Another school full of children have been murdered in the United States, as kitted-out, militarized police sat outside and watched it happened. Politicians have offered their worthless thoughts and prayers, and 19 families will never see their kids again, 2 families lost a beloved educator. And yet we are told not to politicize it, just shut up and get back to work. America is learning to live with mass murder.
Mass violence has long been a part of American history. It is kinda how the whole country started. The right to own a firearm, one of the most useful tools for committing mass violence is enshrined in the Bill of Rights, though of course people never really talk about maintaining “[a] well regulated Militia” anymore.
America’s top politicians used to duel each other (that could be something we might think about bringing back). Some of them were even successful in hitting their targets. This is also emblematic of instances of mass violence in America, whether it is done by citizens or the State, it is often politically motivated.
Of course we can look far back into history where mass killings were commonly used against the native peoples of America to take their land. The long history of these instances mass violence date back to before the formation of the United States and continued long after, doing their part to make way for westward expansion and capitalism, but also to engrain violence as a method of achieving one’s political ends deep into the bones of America.
To be sure these killings were not only done with guns. Biological terrorism was employed. During the Gnadenhutten Massacre in 1782, militia men in Pennsylvania murdered nearly 100 Delaware Indians with hatchets and mallets.
Of course there were numerous other groups that were slaughtered due to racial resentment. One such mass murder event that has recently reentered the collective consciousness (though I imagine many people never forgot) is the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, where historians now estimate the death toll to have been as high as 300.
This massacre was directly in response to Black capitalism (in response to subjugation and marginalization) and a backlash to Black people seeking equality, both social and political, throughout Reconstruction. To achieve these goals many white people in Tulsa shot, burned, looted, and even dropped bombs from planes.
Such racist violence became part of the identity of many white people in response to political and social advancements made after the Civil War, and subsequently by the Civil Rights era. Many were useful pawns in the (largely successful) attempt by racist political leaders (see people like Woodrow Wilson) to divide the working class along racial lines in order to more effectively control them. These efforts also led to the reemergence of racist purveyors of mass violence like the KKK and White Citizens’ Councils that were supported by powerful whites, this of course led to more violence.
There is also the phenomenon of lynching in America. These heinous acts took the lives of thousands, and continue to in a augmented form today. Lynchings created a spectacle for the whole family (literally people would take their kids to watch them) that glorified some of the most depraved human brutality simply based on basic characteristics, like skin color. This extravaganza of violence, I would argue, continues to this day and has greatly stitched the celebration of violence into the fabric of America.
Of course, as is the case today, not all mass violence in the US is racially motivated, much of it is also ideologically motivated. Around the time of the Tulsa Massacre, there were also numerous instances of organized mass brutality and murder against workers, namely those trying to unionize or strike.
There are countless instances of violence between companies and striking worker. These include the Herrin Massacre, the Battle of Blair Mountain, and the Colorado Coalfield War. These and similar events pitted mostly poor working class individuals against the capitalist elites that were doing their best to exploit them through coercive practices like yellow-dog contracts and payment in company script.
This cycle of violence continued throughout America’s history until the present day. Sometimes these were random acts of violence, however most were rooted in political dogma of some kind. Even though, and perhaps because, mass violence has been so common in America, the government has done little to curb it, possibly because they are often a big factor in its continuation, if not the ones pulling the trigger themselves.
One of the most common refrains after these mass murders, especially recently, is to ‘fund the police.’ The issue is, the US has been for some time and it hasn’t helped. Cops in America have access to MRAPs, grenade launchers, night vision goggles, reflex sights, and other things you’d expect to see in a warzone.
Police budgets have nearly tripled over the past 4 decades, reaching over $114 billion in 2017. This is more than the entire military budgets of many other countries, and not countries with insignificant militaries either, these are nations like India, Russia, France, and the UK.
However, even with all this money and firepower, police just can’t seem to stop people from killing hundreds of innocent civilians en mass in campaigns of terrorism year after year. Though to be fair, the police can’t even seem to stop gunning down unarmed civilians themselves, so I don’t know what we expect.
Yet, while cops have no issue pulling the trigger on innocent black children playing with toy guns in the park within 5 seconds of seeing them, like Tamir Rice, they seem to have some issue stopping people with real guns actively slaughtering children.
In the Uvalde elementary school shooting, parents were pleading with the cops to do something as they sat outside the school and listened to their helpless children being murdered by a monster. Multiple parents were even handcuffed as they planned to storm the building themselves since the officers were clearly not going to do anything, but sit by and let it happen.
Police officials from the small town, which spends around 40 percent of its annual budget on police, of course came out to explain the situation was complex and they did their best (someone get these abject failures a participation trophy). I mean they let 19 people get killed, but at least they look like an Oakley’s commercial set in Chechnya.
— Dr. Thrasher (@thrasherxy) May 26, 2022
Greg Abbott, the famously impotent Governor of Texas, chimed in to praise his dear law enforcement saying “The reality is, as horrible as what happened, it could have been worse,” continuing that. “The reason it was not worse is because law enforcement officials did what they do. They showed amazing courage by running toward gunfire for the singular purpose of trying to save lives. And it is a fact that because of their quick response getting on the scene, being able to respond to the gunman and eliminate the gunman, they were able to save lives. Unfortunately, not enough.” in a quote from Yahoo News (which is quite fitting).
So it seems clear that these police, LARPing as a CIA backed military junta, are simply dressing up for pictures. Though they do sometimes use their top tier operator gear to storm the houses of people that have been accused of dealing cannabis to shoot their dogs and toss grenades in baby cribs.
Thankfully another Texas politician who has a visage that would horrify a Lovecraft antagonist, Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz chimed in with his 2 cents (which are more devalued than the crypto market now). Lying Ted believes that he has a solution. Get rid of the doors!
Yes, this was literally his take on the matter, that schools should only have one door. Cause then, you know, they could check everyone for some of the over 400 million guns currently estimated to be floating around the US. Also those wishing to commit acts of terrorism could just kill the resource officer (read cop that body slams literal children to the ground for talking back, but runs away when someone their own size shows up to similarly brutalize students and teachers) and then the children have nowhere to go.
On top of this, it is a spectacular fire hazard and probably wouldn’t be up to code in Libya. Not to mention the fact that shooters could do something, like start a fire and shoot children and school staff as the pour out of THE ONE EXIT IN THE ENTIRE SCHOOL!
Thankfully Rafael was shamed almost immediately for his idiocy, though this hasn’t stopped him in in the past unfortunately. It also hasn’t stopped the chorus of smooth-brained lunatics shouting that we should arm teachers or give children bulletproof backpacks either.
As if teachers aren’t already dealing with enough, being underpaid and teaching at underfunded schools, now they have to be action stars with more guts than the police who were too cowardly to even enter the building. But yes, putting more guns in schools will certainly not lead to more violence in schools. Oh wait, there have already been multiple teachers accidentally discharging their guns at schools in America.
But we all know this, more guns means more gun deaths. Militarized police mean more police brutality and yet there is a seeming inability (or perhaps unwillingness) to stop the hundreds of instances of mass violence the US sees every year. Politicians take bribes, sorry “campaign contributions” from gun rights groups. Oh, did I mention that today (Friday) Cruz and Abbott are going to speak at an NRA event in Houston (wonder why they’re so apprehensive to do anything about guns?).
This is what it boils down to, politicians care more about making money than they do about you silly little child being senselessly murdered. They can get more children to pipe into prisons and their workplaces to be good little wage slaves. Perhaps that is why they are trying to overturn Roe right now. The important thing is that they get their check and you shut up, go to work and make money for them (oh and vote too).
This is not to say Democrats are better, they are just as complicit, if slightly better rhetorically (though often they dig under that bar that is sitting on the ground). They have done absolutely nothing to curb gun violence and many continually push for increased funding to ineffectual police departments so they can watch a school full of kids, or a grocery store full of black people, or a church full of Taiwanese people, or hundreds of people enjoying a concert, or people dancing at a night club, or another school full of children (I could fill a book) get senselessly murdered while they stand outside in their full kit kicking rocks.
The people have been clear. At the very least they want background checks. Even the majority of NRA members want to have them. They want mental health care (which Trump significantly slashed). They want their families to be safe to live their lives. This is clear inaction in order to cash a check written in the blood of the American people, and it shouldn’t stand.
People should radiate the pain and rage they feel every time they read about these stories outward. Sure, people should vote the bums out. However, people should also take to the streets. These corrupt politicians should never know a moments peace until the people do. Let them cry their crocodile tears of decorum, fuck them, kids are dying on a daily basis because they have the spine and integrity of a jellyfish.
Scream, shout, occupy their front lawns, outside the capital building, restaurants they enjoy eating at, grocery stores where they shop, BE EVERYWHERE. (Of course this should be nonviolent, there is already enough brutality in America thanks to these feckless politicians).
If we intend to ever see peace, for parents not to have to worry about their kids coming home safely, to visit public spaces without first thinking of a clear exit strategy in case someone opens fire, we must make our voices heard and our presence known.
People have to deeply wound the capitalist system, the one that funnels money to said elected officials. Strike, protest, and don’t let them rest for a second. Make them as scared as school children are to go to class. Hit their wallets. Make the elites scared again. That, or learn to live with mass murder.