Friday, November 27, 2015

Is There Room Under the Bed for All 320 Million of Us?

Firearms. (photo: Getty Images)
Firearms. (photo: Getty Images)

By Charles Pierce, Esquire
26 November 15
Terrorism need not force its way into every discussion—there's enough to be afraid around here already.

ver the weekend, a woman and her daughter were shot to death in Des Moines.

The chief suspect is the husband and father. One more domestic dispute gone to gunplay and murder because there was a firearm handy. I heard about it in the shuttle van on the way to the airport. The local news reader said that Des Moines police "were confident" that the murders were not part of any "larger action."

Damn, I thought, has it come to that? Do we really have to be reassured that this unfortunately too-commonplace scenario in American life—something that simply is part of the price we have to pay for our Second Amendment freedoms—has nothing to do with terrorism? Do journalists, even the ones who simply read copy for a living, feel obligated to provide that reassurance? Is there room under the bed for all 320 million of us?

I accept that things changed after 9/11. I take off my belt and shoes at the airport just like the next guy, unless, of course, I luck into the blessed TSA Pre-Check line, for which I regularly thank Big Government Jesus. But I don't accept, and I never have accepted, the fact that "everything" changed on that awful day, let alone a week ago in Paris. I don't think "Eeek! Terrorists!" should invade every institution of daily life in this country the way it has. I don't think local news stations have any business constantly running B-roll of Paris while the local "security consultant" waxes on about the old boogedy-boogedy. And I certainly don't need any more evidence that America is a gun-addled violent place, and that it became such quite on its own.

Also this weekend, there was a mass shooting at the Bunny Friend Playground in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans. Seventeen people were shot, none of them fatally, thank god. Here's some of what we know.
Witnesses saw a man with a silver-colored machine gun flee toward Louisa Street. Gunfire continued in the park after he left. It is the largest mass shooting in New Orleans since the Mother's Day second-line of 2013. Between then and now, the shootings that injured the most people took place on Bourbon Street, June 29, 2013, where 10 people were shot, one of whom died; and on Burgundy Street, August 10, 2014, where seven people were shot, two fatally.
​A "silver-colored machine gun."

In an American city.

Good thing the guy wasn't Syrian.


+51 # Thomas Martin 2015-11-26 18:12
We're parsing and obfuscating "terrorism" in a political way, aren't we? Can we deny that the woman and her daughter who were murdered in Des Moines didn't feel terror when they were being shot? Can we deny that in our country domestic crime like this is the norm? I think "We have met the enemy, and he is us."
+30 # Cappucino 2015-11-26 19:57
You are absolutely right. Death by domestic violence IS THE NORM.For one thing, the facts back it up. For another, I've had several conversations with police seargants, and that is exactly what they say. The overwhelming majority of the time, murder has nothing to do with random violence. Maybe all the yapping about terrorism serves another purpose-- focusing on the rarest events helps us to deny what violence really means 99% of the time.
+39 # Emmanuel Goldstein 2015-11-26 18:47
In this country there is more than one mass shooting (defined as 4 or more people shot) PER DAY. If that isn't domestic terrorism, I don't know what is. Yet it's rarely described as such in the news media. If it were, people would understand that we're at far greater danger from our fellow citizens than we are from any foreign terrorists.

Problem is, such a realization could lead to an even greater police state than what we already have. What to do?

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