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On March 16, a loser with a gun killed eight people at Atlanta-area spas. Since then, CNN reports that the US has had at least 45 mass shootings. It's April 20. That's an average of more than one mass shooting a day. We've also racked up at least 147 mass shootings so far in 2021. Something is sick and wrong in this country, and it's not trans kids playing sports or people not selling racist Dr. Seuss books.

BTW: CNN defines a mass shooting as four or more people shot, wounded, or killed, excluding the gunman. Three or fewer is still unacceptable. God knows how many of those have occurred in the past few months.

Last week was especially bloody: Eight people were gunned down at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis. Five people were shot at an apartment complex in Pensacola, Florida. Four people, including a teenage girl, were shot in Washington DC. There were also shootings in Austin, Baltimore and Chicago. These are real people, not statistics. Oh, our bad, Austin doesn't count, leaving only three people dead.


Perversely, the marathon shootings benefit Republicans. They claim Democrats are gleefully capitalizing on all the death so they can take away guns from “law-abiding" Americans. But if these killing machines weren't turning schools, workplaces, and spas into graveyards, gun control activists wouldn't have much to do. Still, Republicans continue hiding behind “law-abiding" gun owners, who live in fear of their neighbors and the brown people they just know will invade their homes.

Georgia Republicans haven't lifted a finger to address gun violence after the Atlanta massacre, but they did rush through voter suppression laws in response to the one-term loser's Big Lie. They have no problem restricting “law-abiding" Americans' voting rights so they can avoid the kind of widespread voter fraud where Democrats win elections.

We can't even pass sensible gun control legislation after mass shootings that really happened and aren't just deranged conspiracy theories. It's not like Democrats are running around claiming that Hugo Chavez's ghost shot up a school so now we need to lengthen the waiting periods for firearm purchases. Gun violence in America is an epidemic, one conservatives believe is their constitutional right to help spread.

What galls me most is the senseless pride these politicians have when carting around their killing machines. Texas Senator Ted Cruz willingly shot a video where he demonstrated the bacon-cooking properties of a machine gun. (This is a very dumb way to prepare bacon.) Georgia House Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene posted glamour shots of herself with a semi-automatic weapon superimposed next to Democratic congresswomen of color. Fellow sedition caucus member Lauren Boebert wants to bring her Glock inside the Capitol.

These geniuses are desperately attached to their guns — for safety! — but they can't be bothered wearing a mask to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. They might consider themselves good guys with a gun, but in practice, they're assholes without a mask. Cruz recently declared that he's “done" with wearing a mask at work because he's been vaccinated. The average age of Cruz's Senate colleagues is 61. The Capitol makes an assisted living facility look like a frat house.

Conservatives act as if mask wearing is such an undue burden, but they're happy to make a Starbucks run while armed to the teeth. That's freedom somehow. Some fools even walk around with guns holstered in their pants, pointed right at their dicks. At least when I'm running errands while wearing a mask, I don't worry that if I trip, I'm gonna blow off half my face.

The anti-maskers argue that we shouldn't live our lives afraid of COVID-19, and white evangelicals oppose the COVID-19 vaccine because it's apparently God's plan that we all die from a plague. (I thought it was the fire next time.)

Lauri Armstrong, a Bible-believing nutritionist outside of Dallas, said she did not need the vaccine because God designed the body to heal itself, if given the right nutrients. More than that, she said, "It would be God's will if I am here or if I am not here."

Meanwhile, white evangelical Protestants own guns at the highest levels (44 percent) of any religious group compared with US residents overall (30 percent). It's apparently not God's plan that someone should steal their entertainment system.

Forbes grimly noted that this year, "the U.S. is on pace to have 511 mass shootings—more than any year between 2014 and 2019—though mass shootings are historically more likely to occur during the latter half of the year, meaning the rate could increase."

Gun violence is determined to strike in the US, but we'll still do nothing. As Rod Serling said, “The pattern remains the same ... with few variations. [Americans] pick the most dangerous enemy they can find, and it's themselves."

[CNN]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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