The national media, and even local media from all over the country, descended on Newtown, CT almost immediately after the disaster on Friday. Bringing their best "earnest" and "concerned" faces, together with their insipid maundering about tragedy, they continue to spew out the adjectives "unimaginable," "unspeakable," and "unintelligible" hour after hour.
But what happened at Newton is not unimaginable, unspeakable, or unintelligible. We all know exactly why this happened, and who is to blame.
The culprits are so-called Conservatism and so-called Conservatives. It is their mind-numbing stupidity and unfathomable selfishness that have caused this disaster and all the others like it. It is their irrational fear of government, their childish notions of God, their mindless veneration of Tradition, their love of violence as a means both of defense and of offense, their adoration of individualism, their unconcern for the suffering their choices cause others—in short, their whole warped world view—all this creates the incubator for this sort of infuriating mass violence.
Just to show how interrelated all Conservative delusions are, let's start with the ONE SINGLE STATISTIC that tells you everything you need to know about gun violence in America:
There are 888 guns for every 1000 people in the United States of America. (See this article in the Guardian for the stats.)
Starting with this one statistic, we can thread our way to every important fact that leads to mass shootings like that at Newtown. First, the US is by far the largest consumer of guns in the world. Second, someone is making and selling all those guns to Americans, namely, the firearms manufacturers. Third, the manufacturers need their clientele to keep buying. Fourth, they keep their clientele buying through massive advertising of fear, and to a lesser extent by massive advertising of "benign" uses of deadly weapons. Fifth, the manufacturers have a political front organization, namely the NRA, that pretends to care of the "rights" of gun buyers, but all in the service of the manufacturers' need to keep sales up. Sixth, the NRA convinces people that they need or want any sort of weapon that is manufactured. Seventh, people so convinced demand to be able to purchase any sort of weapon. Eighth, people so convinced come to believe that there is something called a "responsible gun collector," who is a good person, and therefore shouldn't be stopped from buying any sort of weapon, no matter how deadly. Ninth, these "responsible gun collectors" collect massive arsenals. Tenth, these arsenals inevitably fall into the wrong hands some of the time. Eleventh, legally purchased weapons are used to massacre innocents.
At every step of the way, "conservative" fallacies and selfishness feed the chain from firearms manufacturers to dead innocents. The stupid beliefs are endless: that corporations should be allowed to manufacture whatever they want; that the "free market" should not be controlled in any way; that "tradition" is good, no matter how stupid its dictates; that having any and all weapons is a basic "right"; that selfish fantasies about destroying all attackers trump the need of society to be secure; that "good people" shouldn't have to give up anything for the sake of their nation; that the helpless and mentally ill don't need the support of government; that no one needs the support of government; that government has no "rights" to be measured against the insatiable demands of some of its people; that weapons can prevent violence. There are hundreds more.
This country will never be made right until Conservatism is crushed. Those of us who want to live as safely as possible have to stand up, stop kowtowing to the stupid demands of the most regressive minds in the world, and remove all Conservatives from positions of power.
Their hold on power is what prevents us from having universal health care, which could intercept the mentally ill before they manage to get their hands on a weapon of mass destruction. It is what prevents us from having sane gun control laws. It is what prevents us from having unions and corporate control laws to prevent workers from being abused and falling into despair at the hand of their corporate overlords. It is what prevents us from switching to clean energy, which would remove some of the most evil corporate titans from power. It is what wastes our national treasury and our political capital on pointless wars, both actual and metaphorical, that do nothing but expend energy on Conservative fears and mythological dangers.
We all know this. But neither the media nor any of our politicians have the guts to say it.
Until we start saying it, and until we start standing up to the Huckabees and Gomerts out there who clutch at their infantile God and their adolescent guns, we are all complicit in the deaths of this weekend's innocents, and in all those who have died and will continue to die in this horrible manner.
P.S. There is no such thing as a "responsible gun collector," any more than there is such a thing as a "responsible chemical weapon collector" or a "responsible anthrax collector." And if you have such a morbid fascination with the machinery and craftsmanship of death devices, the government needs to regulate your prurient obsessions.
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If you want to know how all Conservative stupidity and meanness binds together into a massive ball of super-stupidity-and-meanness, you should take a look at Conservative Estimate, a blog that was founded the day after the election, and which lays bare all the Myths that make Conservatism such a destructive force. I've been relaying the daily posts at Conservative Estimate since it started, and I intend to continue doing so for as long as I can.