Before I get started today, I’d like to thank our loyal readers for their patience as I have worked through a rather extended saga of diverticulitis. It started in late January and involved two stays in the hospital as well as an outpatient surgical procedure. It also featured me having a nearly-lethal anaphylactic allergic reaction after the installation of a PICC line to facilitate administering the IV antibiotics I was on to treat some particularly virulent gut cooties that tried their best to take me out. I am back on my feet again finally and will get back to work on Monday.
It’s another mass school shooting with dead children splashed across every newspaper and computer screen in America. People from all political stripes begin the standard tropes. Thoughts and prayers from politicians. Recriminations of many of those who are so thoughtfully prayerful about the carnage given their lived hypocrisy of taking money from the National Rifle Association (NRA) to ensure their utter failure to do anything to solve this “intractable” problem. Letter-writing campaigns fire back up again, still warm to the touch from the last campaign just days or weeks ago. Memes like this one trotted out again and again:
It’s all so predictable that it makes me want to throw my hands in the air. Given the repetitiveness of this entire charade, it seems pretty clear that the NRA has won. They are the unstoppable force that is running over what ought to be an immovable object: the bodies of dead children slain by a gunman with a rapid-firing weapon. Turns out they aren’t an immovable object, only a speed bump.
So let's sum up. The Parkland gunman:
-Was too young to buy beer
-Was expelled from school for violence
-Got mental health treatment
-Got reported to the FBI for boasting he'd shoot up a school on YouTube
And as of 02/13/18, owned an assault rifle totally legally.
— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) February 15, 2018
This guy wasn’t even committing a crime right up until he slaughtered kids at his former high school.
I am so sick of hearing people who want sensible gun control – that’s the majority of us, by the way, including NRA members – whining about hypocritical Republicans who won’t do anything. Sick of it. Sick of the memes. Sick of the stats. Sick of the outrage.
What I want to hear from each and every one of you who is justifiably outraged by what is happening is one thing:
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO REPLACE REPUBLICAN MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND YOUR STATE LEGISLATURE WHO WEAKEN EXISTING GUN OWNERSHIP LAWS AND REFUSE TO PASS NEW ONES???
I am not talking to politicians here. It’s clear that my voice and the voice of my fellow citizens is completely silent in this conversation when it comes to them. The Republicans in power can’t hear me or you or anyone else above the deafening noise of all those sweet, sweet campaign donations.
I’m talking to YOU. The voters. The liberals who are outraged and posting memes and stats and clever animated gifs and whatnot.
What are YOU doing to fix this “intractable” problem? Because I got news for you: this problem isn’t “intractable”. It’s entirely solvable. Other countries have done it. But it isn’t solvable until we remove the Republicans from power.
Yes, yes, there are a few shitty Democrats in the NRA’s pocket, too. But have a look at this list. Over 100 Republicans and only one Democrat. We KNOW which party is standing in the way of stopping the bloodbath that our country is collectively soaking in.
If you aren’t working to replace every Republican in Congress or your state legislature where you can have an impact then you are just a bystander, culpable in the carnage through your inaction. Your outrage is impotent unless you turn it into action.
So, sign up to support a candidate by knocking doors, making calls, or staffing their office. Make donations. Host a fundraiser. Get some other people involved. Work with a local Indivisible group. If you’re fortunate enough to have Democrats representing you, join Swing Left and adopt a less progressive Congressional District or drive to a state legislative district in your state and help them.
None of this changes until Republicans have been removed from power. Even then it will be hard but NOTHING changes without that first crucial step.
So, please, enough of the social media posts and emails. We’re all outraged. We’re all saddened. We’re all sick to death of this preventable and unnecessary death and destruction. That’s easy, anyone can do it. And it changes nothing. Not. One. Thing.
Instead, tell me what you are planning to do. Better yet, tell me what you’re DOING. And if you’re already doing things, keep on being a warrior! You are a badass and never before has your badassery been more crucial and needed.