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Change Is Coming... And Not Through the Barrel of Our Guns


#1

Change Is Coming... And Not Through the Barrel of Our Guns

Robert C. Koehler

The cries of loss and anguish become public, at last. A million young people seize the truth:

“Half of my seventh grade class was affected by gun violence. My own brother was shot in the head. I am tired of being asked to calm down and be quiet.”


#2

To those foolish Fox “aficionados” who ridicule this movement by belittling Ms. Emma Gonzalez, please consider this. She stood for six minutes and twenty seconds before a crowd of hundreds of thousands. She spoke for approximately one minute and fifty seconds. She REFRAINED FROM SPEAKING for about four-and-one-half minutes. Your talking head heroes’ heads would explode to endure such purposeful restraint. These young people got game you curmudgeons. They also have a lot of their elders on their side–eager to help them forge a better future. Change is coming and it is going to be about so much more than guns, so stock up on your Depends and Diet Coke and–by all means–pay your cable bill so that you may continue your bubbled existence until your bitter end–unless, of course, you want to wake up and join those intent on helping to craft a better world.


#3

oh my gosh! first thing this morning i checked explorer for local weather. i glanced at the news headlines moving along the left side of my screen until one caught me by surprise. the shooter, nick cruz, is receiving fan mail! some are offers of friendship, offers of help, love letters and some even include money. gee, fame, even infamy has its rewards. just recently i learned that charles manson died leaving an account of $400,000!

It’s a terrifying symptom . . . of a society built around fear, of a political structure devoted to war.

of course the politically focused media reporters utterly fail, (as instructed), to make the connection between our exceptional war culture and domestic violence. we talk and stress about systemic racism, sexism and other forms of dehumanization. we admire those who stand up to “speak truth to power” and by so doing we acknowledge the power of the rich, famous and politically connected. those who use their position to intimidate feel flattered.

yet are the rich and famous the only bigots? the only one to dehumanize the other? no! change must come from the grass roots up—or their will be no change for the better.


#4

Tears, not more Fears will help this nation to heal after the ravages of this past year.


#5

“The word that ties it all together is: dehumanization.”

Perhaps that is because the corporate fascists don’t consider us human. We are consumer debt slaves to be used and discarded as needed. They will consider all of this protest a challenge to their power. To drive home the point that they are in charge and not the people, they will not allow any give in their position. Nothing is going to change…The only thing that will change their mind is fear…and you haven’t even begun to make them fear you.


#6

Is that why the only lives the anti-choice movement embraces is that of the unborn ? When it comes to any other leaving creature they have no concern at all.


#7

How did we create Nicolas Cruz?


#8

And this of course began with the dehumanization of black people and the indigenes to steal their labor, lives and land. Surely it cannot come as a surprise that eventually the children of the original invaders and the children of the affluent whose ancestors earned their wealth on the lives of the original victims were going to be touched by this. Capital and stolen wealth were and continue to be at the heart of the organizing economic principle of the USA. These injustices have been allowed to fester for too long by the wider society who had chosen to ignore these issues even as black and brown children have faced daily shootings if not mass killings, as conditions of Native reservations continued to deteriorate.


#9

I wish I had a small fraction of the nerve of Emma, her courage, and tenacity.

Beautiful determination rising above her own personal tragedy, and for the betterment of others.

Yes, she could have addressed military spending wars of Empire, and a host of other issues. But my fucking God, she is only human and an amazing one at that, at such a young age.

How dare she just focus on a “single issue” like gun violence that took the lives of her friends a short time ago.

Shame some say, shame!

Didn’t take long for these kids to check their privilege and sincerely extend their movement to embrace the plight of black kids in gun violence prone neighborhoods and schools.

They know how to speak truth to power, in the context that counts. That the influence of money buying policies is a core issue. This awareness of course, can expand across countless issues, so this movement is important in this regard. It could well be a generational breakout of awareness in this regard.

See, this chicken isn’t all doom and gloom. (oops I’m back in the sheep pen)

I see good things here.


#10

But it is through the barrel of guns …ones you approve of.

Make your case, but be honest.


#11

“When a mass murderer does it, it’s called mental illness. When a soldier or cop or the president does it, it’s called national security.”

And when a conservative Democrat does it, a liberal did it.


#12

What is your point?


#13

We can not allow murder to be normalized in the name of profits.


#14

Think I can speak for Occam on this one, cluck.

Take this pic - Little Rock, AK, 1957, after the SC outlawed segregation. See that meddling military government bureaucrat? See the white women’s faces contorted with hatred and rage? Their right to kill the tradition-violating 15-year-old is being violently oppressed at the barrel of a gun!

We progressives are either not “honest” or we are stupid - so we either won’t admit or can’t grasp how the mob would have killed the child if not for the “barrel of guns” we “approve of.”

Anyone who thinks the child should have equal protection to education without being murdered is as violent and loves guns as much as the people that would have murdered her!


#15

Got your back on this one, freedom lover:

Take this pic - Little Rock, AK, 1957, after the SC outlawed segregation. See that meddling military government bureaucrat? See the white women’s faces contorted with hatred and rage? Their right to kill the tradition-violating 15-year-old is being violently oppressed at the barrel of a gun!

We progressives are either not “honest” or we are stupid - so we either won’t admit or can’t grasp how the mob would have killed the child if not for the “barrel of guns” we “approve of.”

Anyone who thinks the child should have equal protection to education without being murdered is as violent and loves guns as much as the people that would have murdered her!


#16

Have I advocated the right of a mob to kill anyone?

Have I advocated disarming police that might prevent such a crime?

But typically, this kind of argument is presented by gun culture advocates that see any and all gun legislation as the slippery slope to prohibition.

Dear Gun Culture Advocates. Don’t worry, it is way too far gone for any such prohibition to occur.

You’ll be able to keep your guns, I promise. But you might not be able to purchase every fucking gun of your fantasies, hopefully, if there is ANY sanity left regarding this issue, in this very disturbed country.


#17

Chicken, don’t you keep mental track of posters’ basic positions? I’m lampooning Occam’s bullcrap libertarian argument to make the point that he equates innocents and those who oppose violence and support basic rights w/those that fundamentally want to violently take away others’ rights when - sometimes - the state weighs in to support basic rights, as in 1957!

Occam equates mob violence w/state restraint of violence on behalf of human rights because - as w/any democratic state law - the majoritarian will of the people is ultimately enforced with force…


#18

Misunderstanding someone’s point happens.

Thanks for the clarification, and the edit.


#19

Especially with their hold on the election process. That’s what really scares me. It’s not who votes or how, it’s who counts those votes. That decides elections and as everyone knows, this process is extremely corrupt. The oligarch owners of the Republican Party desire a permanent, impenetrable republican majority and they do not care how they achieve it. These people disdain anything that approaches true democracy.

It has taken court cases to counter the effects of the system of gerrymandering put in place by these people but that’s being resisted in extraordinary ways. At this time, it’s not possible to ascertain whether this effort will be successful.

Look at the South during the Reconstruction period when they threw out legally elected black candidates. There was no efforts by the national government to stop them. The Civil War had really been fought in vain at a tremendous cost.

I’m worried that all the declarations by so many young people that when they are able to vote they will change things. If their votes are not counted or if they are prevented from voting, then what?


#20

Well, I share Kohler’s sentiment, but calling the problem dehumanization does us no good. There are no solutions to that problem, which in any case is neither a psychological, criminal, social, political or other designation with any specific meaning.

There are many different reasons for the problem of violence–poverty, inequality, racism–and many names for the psychological problem behind the violence–Emotional Plague, addiction, cultural autism, Wetiko disease, objectification*–and all those have some usefulness, but the one most consistent, scientifically demonstrated correlation with violence across time, countries, states, neighborhoods… is the presence of lead. In paint, gasoline, and now mostly because we’re still burning fossil fuels, especially coal.

How Lead Caused America’s Violent Crime Epidemic
https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2013/01/03/how-lead-caused-americas-violent-crime-epidemic/#3b6df68712c4

Besides lead, there are lots of psychoactive pollutants from burning fossil fuels, pesticides, household chemicals, plastics, and other substances–arsenic, mercury, endocrine disruptors, and thousands more.

*read Jessica Benjamin’s book Bonds of Love as a more useful alternative to the “dehumanization” label.