It Doesn’t Seem Possible?

status quobama In a natural testament to the power of the marketing-driven national hologram, those are the actual, spontaneous words of a directly involved citizen of the United States in 2012, about this latest mass gunning.

“It doesn’t seem surprising” is a lot more like it, of course.

And let us not fail to praise our great, glorious leader, he who responded to the “Batman” killing spree all those 5 months ago by having his press secretary say “The president’s view is that we can take steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them under existing law.”

11 Replies to “It Doesn’t Seem Possible?”

  1. Nope, not surprising at all. I would happily take desensitation if it was just that. But nope, we’re headed towards a full-blown national death-worship cult, and eeeveryody is a member.

    That aside, what I don’t understand is why does it have to be a school? I don’t know who the shooter is, but if you are going to go nuts, please do so in the Hamptons and/or Wall St.

  2. Time to throw together one of those meme pictures Michael loves so much: picture of Wall Street guarded by a thousand cops, pictures of a thousand schools guarded by ten cops who switch back and forth.

    Given the people FB-gushing about how terrible it is that young people lost their lives, we probably don’t have very long before Arthur writes another article about how specifically terrible Americans are. At the very least, like all manufactured news-items, it should make the radical political bloggers wake up a little.

  3. I agree with one thing that Arthur often writes about – how the focus, outrage, and condemnation of particularly extreme violence server the important psychological function to cleanse us and make it easier to accept the routine violence both at home and abroad.

    And speakind of FB, another thing that I found particularly diheartening, is how all these liberal soccer moms I know all of a sudden demanded that their kids’ schols be instantly transformed in supermax facilities – more cameras! more security! buzz doors! gun in every classroom! etc.

    I got tons of flack by reminding them that as terrible as the event was, statistically the US has ~100,000 schools so the chances of having to deal with this are minimal. Far more kids die in auto accidents – which is also easily preventable if more of them bitches used the school boos, which is uncontroversially far more safe than driving your kids to school…

    The best thing the media could do (but won’t) is to provide just extremely dry and short factual coverage, and leave it that. But nope, that would be bad business.

  4. (Not that I’d oppose consistent adequate security for schools. But they already look like and are managed like prisons. And treating the last symptoms of the problem – accelerating social decay/anomie by adding a few cameras and buzzdoors – rather than the root causes, make me sad be a human, supposedly endowed with intelligence’n shit…)

  5. And lo, it did, and Silber moved upon the waters. And He extensively quoted His old articles on how Americans are bad, while reminding us how much He, personally, reviles them AND their sins.

    Since we’re on The Consumer Trap, look at this from a marketing angle: as all the radical bloggers critique the mainstream media and its consumers for reacting to this particular event while neglecting others, it’s clear that they’re trying to drum up their own kind of business. There’s a school shooting, so everyone jumps online to enjoy the radicals’ takedowns of the way the media uses this tragedy. Uses, I tell you. Uses. It’s shocking what the NYT will do when it’s trying to get subscribers. You’d almost say it feeds this kind of stuff.

    So yeah, there’s something to be said about this. People should analyze events, et cetera.

    Like it or not, though, radical bloggers respond to school shootings at a higher rate than they do any given day of drone deaths. And that tells us something, doesn’t it?


  6. Like it or not, though, radical bloggers respond to school shootings at a higher rate than they do any given day of drone deaths. And that tells us something, doesn’t it? Quite so, Arkadelphia, quite so.

    And yet, one intervenes partly based on one’s estimation of chances for proposing new bridges. While I would love every American to care half enough about our trail of foreign crimes, the sad and simple fact is that, because of its remoteness, that aspect of our affairs is among the topics on which we have been most effectively beaten by the overs. (This is not to forget how very thin the veneer is even there.)

    One doesn’t pass up the chance to say something possibly thoughtful about things closer to home, just because people are wildly uninformed about “not at home” facts, does one?

    I also dislike the “America sucks” conclusion. If we’re going to play that either/or game, we will keep on losing. Social movements only happen when anger and optimism co-exist in large, balanced doses.

  7. American certainly doesn’t “suck” in some sort of universal way, but as Joe Bageant diagnosed, a large proportion of Americans are degraded and do live degraded lives and nave done so for so long, that it almost no longer matters why this is so.

    Just because it may be more difficult, is of course no reason not to reach out though, and I think this is where a lot of “liberals” fail miserably: they actually do enjoy the clinging to guns and religion stereotype and love to humiliate and put down the ‘trailer trash’ and would actually enjoy more power to whip them into ‘proper behavior’.

    This is one of the reasons why I am annoyed by the shooting reaction – some of it can be boiled down to well-off liberal soccer moms shouting “See what you’ve done you stupid gun nuts?! Well, I’m going to do anything I can to deploy the power of government on your sorry trailer azzez.” and this is not just the result of “stress’ and ‘worry’ – this is a self-righteous, full blown assault.

    Delivered like this, no sensible proposal for gun control stands a chance… hatred and culture wars that do not really help anything, but divide people and keep them distracted.

    As a side note, gun violence has been on the decline for almost 20 years, and mass shooting incidents have not increased or decreased over the last few decades.

  8. But, Marla, I’m not sure your assumptions about class and attitudes and guns are very accurate. Take a look.

    There’s certainly a meaningful relationship between attitude to the state and gun ownership, if we treat Democratic Party membership as a sign of higher faith in public authority. But the obverse of this is that guns are more popular with those who are hostile to public authority. I think anti-government ideology is one of the core strategies of the Reagan Revolution, as are guns and the Rambo worldview.

    And which is really our problem in this country — too much or too little state? We certainly have way too much state in the areas of war and jails, but what about things like medical insurance, income support, child welfare/education, and mass media? (I won’t even mention the possibility of public enterprise competing against existing private businesses, as that has yet to happen and awaits the onset of Socialism 2.0.) I know which way I see it. I want more state and less private business power.

    And there’s also not that much correlation between gun ownership and class. If anything, it’s a middle-class thing.

    Personally speaking, I also find there’s something deeply repulsive and, yes, corrupting in the very nature of these combat firearms and handguns. They bring out the Gandhi fan in me. As Bloomberg said, what kind of society do we have where these things are so revered? And you know for sure there’s also a major tie between gun-love and nominal Christianity. I see the hand of power in this plague of deadly objects. What better than to have the commoners running around capping each other, fearing the mean, mean world, transferring all their resentment onto the government, and pretending* to wait for Jesus?

    And take a look at this Lanza clan. These were most certainly not trailer folk. They were yuppie commuters to corporate NYC. The McMansion where Nancy met her fate is valued at $1.6 million!

    I rarely say this, due to my view of the power of class and economics, but this looks to me like more of a pure cultural question. Fuck guns and gun nuts, I say. Cracking down on them won’t solve our deeper problems, but it’s a step in the right direction.

    *TCT holds to the thesis that nobody actually believes in God/afterlife, not to mention the communism of Jesus. “Their are no Christians in foxholes.”

  9. Right, I don’t disagree with your analysis, and I’m aware of the actual demographics of gun ownership, but insofar the warring factions perceive the gun-related stereotypes as true, they are indeed quasi-true since they clearly instigate certain behaviors and attitudes (on either side). As far as the soccer moms are concerned, for all intent and purposes the gun owners *are* mostly rednecks itching to shoot their sons and fondle their daughters. (and of course, the gun-owning soccer moms prepare for the ‘imminent race war’ or something).

    As with most thing,s gun policy would be easy to address if we were starting from scratch, but since obviously we are not, any overly agressive attempt to crack down and institute more restriction seems to simply deepen the problem, since the first reaction of the gun nuts will be: “Yep, exactly what I was afraid of. Better buy more guns while I still can”. And you know what, if NOTHING else changes in the control of the state and state policy, I would lie if I say I can’t understand and even partially sympathize.

    As for whether we have too much or too little state, the answer is perfectly obvious – we have far too much state for all the wrong purposes and way too little for constructive and humane purposes.

  10. Makes sense, but it would be nice to know how much to weight this explanation – what about the armed rebellions though (esp. Shay’s rebellion, that afaik at least some historians credit with accelerating sealing the deal with the constitution and in convincing some holdouts that they need a stronger federal government to crack down on such things as needed…)

    Also, if that was the reasoning, why be worried about infringing on the right to bear arms? If it is squarely in the interest of the state, where would a challenge come from – esp. in those years?

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