In recent days there have been two mass shootings in the US; in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, in which about 30 people died. Of course, all the politicians and other buffoons have come out with what they would have you believe are the reasons for them.
The idiot President Donald Trump has come out and said that it is the fault of social media which provided a “dangerous avenue to radicalise disturbed minds”, and that the El Paso murderer posted a manifesto online which was “consumed by racist hate”. Indeed, one of the statements used by the murderer was “this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas”. This tripe echoes the rhetoric of white supremacists, but Trump had used the same term during the Presidential election. Numerous times, he referred to the migrants seeking entry to the US at its southern border as constituting an invasion, including in more than 2,000 Facebook advertisements1. As an aside, in his speech, Trump, 73, also cocked up the location of the Ohio shootings, stating that it occurred in Toledo, rather than Dayton2. Australia too has social media on which neofascists post all sorts of xenophobic drivel, but we haven’t had numerous mass shootings in 2019. Why would that be?
Like Trump, former vice president, Joe Biden, 76, also cocked up the location of the El Paso shootings, stating that they had occurred in Houston and that the Dayton, Ohio, shootings had, occurred in the adjacent state, Michigan2. However, after the 2013 Sandy Hook massacre of children, Biden also blamed violent video games as one of the contributing causes of the numerous mass shootings3. Trump has done this after these two recent shootings too, in saying that the access to “gruesome and grisly computer games” is too easy and that it is “too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence”. For Biden and Trump, the irony is that the perpetrator of the Sandy Hook murders was quite fond of video games, but the game he played the most was ‘Dance Dance Revolution’ an electronica dance performance game popular at miniature golf course and bar mitzvahs. In Australia, there are lots of video games, violent and otherwise, freely available, but we haven’t had any mass shootings in 2019. Why is that so?
Former Arkansas Republican Governor Mike Huckabee stated “In fact, amid all the finger-pointing and blame-laying and repulsive attempts to turn these tragedies to political advantage before the bodies are even cold, I would posit that the lack of thought and prayers is probably the single biggest factor” behind mass shootings like those in Dayton and El Paso. Republican candidate, the infamous Roy Moore, stated that: “Mass shootings and senseless murders of innocent people are evidence of a moral problem in our country, not a lack of gun control. Liberals who want to take our guns continue to protest our inalienable right to acknowledge God in our schools, our courts, and in the public square. Without God and recognition of the Christian religion which once formed the basis of our society, we will continue to suffer national immorality”. Ohio state Republican representative Candice Keller stated that the cause of Dayton and El Paso mass murders was “the breakdown of the traditional American family (thank you, transgender, homosexual marriage, and drag queen advocates)” among a litany of others including, of course, former president Barack Obama, as well as “the culture, which totally ignores the importance of god and the church”6. Given that Australia is less religious than the United States7, you’d think there would be more mass shootings here. After all we have had same-sex marriage for almost two years now. They don’t seem to have many mass shootings in the Netherlands either, where they have had same-sex marriage for 18 years8. Why is it so?
The reason all these ‘anomalies’ are so is because we do not have automatic weapons freely available to any nutter who wants one. Nobody needs an assault rifle, except those in the army or in the armed response units in the police service. If you are not a member of either of those organisations, but want an automatic rifle, then by definition you are unfit to own one.
You will often hear Americans bleat about freedom in relation to their access to automatic weapons, and that all other western countries are simply socialist hellholes partly because of their restrictions on gun ownership. However, they never seem able to explain why in many of these countries, the citizens are much happier than are Americans. Could it be in part because they realise that the freedom to die in a hail of bullets is not a freedom worth having?9.
Lastly, people like Trump, Biden, Huckabee, Moore, Keller and their ilk, by their utterances in the wake of these mass murders, illustrate one of two things; their stupidity, or their venality. If they actually believe what they say, they are stupid in their lack of awareness of anything outside the United States, and in their inability to think logically. If they do not believe what they say, then they spout this egregious nonsense because it makes them popular among the unthinking rubes who vote for them, or because the National Rifle Association pays them to do so. Either way, none of them are fit occupy public office.