Not the time or place to discuss our own stupidity

Was man made stupid to see his own stupidity?
Is God by definition indifferent, beyond us all?
Is the eternal truth man’s fighting soul
Wherein the Beast ravens in its own avidity?

Richard Eberhart, from “The Fury of Aerial Bombardment”

Mr. Eberhart did not require answers: he knew. And yet 73 years after he asked the questions, people keep answering anyway:

—from Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “Today ( October 2, 20170 is more, again, like I said, a day of reflection, a day of mourning, a day of gratefulness for those that were saved. I think that there will be certainly time for that policy discussion to take place, but that’s not the place that we’re in at this moment.”

—from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: he wants his Democratic colleagues to immediately engage in a broader policy debate asking for “for national mourning and prayer.”

—from Senator John Cornyn of Texas: he doesn’t want us “politicizing” the Las Vegas shooting, calling such activity “beyond disgusting” but “predictable.”

Yes, Mr. Eberhart, man was apparently made stupid. And to prove it we have alined ourselves with a president who famously stated “I will never, ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Never ever.”

Here are some more instances when it wasn’t, as Huckabee said, the “place we’re in”:

  • Columbine
  • Tucson
  • Waco
  • Charleston
  • Roanoke
  • Colorado Springs
  • San Bernardino
  • Newington
  • Fort Hood
  • Aurora
  • Virginia Tech
  • Newtown
  • Orlando
  • the Washington Navy Yard
  • the congressional baseball game practice

That’s a small list when you considering there have been 273 reported and verifiable mass shootings in America THIS YEAR. (Today, incidentally, is day 276 of 2017.)

But Huckabee, McConnell, Cronyn, the rest of the NRA sycophants all know that if they can make it through the next few news cycles, the story will fade, that the inherent optimism (or stupidity) of America—even in the face of the aberrant leadership of Donald Trump—will win out. They know that after the wakes and the funerals and memorial services, after the lighting of candles and the strewing of flowers, and after a few more virulent but essentially toothless attacks from gun-control advocates, we’ll all return to our daily routines. We’ll head off to work , or school, or a night club, or a movie, or a concert, or maybe even a baseball diamond to practice for a game, never expecting to be shot to death…until we are.

And so nothing will come of this, and nothing will come of my offering an opinion that the ownership of automatic weapons by civilians is an affront to civilization. The NRA has purchased Congress and is collecting on its investment daily. October 1, 2017, was one such day.

But even in the face of these overwhelming odds, if we can’t tilt against the windmill, can we at least confront the windbag? Yesterday in a speech before the country—when Trump tried to channel Ronald Reagan but sounded more like Ronald McDonald—he said (or read) this:

We call upon the bonds that unite us, our faith, our family, and our shared values.

In a speech full of platitudes and emotions he could not possibly grasp, his use of shared values was the most nauseating. I don’t share any values with Donald Trump, and I don’t know anyone who does—not even the people who support him. Not even they traipse about grabbing women and attacking victims and inciting violence. Donald Trump has no discernible values and shares nothing with the country he has been elected to serve. If watching his pathetic attempt to simulate empathy doesn’t move us to revulsion, then we can at least understand why nothing else does either—not the shooting of soldiers, the murder of churchgoers, or the slaughter of children.

Or maybe it’s not the time or place to discuss any of that.

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