What the Hell America?

Today’s essay was supposed to be about my incredulity at America’s obsession with the royal wedding. But, that fell by the wayside when news broke of yet another school shooting. I’m not going into detail about it; by now, you should know the particulars well enough to make that a waste of time. But, saying the situation is dire is an understatement on the order of calling the World War I a “minor kerfuffle”. If you don’t think so, listen to what Santa Fe student Paige Curry told a reporter who asked why she wasn’t surprised when the attack happened: “It’s been happening everywhere. I’ve always felt it would eventually happen here too.” Did you get that? Kids aren’t even surprised anymore when someone walks into their school with a gun and murders their classmates.

After you finished wiping away the tears that comment brought on, you probably wondered how we can stop living this nightmare. You might also have wondered why we still haven’t enacted some common-sense gun control laws by now. It’s a good question, but I think we all know why: The NRA has spent a lot of time and effort to keep that from occurring. And, by “spent a lot of time and effort”, I mean, “bought a lot of politicians”.

That situation has led to several… interesting ideas being floated to protect our kids. And, as none include curtailing wholesale access to firearms that is the norm in this country, there are some impressive mental gymnastics involved. Here is the best/worst of what I found:

  • Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick believes the problem is that our schools have too many doors. At a press conference on Friday, Patrick told reporters, “We may have to look at the design of our schools moving forward and retrofitting schools that are already built. And what I mean by that is there are too many entrances and too many exits to our more than 8,000 campuses in Texas.” And, he said it out loud. Where people could hear.
  • According to Fox’s Sean Hannity, schools should monitor their students’ social media feeds because quite a few shooters have made disturbing posts in the days leading up to their attack. Why, that makes perfect sense! I mean, it’s not like teachers and administrators are already overworked and our schools are woefully underfunded or anything. Someone should tell Sean that the average high school student population in the U. S. is right around 750. That means his proposal would force some poor schmuck to scroll through 750 teenage social media feeds every You might think that sounds good until you remember that the Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.
  • Here’s another one from Dan Patrick: school shootings happen because, wait for it, abortion. Speaking with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week”, Patrick said, “George, should we be surprised in this nation? We have devalued life, whether it’s through abortion, whether it’s the breakup of families, through violent movies, and particularly violent video games, which now outsell movies and music.” Yes, I realize he also mentioned movies and video games. But, those are old news. Abortion, though? First time I’ve heard that one.
  • President Trump (I throw up in my mouth every time I say that) didn’t offer any suggestions to prevent school violence and that may be a good thing. We are talking about the guy who thinks trade wars are good and that we should build a border wall while the rest of our infrastructure crumbles around us. Unfortunately, he wasn’t silent on the matter. As details began to emerge, he tweeted, “School shooting in Texas. Early reports not looking good. God bless all!” I have no words.
  • Not to be outdone by his conservative brethren, incoming NRA president Oliver North blamed school shootings on Ritalin. North told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that “We’re trying like the dickens to treat the symptoms without treating the disease. And the disease in this case isn’t the Second Amendment. The disease is youngsters who are steeped in a culture of violence. They’ve been drugged in many cases. Nearly all of these perpetrators are male. … Many of these young boys have been on Ritalin since they were in kindergarten.” You know, Ollie, I had more respect for you when you were selling arms to our enemies. At least then, you didn’t say stuff as stupid as this. (Huffington Post)
  • Let’s end this list the way we started: with some more of Dan Patrick’s verbal diarrhea. On the same show where he dropped that abortion gem, Patrick told George Stephanopoulos that the Second Amendment “talks about a well-run militia … our teachers are part of that well-run militia.” A “well-run militia”, really? It’s a “well-regulated militia”, Dan. How about you just shut up. You’re giving English majors a bad name.

So, have you got a concussion from all that face-palming? A bruised forehead from banging your head on your desk? Do you need to buy a new computer because you punched your screen in frustration at the abject stupidity of the people we’ve either elected to lead us or that we allow into our homes to inform us? If so, that’s a good thing because it means you haven’t completely given up and still have some capacity for outrage. Don’t worry, though, it’s long time till November. That means there’s plenty of time for these bucketheads to crush that out of you. And, if they don’t, there’s always the ineptitude of the Democrats to help them out. You’re welcome, friends.

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