A young poet sums it up in just two sentences:
It takes a monster to kill children. But to watch monsters kill children again and again and do nothing isn’t just insanity—it’s inhumanity.
— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) May 24, 2022
The U.S. Senate as currently configured is the obstacle to a solution, as usual. Pick your existential crisis — voting rights, women’s bodily autonomy, police reform, LGBTQ equality, climate change, tax reform, gun safety, whatever: the U.S. Senate is the cracked saucer where desperately needed legislation drains away.
Every Senate Republican will oppose doing anything to stop the next monster who will use a battlefield weapon to mow down schoolchildren, grocery shoppers, concert goers, movie viewers, etc. At least one but probably two Democrats will help them make sure nothing is done.
According to PawPaw Blacklung, letting a simple majority in the Senate pass legislation is “total insanity,” but apparently ongoing intolerable carnage is just the price we have to pay to maintain the glory that is the fucking filibuster.
Goddamn, I hate these people. All of them who refuse to address this, for whatever reason. I despise them jointly and severally.
This guy makes a good point:
Ten days ago it took the Senate about twenty minutes to unanimously pass a bill extending security protection to the family members of Supreme Court justices when it looked like a house might be picketed.
— Kieran Healy (@kjhealy) May 25, 2022
Further, he said it’s all about which families are worth protecting, and he’s 100% correct. Brett Kavanaugh’s family is. The families in Uvalde, Texas aren’t. Yours and mine aren’t either.
I don’t know what to do with the anger and sadness anymore.
Donate, volunteer, organize — blah blah blah — that’s how we’re supposed to channel our rage and despair. And it’s true, but it’s also maddening that citizens are asked to bang our heads against a brick wall for decades in an attempt to fix a fucking problem with known fucking solutions.
That said, citizen-driven action is the only thing I’ve ever seen work on this problem, ever, even if it worked just a little bit, at the margins. In the aftermath of the 2018 Parkland massacre, the hard-right governor of Florida and the hard-right statehouse passed a meaningful gun safety law.
It wasn’t enough. In fact, it was pathetically inadequate as a response to the horror it was conceived to address. But it wasn’t nothing either.
Under pressure from the citizens of this state, the Florida GOP prized its nuts from the iron grip of NRA lobbyist-sociopath Marion Hammer long enough to raise the age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21, impose a three-day waiting period, ban bump-stocks and enact a “red flag” law that has been used thousands of times since to remove guns from dangerous people.
Maybe that’s the only way anything gets done. Focus on your state, since the U.S. Senate is as worthless as teats on a boar, and President Biden has done all he can through executive action.
If the traumatized teens from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School could marshal public opinion and pressure Rick “Bat Boy” Scott and the assemblage of drooling half-wits who make up the majority of the Florida statehouse to enact gun safety laws, by God, even Texas isn’t off the table.
While it’s true that a citizens’ initiative strategy generally requires a horrific massacre to get the ball rolling in your state, chances are, you won’t have to wait long. The monsters are already here.