Thursday, April 18, 2013

Everywhere, all the time

There is death all around, and these days it seems never to be free of human conflict.

Since the Newtown Massacre there seems to have been some multiple victim shooting incident nearly every week.  Last night I watched Chris Hayes on MSNBC who mentioned that 30,000 people per year are shot and killed in this country.  He then asked a great question, in so many words: why the hullabaloo over what happened in Boston but none at all over the fact that 30,000 people per year/88 people per day die in this country as a result of violence from the barrel of a gun? 

This was asked in light of the fact that the Republicans successfully filibustered a bill which would've required background checks for purchasing weapons.  Even in light of children being dismembered by rounds from an assault rifle one morning in Connecticut, these pathetic turds who masquerade as senators couldn't stand up to the NRA and pass among the mildest forms of legislation imaginable meant to keep guns out of the hands violent dingbats. 

As for Boston, while I don't make light of what happened, part of me feels as though Americans might consider that, in some parts of the world, people as innocent as the ones who died or were dismembered by the pressure cooker bombs have been living with this as a nearly daily threat for decades.  It hasn't only been in the Middle East or Afghanistan.  People in Northern Ireland lived with weekly occurrences like this for nearly thirty years.  Really, where it happens is irrelevant.  Children are shot an blown up constantly around the world, some by ordinance delivered by US forces.  It's a horrible fate that no one should suffer, but maybe the day is coming when the two oceans won't protect us as they have for 200+ years.  Maybe we can start to think about the rest of the world in a different way. 

What will the reaction be if the perpetrators turn out to be radical right wing native born white Americans who support the 2nd Amendment and freedom from federal law?  Will it be different than if they turn out to be Al Qaeda imitators from Pakistan? 


Blogger Don said...

White supremacists were among the first speculated perpetrators.

Seems to me the perps of this sort of thing are usually 1) white racialists of some stripe or other, 2) youth from some war-torn country radicalized by a cynical religious manipulator, or 3) privileged first-worlders who've gone madly anti-establishment.

Anyway, yeah. This is what I put on Facebook a couple days ago:

I wondered at my lack of reaction to the Boston event, thinking it was because I'm not soaked in media, or because it was 3000 miles away, but finally decided it was because it's just nothing new. I vaguely suspect that somewhere someone has been talking about this happening in America of all places, about the significance of Boston as a wellspring of patriotism perhaps, or perhaps conversely about how we are supposedly socialized only to care if the victims look and speak like us ... But come on. This is no different than if a mass killing happens in Juarez or Baghdad or Nairobi. And since mass killings can be pretty easy to pull off by small deranged groups for any of a zillion reasons, it's easy and truthful to point out Americans have acted no differently. The unprovoked and little-remembered murder in 1860 of a couple hundred Wiyot near Eureka, far far away from the usual Indian wars, done mostly without guns so as not to alert townspeople who might object, is what comes to my mind, reminding me that, like compassion, derangement doesn't care a damn about country or religion or even what the neighbors will think. To me the greater mystery is why Americans are shocked when it happens. This sort of thing has gone on in my country and outside it since long before I was born. It's a way of the world.

2:58 PM  

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