Gun Crazy: Las Vegas Edition

I'm not going to try to recapitulate the horror of last night in Las Vegas where at least 58 people were killed by a single gunman firing from the 32nd floor of a hotel into a crowd of 22,000 at a Jason Aldean concert, the deadliest massacre in modern times. I'm not going to tell you about the gunman because fuck him. Fuck everything about him. Fuck his life. Fuck his death. Fuck everything he ever loved. Fuck him in Hell with the hot barrels of the 18-20 guns and each of the thousands of rounds of ammo he had with him in the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

I don't give a fuck if he was white or brown or plaid. I don't give a fuck if he was ISIS or Nazi or whatever. I don't give a fuck about his brother, who keeps getting interviewed. What I do give a fuck about is that he was able to own that many guns. How the fuck does a nation allow that? How is that rational? How does it make anyone safer? It's aiding and abetting someone's mental illness at some point. He's just a hoarder with a side of intense paranoia and a socio- and/or psychopath.

Not that gun owners care or have any perspective. Let me give you one anecdote before getting to the motherfucking NRA. Lorraine Berry wrote to me this morning: "I'm trapped in a waiting room in Florida waiting for a mammogram. Watching the news and some newsperson asks why the guy did this. I say, 'Because we sell machine guns in this country.' Immediately, 5 women come after me, tell me they love their guns. One owns 6. Immediately start speculating it was Antifa that did this. I cite facts but they accuse me of being emotional...After they thought I had stopped paying attention, they started talking amongst themselves. 'My son-in-law is a registered gun dealer. I know so many people with mental problems that own guns. I don't know how they got through the loopholes. Unless you've been certified, you can buy a gun.' But they're so sure that it's their right to own those guns. Told me it was their constitutional right. They told me they were tired of being 'silenced.' I said, 'You haven't had a gun law passed in a decade. You own Congress. I have no idea how you are the victims here.'"

That feeling of imminent victimhood is what drives the National Rifle Association, a group of vermin that feeds on the corpses of gunshot victims, sucking their blood to boost gun sales and their membership, fostering the mental illness of thousands of Americans, the 3% who own over half the guns in the nation, a group that the dogfucker in Vegas belonged to, and the NRA fans the flames of their madness, telling them, through the cruel, pursed, snarling lips of Dana Loesch, that politicians are gonna send goons to take their guns away, something that has never happened in the modern United States, but it makes them feel like victims, it feeds the paranoia, it pushes them to buy more guns and more ammo.

What a goddamned, pathetic nation this must be for this to be allowed.

Right now, not only is the NRA active in trying to get a bill allowing silencer purchases for any "hunter" or "sportsperson," it's trying to get a decision on a magazine size ban in Maryland overturned. It's celebrating new laws allowing for concealed carry of weapons on college campuses in several states. It's a terrorist organization as sure as ISIS is. The NRA uses fear and violence to promote its political agenda. And it uses shit-tons of money. The NRA leadership is dancing on piles of cash with fresh bodies of people from Las Vegas and with the rotting corpses from Orlando and with the child-sized skeletons of Newtown.

We have to be able to agree that some things are just wrong. If we can't agree, as a society, that the way we have handled the ownership of guns in the United States is a complete catastrophe, we can't move forward. At this point, the proliferation and propagation of guns is like what happens when measles gets into a group of children whose parents have refused to inoculate them. Yeah, your freedom got a bunch of people hurt. Is it worth it?

You should not be allowed to own a bunch of guns. You should not be allowed to own large magazines. You should not be allowed to own semi-automatic or automatic rifles. You should be required to get trained and licensed. You should have to register every gun. You should have to use whatever modern technology is available to make guns safer. You shouldn't be allowed to buy a large amount of ammunition without a special permit. You should have to pass a background check for every purchase. You should have to be certified as not mentally ill. You shouldn't be allowed to have a gun if you have had domestic violence restraining order filed against you.

That's basic, man. Any society that doesn't do that, the bare minimum in the realm of "well-regulated," is a society that has gone insane.

Instead of doing something, Republicans and other conservatives tell us that we shouldn't politicize a shooting (although, you know, ignoring the politics of something is a political act). They tell us that good guys with guns can stop crimes (although I'm not sure how a few thousand people firing at the hotels on the Strip would have helped anyone). They tell us that places like Chicago, with slightly tighter gun laws, have a great deal of gun violence (although most of those guns come from outside Chicago because, apparently, there are roads that go in and out of the city).

They will do anything to protect the delusions of the gun nuts, as well as their filthy campaign war chests.

I have no words of wisdom. I can't offer any comfort.  We've all said it all before. We all know what has to be done. But we don't do it.

We are all hostages to the armed and deranged among us.

(Note to complainers: I don't give a fuck today if you think my use of "mentally ill," "crazy," or "insane" is "ableist." I just don't give a fuck today. Save it for tomorrow.)