I’m sure you know what I’m referring to. Yeah, another — the latest (?) — mass shooting in the United States, this one at Old National Bank in Louisville, Kentucky, on April 10, two days ago as I write. Five killed, eight injured. The shooter, an employee of the bank, was killed in a shootout with police. Three officers were injured, including a rookie officer (ten days on the job), who was shot in the head and is struggling to survive. The gunman’s weapon was a nice, reliable AR-15-style rifle, legally purchased at a local gun shop a week earlier.
There is no doubt about Nikolas Cruz’s culpability for the mass murder of 17 people and the injury of 17 others at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018. His horrific actions affected many more than those who were injured or killed and will leave a lifetime scar on far too many people. He absolutely must be held accountable for this tragedy. The death penalty, however, is the wrong way to do so, for several reasons.
I’ve heard that some of the parents in Uvalde are planning to have open caskets at the funerals for their little ones. I cannot imagine the kind of agony these families are going through. And also for the families and loved ones of the teachers who were killed, and one husband dying of a heart attack from grief only days later, leaving four children.
It is extremely easy in the United States to obtain guns, to find places to practice using them, and to find trainers willing to teach you to use them. There’s no need to have any contact with the U.S. military in order to dress and act as if you’re in the military, as many mass-shooters do, some of them waging their own delusional wars against immigrants or other groups. But it is remarkable that at least 36% of U.S. mass shooters (and quite possibly more) have in fact been trained by the U.S. military.
“In particular, the Empire’s endless wars, and I think that that really is what is driving this impeachment. If it was about the rule of law, this would have been instituted by the Democratic Party in the first few months of the Trump presidency.” — Chris Hedges
Is there no limit to the lethal and authoritarian absurdity of America, land of mass gun massacres like Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland, and now El Paso and Dayton among other pockmarked sites?
America’s horrendous gun violence can be attributed to many factors, but there is one factor that is hardly talked about or explored in public discourse – the apparent link between mass shootings and the rampant culture of US militarism.
Since October 2017, America experienced three of the deadliest mass shootings in modern history. This epidemic coincides with a frightening resurgence of white nationalism. Sometimes the two trends overlap.