There's been a mass shooting in California -- eleven people dead, plus the asshole that did it. Just in time for Nancy Pelksi's re-ascension to the Speaskership, in the state the Gifford Law Center To Prevent A Civil Right rates literally A1 for its efforts to keep the wrong sort of people from laying hands on the wrong kind of gun.
As I write, TV networks are gleefully dancing in the blood, reporting with puzzlement that despite law-enforcement efforts to locate an "assault rifle," all they've turned up is a handgun -- possibly with "illegal high-capacity magazines," since California banned the sale of new, normal-capacity magazines some time back and only allows magazines that hold not more ten rounds.*
Me, I'm disgusted. There will be mainstream-media punditry pointing an accusing finger at "lax gun laws," and (mostly non-mainstream) counter-punditry pointing out that the strict gun laws of the California Republic pretty much insured no one was equipped to stop the killer shortly after he began shooting. None of them -- not one! -- will ask what it is that we as a society are doing that makes shooting large numbers of innocents so attractive to the crazed and desperate. The United States has had crazy people since before there was a United States; we've owned large numbers of personal firearms for that long, too: compared to most other countries, the United States of America has always been "awash in guns" and has always been a welcoming environment for people whose grip on reality was a little bit askew -- and yet the high-profile mass shooting is a relatively recent phenomenon.
Interestingly, so is 24-hour cable and online news, hungry for sensation and doling out gobbets of cheap, low-grade fame on an hourly basis. Correlation isn't inevitably causation but maybe this one rates a closer look...at least until the next spin of the news cycle pushes this mass shooting out of the spotlight.
* It's more complicated than that. Proposition 63, passed in November 2016, would have banned the sale or transfer of any magazine holding over ten rounds and made it a misdemeanor to own one. In 2017, a judge blocked enforcement of the latter, and allowed Californians to keep their "grandfathered" pre-2001 normal-capacity magazines. Oh, if only the state were more like Manzanar! I'm sure they'll manage that, by and by.
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