The Sickening Paradox of Gun Violence
Please forgive me, folks.
I had another column ready to go for this week, all tidy and written in advance of the high school graduation ceremonies and election primaries and maybe a few days of rest this holiday weekend before the summer swelter slinks in.
But in between the tossing of the tasseled hat and heading to the voting booth, 19 children and two adults were murdered at a Texas elementary school. Their heady excitement of the last days of class, the anticipation of swimming pools and beach trips and visits to grandma gone, families destroyed, another community traumatized and forever scarred.
It’s the 27th school shooting of 2022 and we’re not even halfway through the year.
Barely a week after another shitty little sociopath gunned down ten Black people in a grocery store (and four years after Parkland, seven years since Charleston, ten years since Sandy Hook…) we have another horrific example of how gun “rights” are the most perverse, disgusting paradox this “free” country could possibly entertain.
The gut-punching ironies keep piling up like Keurig cups in a landfill.
We have a fact-denying faction of citizens who claim themselves to be “pro-life” but oppose affordable childcare, who block regulations on businesses that prevent tainted formula from poisoning babies, who pretend to love Jesus but turn a blind eye to immigrant children kept in cages, who funnel billions of dollars into the campaigns of politicians who refuse to pass even the most minor of legislation to prevent psychopaths from obtaining weapons that are killing actual children.
These same moral charlatans have no shame in denouncing peaceful protests as “riots” while advocating for themselves to carry weapons wherever they want with no permit whatsoever.
As Golden State Warriors’ Damion Lee pointed out with disgust at a post-game press conference, “it’s easier to get a gun than baby formula right now.”
Let’s be clear, it is one single political party containing the cancerous admonition that guns are their personal saviors, and the blood of these children fills its cups.
Here in Georgia, these sanctimonious cretins have voted to back the re-election of a governor who literally pointed a gun at a teenage boy in one of his campaign ads. (Of course, his reptilian opponent in the primary was an even worse piece of NRA-backed trash, so there’s that?)
In what demented belief system do massacred children mean freedom?
The absurdity is dumbfounding. Marjorie Taylor Greene should have been arrested for harassing Parkland survivor David Hogg on the street. Instead, she was elected to Congress and probably provided reconnaissance tours for the Jan. 6 insurrectionists. How do people sleep at night after writing checks to this blond bag of pond scum?
The worst part is knowing any meaningful action like expanding background checks or limiting gun manufacturing (over 11 million were produced in 2020, including at nearby Daniel Defense, the company that made the guns the shooter purchased on his 18th birthday) will be hamstrung by those who would rather cling to power than serve their constituents. They’ve already long been deaf to the words of Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), who excoriated the other congresspeople holding America hostage with their hypocrisy:
“Why would you go through all the hassle of getting this job, of putting yourself in a position of authority, if your answer as this slaughter increases and kids run for their lives, we do nothing?” railed Murphy on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon.
“Nowhere else does this happen except for the United States of America. And it is a choice.”
That’s right—a choice. These leaders with their perverse interpretation of the Second Amendment and their Swiss cheese integrity keep choosing to let American children be murdered by guns. But where are the hordes screaming “baby killers” at them as they prance around their moral high ground made of quicksand?
As so many of us celebrated this week, 19 beautiful little fourth-graders will never have a fancy graduation dinner or cast their vote. I feel so ill knowing they will not be the last children in this country to be killed with a legally purchased weapon. I am overcome with seething anger at those who will find every excuse not to do anything about it yet believe themselves to be ethically superior.
It’s a sickening paradox that I’m too upset to wrap my head around anymore.
We can call it heartbreakingly ironic or tragically Orwellian or so goddamned sad.
Just don’t fucking call it freedom.
Savannah Sideways is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.