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Home | Opinion | Op-Ed: To Your Scattered Bodies Go
Santa Fe (Tx) school | Photo courtesy Tumblr

Op-Ed: To Your Scattered Bodies Go

Another week, another bunch of dead school kids, mowed down in another act of gun violence. Yawn. This week Santa Fe, Texas. Last week Indiana. Next week, who knows where. Have you been keeping count? Probably not.

These shootings have become as commonplace as afternoon pileups on I10 at rush hour and your response is probably is just the same: drive by slowly, stare for a second, shake your head at the carnage, then zoom off to your destination as if nothing happened. “Glad that wasn’t me or someone I know.”

Never mind that more students died this year because of gun violence than all the military-related deaths combined. Think about that for a second: Being a student in our schools is more deadly than being a soldier.

Welcome to the NRA’s America. For foreign exchange student Sabika Sheikh, Santa Fe Texas was deadlier than her home of Karachi, Pakistan. Welcome to the United States of Gunmerica.

When our monthly student sacrifices to the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers occur, it is not unusual for “concerned” politicians to jump in front of the nearest camera and offer their “thoughts and prayers” even before the corpses have been piled into the awaiting ambulances and returned to their grieving families.

Texas Lt. Governor, Dan Patrick, an NRA cocotte and proud funding recipient, after offering meaningless thoughts and prayers, immediately blamed the number of doors in the school as a root cause of the gun massacre. He added “too many doors” to his ever growing list of things that are responsible for mass shootings, including abortion, no prayers in schools, violent video games, bad parenting, and poor mental health.

Like all good NRA toadies, he skillfully avoided mentioning guns as having anything to do with gun violence.

t is a tactic used by all politicians that do the bidding of the death manufacturers: Blame anything BUT the actual cause of death. Like a delusional fan of the losing football team, the blame is directed towards anything but the actual reason: The refs were against us, the weather was bad, the other team cheated, the ball was deflated.

Similar scams have come from the tobacco companies blaming everything from alcohol to mouthwash to salted fish for lung cancers and the fossil fuel industry blaming the sun and algae for global warming, the NRA propped puppets continue to insist that guns have nothing to do with all those children having their heads exploded and internal organs turned into hamburger.

Oh, and by the way, by God if you disagree, you hate the Constitution, the Second Amendment, the baby Jesus, America and apple pie. Get out of here you stinking libtard. My pursuit to fondle cold steel happiness trumps your right to life and liberty.

Besides, happiness is a warm gun. Even John Lennon said so. (Slate has a nice article that documents 100 years of the NRA blaming everything but guns for gun violence.)

Didn’t anyone find it a bit convenient that our Governor, another NRA funding stooge who loves to be suggestively photographed holding guns, immediately called for a round table discussion to discuss ways to “fix the problem” as if he was just waiting for the next massacre to occur?

To me, it was a bit too staged and ready to go. Why no roundtables after Ft. Hood? After Sutherland Springs? That “roundtable” was plotted long before Santa Fe. It could have been after an El Paso school, or a Houston school, or an Odessa school. Who cares as long as we look like we are concerned before the fall elections? We are Texans. We care. Trust us.

“Everyone wants to talk about what the problem is. By now, we know what the problem is. The problem is that innocent people are being shot and that must be stopped.” said Abbot. But he does not know what “the problem” is if he believes, like his Lt. Governor, that somehow, adding more guns to a gun problem will fix the gun problem.

He routinely told the Obama administration that Texans would never agree to common sense gun control measures, and even dared the Federal government to come and take his guns. (http://reverbpress.com/news/texas-guns-greg-abbott/) What a brave guy.

Sadly however, that kind of macho ammosexual bravado plays well to his poorly educated, mostly white, mostly male, evangelical Christian Trump loving base who have been brainwashed into thinking that anyone with a (D) after their name is somehow wanting to come steal their guns. Don’t look for the Guv to stop talking like that anytime soon.

So the roundtable focused on “common sense” solutions to the school shooting problem. Those “common sense” solutions included NRA backed ideas like “hardening the target” of the schools, adding more police to schools, and arming teachers. In other words, the solution is to turn public school campuses into prisons and add more guns to the situation.

Never once was the idea that maybe just maybe, the problem might be the easy availability of the over 300,000,000 (yes that is the correct number) guns floating around the homes and streets of these good old United States. Of that number, 51 million, or close to 20%, belong to Texans. Never once did anyone say “Hey, kids can get a hold of assault weapons, rifles, handguns with ease.”

Kids can shoot a whole bunch of other kids with impunity. It happens in “hardened schools” it happens in schools with armed security guards, it happens with legally and illegally purchased guns. Nope, you wont hear a Texas Republican blaming guns for anything other than another outstanding hunting season.

Let’s be clear: The only common denominator in every school shooting is guns.

G-U-N-S

Period.

Each shooter was able to easily acquire guns, either by stealing them, taking them from their parent’s locked gun cabinets, buying them, borrowing them or just because they had them ever since they were kids. Some were even presents from their 2nd Amendment loving, highly trained militia member parents.

Whose child has to die, how many students to be maimed, how many families destroyed until we come to our collective senses? What is your acceptable sacrificial number that you are willing to give to the gun rights groups and their political pishers before you move your mind? Does it have to be your own child or grandchild dying? Or is even your own flesh and blood not enough?

When will YOU say enough is enough? Or will you continue to just drive by slowly and look at the carnage without doing anything about it except sending your thoughts and prayers?

Not until everyone with a shred of common sense sees that guns are the problem, until the NRA purchased politicians are either voted out or have a come to Jesus moment and see that is not video games, not doors, not abortions, not mental health, then we simply will never fix the problem and we will watch helplessly as another shooting takes place next month.

Sabika Sheikh said in a speech at a meeting of foreign exchange students, that she “prayed every night to wake up to a world of peace.” Prayed every night.

Like the prayers that come from the parents of the dead babies at Newtown, and the dead teenagers at Parkland and Columbine, and now the dead and maimed in Santa Fe Texas.

All those prayers going unanswered.

All those scattered bodies.

The prayers aren’t working. It is time to change the strategy.

***

Author: Tim Holt is an educator and writer, with over 33 years experience in education and opines on education-related topics here and on his own award-winning blog: HoltThink. He values your feedback.

Feel free to leave a comment.  Read his previous columns here.

About Tim Holt

Tim Holt is an educator and writer, with over 33 years experience in education and opines on education-related topics here and on his own award-winning blog: HoltThink. He values your feedback.

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7 comments

  1. As if right on cue, a Tennessee Republican blames pornography for school shootings.
    http://dailycaller.com/2018/05/30/diane-black-porn-violence-school-shootings/

    “Pornography, it’s available, it’s available on the shelf when you walk in the grocery store,” Black said. “Yeah, you have to reach up to get it, but there’s pornography there. All of this is available without parental guidance. And I think that is a big part of the root cause.”

    Everything but the gun.

  2. Tim, why is it that all you ever do is complain? All we hear after these shootings is “Stop talking and start doing something”. Our Governor is doing both. He is putting a plan into place that offers some gun control measures including enforcing gun control laws that ALREADY exist. Is it a perfect plan? No but no plan ever will be. At least he’s trying to take some action. And yes that action should be to continue to offer thoughts and prayers. There’s a reason why people do that. Because they know the power of prayer when people are in distress is real. It’s not meant to be a sloution Tim. It’s meant to be a comfort for those who need it in a time of loss. Prayer has gotten me through many tough times in my life. Not as a slut ion but as a comfort. I’d like to hear some concrete solutions from you Tim not just your NRA basing, insulting hard working Americans with your hateful sarcasm and your propaganda. Real solutions. I’m guessing you can’t do it because you keep saying that you aren’t trying to take our guns away but I bet your solution is take our guns away. So far all you have done is tell us how NONE of the Governors plan will work. Put your money where your mouth is. Be part of the sokution not part of the pronlem.

  3. Tim why is it that all you seem to do is complain? All we hear after these shootings is “Stop talking and start doing something about it”. Our Governor is doing both. He has put together a plan with over 40 points in which some are gun control measures including better enforcement of gun control laws that ALREADY exist. Is it a perfect plan? No but no plan ever will be. At least he is making an attempt. Give some credit. Sorry it doesn’t suit your perfect little short-sighted view. And yes, thoughts and prayers SHOULD continue. God’s NOT dead!! Why do you think people do that in the first place Tim? Because they know the power of prayer when it comes to comforting people who are in mental pain. It’s not intended to be a solution Tim, it’s comfort. Do I need to say it again? COMFORT. No one expects the violence to just stop because we are praying about it. Maybe instead of you insulting hard working Americans with your hateful sarcasm, your anti-religion rhetoric and your anti-NRA propaganda you could provide some concrete suggestions. I’d like to see that especially since you keep preaching that you aren’t trying to take away Americans guns. Really? Ok, let’s hear it then? What does that look like? You spew out accusations like you have ALL the answers. Please share. Put your money where your mouth is.

  4. John,
    First of all, thank you for carefully reading my opinion piece.
    They are designed to stimulate conversation, and I appreciate your adding your thoughts to the conversation.

    Let’s talk a little about what Greg Abbott proposed:
    I still feel that almost all of these 40 points were preplanned, and probably written , just waiting to fill in the location of the school shooting. Santa Fe…check!

    Much of what he proposed were NRA talking points: Arm teachers, arm security guards, arm police, harden the location. “When an active shooter situation arises, the difference between life and death can be a matter of seconds,” Abbott said. “Trained security personnel can make all the difference.” We have seen many of these high school shooting take place in schools with armed security guards, drills on how to respond to a shooter, and such. Because the shooter has the element of surprise in EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE , there is no way to stop this from happening as long as the shooters have easy access to guns. Until that issue is addressed, we will keep riding this crazy merry go round. 

Abbott’s proposals to fight guns call for more guns. Can you think of another societal situation where adding to the problem makes the problem go away? That is what he is proposing here. For instance, if a smoker got lung cancer from smoking cigarettes, would you give that person MORE cigarettes to help them cure their cancer? Would you give a drug addict more drugs? A alcoholic more booze? Of course not, but we want to give MORE GUNS to solve a gun problem. Now, think who came up with that idea? If you guessed the NRA, you win. It was their idea to add guns to the gun problem. 

His “gun related” proposals are not gun related at all. They have to do with locking gun cabinets. The guns are still the issue. Again, we are blaming something OTHER THAN GUNS for the gun problem. Today, gun cabinets, tomorrow, who knows, but it won’t be guns will it?

    

I don’t doubt that you believe that prayers work. I have no problem with that. But after every single one of these shootings, millions of people have prayed that this type of thing will never happen again. And it happens again. And again, and again Thus, my opinion that prayers do not work to end gun violence. Perhaps you can point out a situation where thoughts and prayers stopped a shooter. I can’t think of one.

    You asked what I would propose, which actually was not the theme of the piece, but I will give it a shot: 

Treat guns and gun ownership like we treat cars and car ownership:

    Everyone that drives has to take a course, pass a test and be licensed. Every car owner has to have at least liability insurance, why don’t gun owners have to have the same? No guns taken away, no one harmed.
    Stop the ability to purchase guns at gun shows, or privately.
    Tax ammunition just like we tax cigarettes and use that money to treat the victims of gun violence.
    Limit the number of bullets a clip can hold.
    All of these could be done by a STATE if they were really concerned about safety.

    


I don’t recall in this piece where I called for anyone to take your guns away. Can you please point it out? But with that in mind, do we need 300,000,000 guns in the USA? Do we need 51,000,000 in Texas alone? You tell me. I can tell you that a majority of Texans want some kind of gun control legislation. The NRA actually was for these a fews back. They changed their tune about the time Ronald Regan came to power. And even Regan was against automatic and semiautomatic weapons. (By the way, Regan was shot by someone even though there were SIX well trained , well armed Secret Service agents gaurding him. The most guarded person on th eplanet still was shot because the assailnat had the element of surprise, as do all of the school shooters.)

    I am not mocking “hard working Americans.” I am mocking people that blindly think that whatever the NRA says is gospel, worship guns , think that the 2nd Amendment is some kind of immutable word of god, and politicians that are beholden to the NRA.

    I will leave you with this thought: If guns are safe, and the NRA is a proponent of gun safety, then why were guns banned at the NRA convention when both Trump and Pence spoke? Surely, 15,000 well trained and well armed militia members all with a copy of the 2nd Amendment in their shirts pockets would never pose a safety issue. Would they?

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