By David Berry: Las Vegas doesn’t need your thoughts today. Las Vegas doesn’t need your prayers.
And frankly, God himself is probably at his wit’s end with you dimwitted ass-hats who send prayers out of one side of your mouth, and then say that there’s nothing to be done about it out of the other.
You want to know when thoughts and prayers were acceptable? When this bullshit, lone-wolf shooter’s mentality was a statistical anomaly; when the 1999 Columbine shootings brought the nation to its knees because it wasn’t supposed to happen.
But anyone who says they’re “shocked” by what happened in Las Vegas is full of shit at this point. Mitch McConnell can take his turkey neck and wrap it around his turtle-eyed head, pack his lunch bag, and go home.
The Virginia Tech massacre was 10 years ago. Then, James Holmes killed 12 and injured 57 at a movie theater in Colorado. Those are just the big ones. There have been 273 mass shootings (more than four people) this year alone.
And even then, when it came to enacting common sense gun laws, a large enough contingent of citizens and elected officials said “meh, fuck it.”
What would it take? Surely a bunch of dead kids, right? I mean little kids, like first graders. No one would be able to say with a straight face that we shouldn’t even think about a few changes, right?
20 first graders and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School five years ago. And nothing. Fucking. Changed.
The rate of people killed by guns in the U.S. is 19.5 times higher than similar high-income countries in the world. The United States is home to 4.43 percent of the world’s population and 42 percent of its privately owned firearms.
“I think that we can have those policy conversations, but today is not that day,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders says in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting.
Fuck Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Worse than this willful negligence by supposed well-to-do, second amendment-protecting Americans is their “I promise I graduated middle school” arguments about why things are essentially just fine as it is.
My favorite one of late is the “bad guys are gonna do bad stuff whether they can get guns or not.”
So if that’s your argument, let me ask you – are you cool with loosening sexual assault laws on campus? Rapists are just gonna rape, anyway, so what’s the sense of getting in their way? Johnny the Toddler has a penchant for sticking his fingers in electrical sockets, but since natural selection should only leave the best of us, fuck that kid, right?
These arguments are flat-out ridiculous, right?
I’m not done.
You’ll also hear these “mom didn’t hug me’s” tell you that gun laws don’t work, which is weird, because after Australia had a pathetic social misfit who jerks off into a towel go off and kill 35 people, the laws changed there. Guess what happened? Firearm homicides dropped 59 percent.
Isolated example, I know. Except it’s not. Japan has strict gun control laws, and only had 6 citizens killed by guns in 2014, compared with 33 fucking thousand of them in the United States in the same year. Sure, they’re about one-third our size, so go ahead and triple it. 18 people?
There are examples in the U.K. too, but I know, “they” will have to take your gun from your cold, dead hands or whatever it is you say that makes you feel like an Internet hard ass without having to actually address the issue.
Another argument is that ‘good guys need guns to stop bad guys with guns.’ Fuck yourself. If that were even remotely true at scale, then holy shit are these good guys really bad at being good guys! 273 mass shootings in 273 days in the United States. Where were these good guys while the lonely masturbator fired into a sitting-duck crowd outside the Mandalay Bay from the 32nd floor? Surely they could’ve taken up residence on the 31st and 33rd floors, no?
By and large, these ‘good guys with guns’ are about as reliable an at-scale source of protection as the pull-out method.
And then of course, there’s the mental health argument. There’s some validity to it, but – how ironic – that the contingent of people who believe that access to military grade assault rifles is a “right” and that access to healthcare is a “privilege” would tell you with a straight face that we need more health care to right the gun issue.
What a privilege it would be to see mental health get the same degree of consideration as gun ownership.
Wrapped around all of this is an argument for some pittance of consideration for gun control.
And lest you forget, if someone says “gun control,” they do not mean “take away your guns.”
When junior shit head son of yours is rolling around the floor of Target like a golden retriever with fleas and someone says “control your kid,” they don’t mean “I’m going to take your kid.”
Follow the logic here.
We’re talking about some degree of control; again, no one is coming to take your rights away. At a minimum, can we agree that military grade assault weapons don’t belong in the hands of civilians? (We had a ban on this from 1994 to 2004, but – big surprise – a majority vote couldn’t be reached to renew it in the 13 years since).
There is no cogent argument to be had where the possession of those types of weapons should be owned by civilians.
And if that’s too hard to digest (it shouldn’t be, unless you want more dead kids and country music fans), then let’s start with something even more GED-friendly than that; expanded background checks. A June 2016 Quinnipiac poll shows support for them at an astounding 93 percent among U.S. citizens.
In most cases, that would do a lot of the preventive work for us, though admittedly, this is a rare instance where a background check wouldn’t have helped. But holy shit, it’s a start, no?
If you don’t support expanded background checks, and if you can’t even consider some form of ban on assault weapons, then it’s clear your prayers are hollow.
And I have a hard time thinking there’s a God who takes you seriously when you pray upon him with a refusal to step even an inch in the direction of action.
He’s heard your prayers. And he’s tired of them.