I just saw a statement posted on Facebook — a Republican aspirant for Congress who said that “instead of sending $40B to Ukraine maybe we should invest it in protecting American children at school.”
Nice sentiment. Total deflection. No proposals. Nothing.
I’ve seen many “suggestions.” Harden the schools with electronic surveillance and metal detectors. Post armed police at the doors. Have only one door. Build a moat around schools. Surround schools with barbed wire. Use bullet proof glass. Arm the teachers. Spend more on mental health but no red flag laws.
All share a common theme. No matter how many children and teachers are slaughtered in schools and no matter how many religious believers are murdered while studying and praying, we must not ever do anything, not the slightest thing, that might infringe on the “God-given” right to buy automatic weapons and unlimited ammunition because … because the Second Amendment to the US Constitution says … nothing of the kind.
But I’m not writing now to debate the meaning of the Second Amendment. Rather I want to say that the people who are so obsessed with their “God-given” right to buy automatic weapons are cowards. Chicken-livered cowards.
Why? Because they are afraid. They are afraid of their own government. Even the Republicans in the overwhelmingly Red States are afraid of their government. Probably more the federal than the state but the government. They live in fear that someday the government is going to come for them. They maintain this profound fear even though there is no evidence that the federal government has entertained such an idea. Ever. Nor can they rationally explain why the federal government would “come for them.” Or what “it” would do with them when it came for them.
These cowards know little history but they’re certain that the apocalypse is coming during their lifetimes. They are equally certain that when the First Marine Battalion, or such other military that is selected for the task, comes for them, they will be able to use their AR-15s and other weapons to defeat them. The same people who quake in fear at the thought of the federal government coming for them think they’re going to have the courage to stand up to the withering firepower of a division of Marines or U.S. Army.
These people cannot explain what motivation the government would have to undertake the slaughter and/or imprisonment of the civilian population. They apparently haven’t considered what foreign adversaries might do while the U.S. military was busy rounding up Americans in this massive country. Do they really think our adversaries will just stand back and watch, tsk tsking about the sad state of affairs in the United States? Do they think those countries will not be concerned about the collapse of the largest economy in the world? Do they think at all? Or do they just cringe at night in fear, cleaning and oiling their weapons in preparation for the great conflict ahead? Stockpiling rations and water and fuel and the other things they’ll need to defend themselves.
Have they hardened their homes, or do they think their ranch-styles can stand up to a miliary assault? Are they all fully practiced in warfare by going out in the country in their camo gear and shooting at targets that don’t shoot back? What do they really think is going to happen when the federal government decides to “come for them?”
Republicans who resist any form of gun regulation are among those rarest of people who can keep two totally contradictory ideas in their heads at the same time. Normally trying to do this would create overwhelming cognitive dissonance, but apparently if you listen to the repetitive lying and dissembling on Fox News long enough, you can hold those self-contradictory ideas in your mind and believe both are true.
You go to work, pay taxes (they’re withheld from your pay) to fund the government that’s preparing to come for you. If you lose your job, you may get government assistance but that’s OK because … well, you need the money, and the government has systems in place to help you. Even as it secretly prepares to come for you. Still, you give them the money willingly. If you live in a place that is hit by, say, a hurricane, you will get help from the government, and you’ll take it. You will still be afraid. Not of the possibility of no help, but afraid that the government that’s helping you is going to come for you at some point and therefore you must have a stash of automatic weapons and ammo with which to defend yourself and family and property against … Army tanks, Air Force bombs, all of it. Maybe you should watch some old war movies so you can see what you’re going to be up against when they come for you.
Meanwhile, back at the local school, someone’s son – it’s always a male – will find your neighbor’s stash and assassinate school children. The shooter will usually die in the effort, but not before mass slaughter is accomplished. You’ll join the mourners with thoughts and prayers, but you will still be afraid, not of the neighbor’s sullen and obviously disturbed son, but afraid that the government is going to come for you.
And so, you continue to vote for politicians who tell you that the government in which they serve as elected leaders is so untrustworthy that any day now it’s going to come for you. So, rather than support reasonable protections against the neighbor’s son, who may well kill your own children, you will continue to resist any and all reasonable efforts to contain the cancer that afflicts the United States, alone among advanced nations. No matter how many children are massacred. All because you’re afraid.