We Must Politicize Every Shooting

Right now, a bearded man in a red cap and sunglasses is standing outside the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. He is trying not to break down because his daughter is inside the building and texting him that she is hiding, waiting for police to find her, because at least one person, probably more, shot up her workplace. She texted that "several people" she saw were wounded. The center, which has been in existence for 40 years, employs over 600 people to fulfill its mission: "As an agency among agencies, Inland Regional Center coordinates with generic services to normalize the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families by working to include them in the everyday routines and life rhythms of the community and by facilitating needed supports for them." It serves tens of thousands of people.

By the way, across the street is a school for the blind. It's currently in lockdown.

This is where we are now. It's not enough to gun down children in their classroom. It's not enough to gun down people at a family planning clinic. It's not going to be enough to gun down people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them. We will continue to do nothing. If you can think of some repulsive line that the NRA and the repellent gun "rights" supporters won't cross, you are wiser than this writer.

The Rude Pundit has said before and he'll say again: It's never just the assailants. It's always the guns. Already, we're seeing the appalling piglets of the right tell anyone who dares to insist that it's the guns to sit down and shut up and not "politicize" this latest float in our unending parade of horrors. As if silence isn't a political act. As if the very people who called for banning Syrian refugees before the bodies were cold in Paris have any goddamned right to tell anyone to not talk politics. As if the NRA, which makes money on the corpses of the victims of mass shootings, deserves anything more than being spit on. They fear politicizing because policy may come from it.

We've all said the same things, endlessly. We've asked, simply, plaintively, "Since what we're doing now doesn't work, why not try something else?" And, if you are capable of feeling shame about this, you cringe when you think about how other nations must look at the United States, an insanely-armed place that is tumbling into some mad mishmash of oligarchy and theocracy.

This country has allowed ludicrous and evil and demonstrably wrong people and ideas to be passed off as legitimate. We give people a forum to say unbelievable bullshit, like that expanded background checks will lead to tyranny and gun confiscation. At some point, we are allowed to assert that some things are not worthy of discussion and that some people and organizations deserve only contempt, derision, and isolation. We can turn people into pariahs. We are allowed to do that. The CNN anchor, reacting to the shooting a few minutes ago, kept saying, over and over, that it was sad and "ridiculous." She's right. Now, how about the next time some Republican politician talks about how we need to do more about the "mentally-ill" (which is something they won't do) and not limit gun purchases, she shuts them down and throws them off the show? What if she says that it's an unacceptable position to not do anything about guns?

We do not have to tolerate the intolerable. We have chosen to tolerate it. We have chosen to pretend as if the extremists who demand no regulation of guns have a valid point of view. We should be politicizing every shooting even more. We should be asking our politicians how they can dare not do something to help a nation afflicted with bullets.

If there will ever be a tipping point on guns, it will only happen when we say that disgusting acts are aided and abetted by disgusting people with disgusting beliefs. It will only happen when we treat the disgusting people with the disgust they deserve.