We have decided that beyond a counterweight of death with death, all else is hopeless.By Jeb Lund The Guardian (7/25/15)
Following last night’s shooting [7/24] in a Lafayette, Louisiana, movie theater, Governor Bobby Jindal told people: “What we can do now is pray.” He told them today that we can pray. He will tell them tomorrow that they can pray. And then next time this happens, he will tell them again. The repetition is inevitable because this is what happens when the first response and the only response is the last resort.
Jindal spoke last night of the desperation we feel “when there’s no real good reason why this evil should intrude on the lives of families just out for a night of entertainment.” He is a master of gallows humor. Because between the idea and reality, the motion and act, falls the shadow of systemic inaction. As if these killers acted without tools, and as if people like Bobby Jindal do not labor to make those tools both widely available and unaccountable, ghosts within the system just as instantaneously as their victims become. Bobby Jindal has already decided that nothing else can be done — indeed, that God himself divinely ordained an inerrant amended parchment to forbid anything else to be done. So what we can do now is pray.
What we cannot do now is politicize. Not in the way we would the action of a woman opting to ingest tablets of estrogen and progesterone insurably. Not in the way we would use a budget shortfall to go after unionized workers in Wisconsin or Ohio. Not in the way that we would stain the hands of Muslim community center builders in New York (or elsewhere), by pouring on them the blood of the 9/11 dead.
We cannot politicize unless it is to revel in the opportunities for demagoguery afforded us by events like those in Chattanooga, where soldiers — heroes now by default, whose killing must be avenged — were killed by theright religion, whose wages are death and whose practitioners must meet the same at anywhere at a thousand points on the globe.
So what we can do now is pray, because we have decided that beyond a counterweight of death with death, all else is hopeless. We accord ourselves only the appeals we scream to God in the final moments when there is no other recourse, because it is our decision to grant ourselves none. And if it doesn’t work, as it didn’t for nine souls in a church in Charleston, well, the rest of us still alive can just try it harder next time.
- Waco, Columbine, Aurora and Newtown: 20 Years of Mass Shootings That Changed (and didn’t change) America — Mass shootings remain an almost exclusively American phenomenon among advanced countries. These nine rocked the country and galvanized many in favor of gun control – so why has so little of it followed? … Read the Rest