I’m writing this on April 20.
The 24th anniversary of Columbine.
The New York Times published an absolutely gut-wrenching account of the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre today titled, “They Saw the Horrific Aftermath of a Mass Shooting. Should We?” It’s brutal. And it’s important. If you don’t have an account at the NYT, it’ll prompt you to sign up via email, but there’s no paywall for this one.
I’ve said it before: I’m done with arguing about guns. Because if 20 dead babies, bodies utterly shredded beyond recognition, didn’t spur actual change, nothing will. It’s a lost cause. The rabid 2A defenders — who showed up to Congress literally wearing assault rifle lapel pins in place of their American Flag pins — are the ghouls that the general public *chose* to represent them, and they simply Do. Not. Care. about what happens to a 6-year-old baby’s body when a Bushmaster XM15-E2S — an AR-15-style weapon — sends multiple lead rounds into their soft bodies.
This is on us. The American public. We have no one to blame but ourselves for the proliferation of weapons designed only to kill other human beings in the hands of people who would do others harm. These aren’t hunting rifles. These are killing machines.
Spare me your arguments, 2A acolytes, because I’m not entertaining them. No one is — or has ever — taken your guns away, and it’s not going to happen. So you can stop screaming about it. But maybe you can take a moment to ponder why this particular amendment is the only one you care about, and likely one of only two or three you even know off the top of your head.
“Uh, let’s see… there’s um… freedom of press… and uh… The right to claim the 5th… and uh… Isn’t there one about the pursuit of happiness or something?”
That’s pretty much how it goes down every time with a self-proclaimed “2A advocate” who doesn’t even understand that the only reason that amendment is even in the Bill of Rights is expressly to allow citizens the opportunity to protect for themselves all of the rights enshrined in the rest of the document.
But much like MAGA, the 2A faithful have hitched their entire identities to it. To the feel of cold steel in their hands. It’s all they care about. While they’re dismantling the freedom of speech for drag show artists, or banning books in libraries or erasing the right to privacy (see the 9th Amendment) or trying to ban interstate commerce for abortion pills (hello 10th Amendment), they’re unironically unaware of their dripping hypocrisy at this point. All they want is their guns and the unfettered ability to force their exceedingly narrow Christofascist perspectives on the rest of us.
And with every passing day, more children die. At Denver’s East High School, on the porch of an old white man in Kansas City, in an Elgin, Texas supermarket parking lot, in the driveway of another old white man’s house in Hebron, New York, and on and on. All in just the last weeks.
Because guns matter more. We get it. Twenty dead babies in Newtown, Connecticut bear that out.