Seventeen people were slaughtered, many others injured, all survivors and neighbors indelibly traumatized yesterday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland, FL.
And today, lots of people are passing around articles “debunking” the 18-school-shootings-in-2018 statistic given by Everytown for Gun Safety (the number since revised to 17).
All of these pieces offer excuses, caveats, defenses to otherwise normalize the presence and use of deadly weapons on and around academic institutions where innocent children earn the education promised them by the same governing documents that promised them the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
All of them saying, “Some of those school shootings were just suicides that happened to occur on a school campus” or “Some were fights that broke out between kids who fired guns in the parking lot” or “It was a little kid who accidentally pulled the cop’s gun’s trigger” or “the gun discharged but no one was hurt”
— As if there’s nothing odd, never mind obscenely (tr)ucked, up about every word I just typed.
All of them failing to heed the piles of evidence showing that the more guns there are present in any given location directly and significantly increases the risk of gun violence.
All unable to observe the total absurdity of accepting and perpetuating the idea that there’s ever a time when weapons on, in, or around a school campus don’t pose risk to every student therein.
Failing to recognize the mental and moral deterioration necessary to categorize the discharge of a deadly weapon on school grounds around children as anything less than terribly dangerous and traumatizing every single time.
Utterly hardened to the acute mental harm and anguish survivors and witnesses have to live with for the rest of their lives.
I can’t think of anything more demonstrative of the deep cancer at the core of it all:
Our worship of violence and weapons of death as an acceptable means of protecting and preserving power; Our ironic bloodlust that makes us willing to put every student’s life and mental health at risk in order to secure any and every angry white man’s access to weapons of war for “self-protection.”
I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it over and over and over again:
Any nation founded on the violent genocide and centuries-long brutal enslavement of “others” cannot and will not become a society of Life-creating Peacemakers unless and until every system, every institution, and every dogma springing up from those toxic imperialist roots is utterly destroyed.
We are the monster terrorizing the young, and relishing our unfettered freedom do it.
It is who we are,
Have always been,
And choose to be.