It may take many more years before the United States overcomes its commitment to the constitution’s First Amendment: the right for individuals to carry firearms, even though ‘free enterprise’ now makes available military-grade weapons that kill dozens of people a minute. For decades, Democrats have begged for ‘common sense gun reform’, however with their usual pusillanimity, they have failed to win the legislative battle.
This has left Republicans free to deny that the President shares culpability for two racially motivated mass shootings over the weekend. They insist that although the President accuses Latino refugees of crimes ranging from murder to drug trafficking, he has never called for anyone to purchase a military-grade weapon and turn the on crowds. No no! The killings are the fault of mentally unstable people who will manage to get hold of a deadly weapon no matter what legislation is passed.
The indiscriminate shooting of mainly Mexican shoppers in a border Walmart by a white man who posted a racist screed on a well-known White Supremacist website before acting, his crime is ‘unrelated’ to the President allowing his supporters to yell: ‘Send her back!’ referring to a newly election representative born in Somalia. No, no, the killer could not have been influenced by the mass killing of Muslims in New Zealand, whose perpetrator bragged about being inspired by President Trump, among others.
The high gear Republican media campaign is effectively claiming, as the popular saying goes, that the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. Look no further than psychotic derangements to explain America’s regular mass killings: a couple of decades ago, the word ‘cooke’ was a popular insult, lightly brandied about. Now we claim that perpetrators of mass murder are otherwise gentle-folk who have fallen victim to ‘mental illness’.
No matter how many Americans join White Nationalist groups, whose websites are open to all, no matter how understandable are fears of ‘replacement’, (Caucasians constituting only 16% of the world population), America’s mass hate crimes cannot be blamed on the nation’s highest office-holder, anymore than can they can be attributed to a culture of total impunity for ‘free enterprise’ even when its products produce mass deaths. As an example of the selective power of America’s most sacred document, the Constitution, pharmaceutical companies who disseminate deadly pain killers can be brought to justice, but the National Rifle Association cannot, no matter how many people a ‘crazed gunmen’ kills thanks to its power to protect gun ownership.
How did the NRA achieve the status of a sacred totem? By a combination of money to lawmakers and the mass, cinematic culture in which the ‘good’ gun toting guys win over the bad, endings are always happy, especially when played out in technicolor, and even the private lives of ‘movie stars’ (or great sportspeople) are public. The great, tragic difference is that the sacredness of ‘our democracy’, (which Russia is accused of having attacked) makes it all but impossible for the ruling party to admit that its President is guilty of stoking mass murder, no matter how openly he claims that ‘illegal aliens’ must be prevented from endangering our communities.
Alexandria Ocasio Cortes (AOC), the high profile activist elected last November as a social democrat, accused the leader of the Republican-controlled Senate, Mitch McConnell, of ‘sitting on’ a bipartisan Background Checks Act since last February. She can be counted on to keep after him to allow the bill to be discussed and voted upon. The question is whether her intelligence and energy can succeed where others have failed.
Deena Stryker is a US-born international expert, author and journalist that lived in Eastern and Western Europe and has been writing about the big picture for 50 years. Over the years she penned a number of books, including Russia’s Americans. Her essays can also be found at Otherjones. Especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.