Let’s clear up one thing right away: No one in the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas had a gun and fired back at the white Christian male terrorist that killed 26 of their fellow churchgoers. The man that traded fire with him in the parking lot came from outside the church.
Pardon the phrasing but thank god for that. The gun nut right is all in a tizzy about the “good guy with a gun” aspect of the tragedy because, to them, it justifies the presence of 300 million guns in America. We’ll get back to how sick that is. The reality is that even more lives would have been lost if even one macho churchgoer had pulled a gun and created a lethal crossfire in a room full of panicked people running for their lives. Add two or three or more would be Dirty Harrys and the potential for disaster expands exponentially.
Let’s, for a moment however, pretend that what the gun nuts currently believe is true, that having guns in church saves lives. It didn’t save any of the people that died, did it? In the span of seconds, a single man was able to kill 26 men, women and children because he felt like it. He may have killed more and was stopped but he still managed one of the worst mass murders in modern American history before he fled.
What could have stopped that other than a “good guy with a gun”? We already know the answer by looking at every other industrialized nation: Not having a gun capable of killing so many so quickly and so easily. No other industrialized nation allows such easy access to guns and, miraculously, all of them have less gun homicides than the United States. And not just less, a lot less.
But in the gun nut fantasy, a heroic action figure will sense the coming danger, leap up, and save the day before anyone dies. Maybe a person or two will be injured in their Hollywood fever dream, but the bad guy will be dead with a bullet between the eyes and the good guy with a gun will be hailed as a savior.
26 bodies later, the fantasy lies shattered along with an entire community.
At least, it should. But it won’t because the fantasy is not about being heroic or saving others, it’s about protecting guns. Period. When you hear someone tell you they need guns to protect themselves from all the guns on the street, you’re listening to a sick and twisted person.
— Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 🇺🇸 (@FL2NC) November 6, 2017
This is someone who will gladly sacrifice tens of thousands of Americans a year so they can have access to guns they don’t need in order to feel powerful. They are so small and weak and afraid that the only way they can feel “safe” is by clinging to a gun. No sacrifice is too great to hold on to that feeling, especially if they’re not the one sacrificing their own flesh and blood to get it.
Listen to the people salivating over the good guy with a gun saving the day in Texas. Listen carefully. You’ll hear an almost sexual excitement over the power of owning a gun. What you won’t hear? An ounce of compassion for the 26 people their gun fetish murdered. As Bill O’Reilly so perfectly summed up the callous disregard for human life endemic of the gun worshipping right wing: Gun massacres are just the price of freedom in America.
But only as long as we allow “freedom” to mean “profits for the gun industry.”
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I’m a stay at home dad, father to a special needs son and a special daughter, a donor baby daddy, a militantly pragmatic liberal, the president of the PTA, a hardcore geek and nerd and I’m going to change the world. Or at least my corner of it.