professionals, and the public health community some of the tools they need to reduce gun violence. . . . We will help schools hire more resource officers, if they want them, and develop emergency preparedness.” School resource officers are armed policeman that guard public schools – an implicit endorsement of the NRA’s proposal should any school wish it, to the tune of $30 million in funding if Congress agrees.
President Barack Obama will propose an assault weapons ban and better background checks for gun buyers on Wednesday as part of a package of proposals to curb gun violence one month after the Newtown school massacre.
The proposals will include executive and legislative measures, with the latter sure to face an uphill battle in Congress, where appetite for renewing an assault weapons ban is low.
“I don’t know what to do,” sighed Gene Rosen. “I’m getting hang-up calls, I’m getting some calls, I’m getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor, ‘how much am I being paid?’” Someone posted a photo of his house online. There have been phony Google+ and YouTube accounts created in his name, messages on white supremacist message boards ridiculing the “emotional Jewish guy,” and dozens of blog posts and videos “exposing” him as a fraud. One email purporting to be a business inquiry taunted: “How are all those little students doing? You know, the ones that showed up at your house after the ‘shooting’. What is the going rate for getting involved in a gov’t sponsored hoax anyway?”
“The quantity of the material is overwhelming,” he said. So much so that a friend shields him from most of it by doing daily sweeps of the Web so Rosen doesn’t have to. His wife is worried for their safety. He’s logged every email and every call, and consulted with a retired state police officer, who took the complaint seriously but said police probably can’t do anything at the moment; he plans to do the same with the FBI.
What did Rosen do to deserve this? One month ago, he found six little children and a bus driver at the end of the driveway of his home in Newtown, Conn. “We can’t go back to school,” one little boy told Rosen. “Our teacher is dead.” He brought them inside and gave them food and juice and toys. He called their parents. He sat with them and listened to their shocked accounts of what had happened just down the street inside Sandy Hook Elementary, close enough that Rosen heard the gunshots.
Nice. Classy with a capital A-S-S.
Do some REAL work for your cause. Challenge one of those parent-actors, about how their kid isn’t dead. Please, put it on YouTube, that will definitely help. Better yet, call their bluff and just dig up a grave. Even money on that hole being full of jelly beans! Unless it’s easier to sit in the dark and harass Newtown residents. Yeah, that’s probably easier.
Related: Former Reagan
Porn Czar AG Edwin Meese joins the Outer Wingnuttia impeachment amen chorus re: Obama’s forthcoming comprehensive plan to TAKE AWAY ALL OUR FREAKIN’ FIREARMZ, MAN!!11 address gun violence. Because we’re no longer in batshit crazy country; we’ve done gone full-on bugfuck, kids.
Pass the fucking ether.
Update: Steve M. on how Sandy Hook Truthers encapsulate the total collapse of contemporary American political philosophy:
Up until a few months ago, I thought that, for better or (mostly) worse, Ayn Rand, in death, was going to have an outsize influence on 21st-century politics (at least in America) comparable to Karl Marx’s influence after his death on 20th-century global politics. But now I think Randism isn’t the ascendant political philosophy in this country — we’ve sunk even lower and our top political “philosophers” are [Ron] Paul and [Alex] Jones.
“Yes, I’d like to live in some teenager’s map of a modern version of a Dungeons and Dragon’s walled city, please. I know it bears no resemblance to anything even remotely defensible from the historical record but I’m willing to pay $208 to a convicted felon for just the privilege of applying, and an as yet unknown sum annually to lease my rather-less-than-an-acre for my entire family. I’m sure that will allow us to be self-sufficient and save us against some as yet unspecified “grid-down, economic collapse scenario”. Rush me my application form now, please, I certify I have way more money than sense!”
That’s got to be the thinking of the rightwing libertarian nutbars considering signing up for The Citadel, a “redoubt” based on a fantasy medieval-style walled town being touted by the likes of FOX News and the Christian News Service today. The Fox story ledes:
No Liberals Allowed: Group To Build ‘Live And Let Live’ Community
A group of like-minded patriots, bound together by pride in American exceptionalism, plan on building an armed community to protect their liberty.
The group, named Citadel, intends to purchase 2,000 to 3,000 acres for the project in western Idaho. The community will comprise of 3,500 to 7,000 families of patriotic Americans who “voluntarily choose to live together in accordance with Thomas Jefferson’s ideal of Rightful Liberty.” …
Here’s the concept map of this libertarian fortified paradise, from their website. It looks like it was drawn for an ahistorical game of Dungeons and Dragons.
This is genuine Live Action Role-Playing for libertarian conspiracy theorists. Although the website says that “The Citadel is not designed to withstand any direct .Mil or .Gov attack. Nor is the Citadel, in any manner, attempting to provoke any government entity”, the funding vehicle – III Arms – prints on the side of every gun it makes (AR-15s, natch) the phrase “if they mean to have a war let it begin here”, uttered by Captain John Paarker, to his Minute Men on Lexington Green, April 19, 1775 in the kick-off event for the Revolutionary war. Draw your own conclusions.
To be a member of Citadel, you must sign a “Patriot Agreement” detailling the terms of residency. The bulk of the terms set out in that agreement involve firearms, the proficiency of everyone in the community over the age of 13 with firearms, self-defense drills and militia preparedness. Despite living in a faux-medieval walled compound, everyone has to go openly armed if they go into the town center – one wonders who they’re meant to be protecting themselves against. Other wingnut citizens who might go off the deep end and are heavily armed, perhaps? It’s certainly not going to be the tourists the website says they hope to attract as an economic adjunct to the arms factory that will be the town’s primary employer.
Tbogg did some reading and discovered that the founder and primary mind behind this venture, and the arms company, is one Christian Hyman, aka Sam Kerodin. In 2004, Kerodin was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and a $6,000 fine for extortion. After setting himself up as a security consultant, Kerodin had tried to shake down shopping malls by publicizing that they were especially vulnerable to terrorist attacks unless they paid him not to do so.
Seriously, what’s not to love if you’re a reality-challenged rightwing libertarian conspiracy nut with a hankering to LARP out your delusions of being a rugged survivalist badass? Of course you can trust Citadel, who only own 20 acres on a mountain in Idaho so far and aren’t even sure that’s where they want to build, with your money…
Jeff and the Protein Wisdom crowd do love it, of course.
The UK’s ITV News:
Gunfire has erupted at a high school in Kern County, Southern California, according to the local sheriff’s office.
The shooting took place at Taft Union High School. There is no immediate word on casualties.
A city official says a shooting has been reported at a high school in Taft, Calif., a community in the southern San Joaquin Valley.
City manager’s assistant Debra Elliott says the shooting was reported shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday.
No further details are immediately available.
More as we get it.
Update: The UK’s Metro is reporting two were shot and the gunman is in custody.
Update 2: Local news channel News 17:
Sheriff’s officials say two people have been shot at Taft High School. We are also told someone has been taken into custody.
Kern County Fire officials say one victim received only minor injuries and refused treatment at the scene, the other person was airlifted to Kern Medical Center with unknown injuries.
The reports started coming in at 9:00 a.m. Deputies are now on scene at the school. Earlier, they told 17 News they were doing a room-to-room search. They say the scene is still not secured.
CNN cut from Joe Biden’s press conference on gun control to report the shootings. Biden says that an improved system for background checks has emerged as a a priority for the stakeholders he’s met so far.
So yeah, they had an armed deputy at Taft High School and people still got shot. Is the answer MORE armed deputies?
— David Roberts (@drgrist) January 10, 2013
Update [matttbastard]: CA School Teacher Talked Shooter Into Surrender:
The story behind the image: an item about Joe Biden mentioning possible “executives orders, there’s executive action that can be taken” on guns. For someone who’s spent so much time on gun legislation, Biden’s awfully ignorant of the terms that drive Second Amendment defenders crazy. Their natural conclusion: Obama will use executive orders to ban guns!
A problem: Obama can’t actually do that.
Butbutbut HITLER — THINK ABOUT IT.
A population of people, wanting more room after having overgrown and ravaged their own land, sets sail and, with their superior killing tools, successfully invades several other continents around the globe. Since the engine of their particular economy is one by which all entities – including humans, animals, and nature – are treated as physical property for generating wealth for an elite, this intercontinental invasion of theirs includes slaughter of those already inhabiting the newly-“discovered” lands, a savage and bloody pursuit of gold in what is now South America, and a massive slavery industry that ships kidnapped Africans to plantations in North and South America.
Of necessity, the invaders’ economic and political elite create a couple of handy popular beliefs in their brand-new nation to help all of this madness feel a bit more normal.
One such manufactured belief is the idea of “whiteness” as a measurable human quality that enables “whites” of all economic classes in the new nation to feel accustomed to having at least some amount of privilege over “Indians,” “blacks,” and other nonwhites. This gulf of privilege covers a wide span: the right to claim the land you walk on versus being kicked off of it; the right to personal freedom versus slavery; the right to vote versus disenfranchisement; the right to relative safety versus being subject to extermination, lynching, and other flavors of routine discrimination and murder.
The new nation’s other handy manufactured belief is the idea of the lone hero striding in and kicking ass in hostile territory. Thanks to this ethos, the popular measure of power in this new land of “individual opportunity” becomes the ability to personally triumph when surrounded by threats and insecurities. The revered lions of the culture are those fiercely solo souls who, facing danger and risk on all sides, claw their way to success and security. This cult of fiery-eyed self-infatuation completely ignores the cooperative clan- and collective-based influences in human history. But it makes a bang-up salve for a traumatized conquering army of American “whiteness,” haunted and increasingly outnumbered by the ghosts and descendants of those whose vengeance it fears, and needing to steadily shore up its self-image of rightness and decency.
And so in this nation’s official gospel we see a long and deep thread of self-righteous paranoia grounded in the lie of a heroic individual surrounded by threats. But underlying this myth are cruel realities from which even whiteness provides little or no protection: a nuclear family cut off from true community; the worst joblessness since the Great Depression; not being able to afford health care and higher education; personal finances teetering at (or over) the edge of bankruptcy; a feeling of one’s having personally failed the culture’s heroic expectations; a rage at having been thrown overboard by one’s own country. Into this volatile mix flows an ongoing gun culture where legal and easy access to absurdly lethal firearms meets the bitterness of failed whiteness.
Which brings us to the exploding white guys.