Of course, we’ll likely have a new horror in a few days:
- I have to admit–and I’m not proud of this–I’m suffering from ‘horror fatigue.’ Over the last two years, in the U.S., we’ve had hundreds of thousands of people needlessly die from COVID for stupid and selfish reasons. While I retain some capacity to be shocked and horrified, I’m not surprised at all. This is who we are, bleatings and protestations to the contrary.
- What makes this all the more horrible is that we will engage in another cycle of stereotypical behavior that will accomplish nothing because our systems of governance have been broken intentionally. Those who did the breaking (and who continue to do so) will suffer no consequences, and those who might want to stop it are unwilling or unable to do so.
- The realization that there isn’t even a path forward to fix the structural barriers, some of which have been erected only recently, which prevent any kind of gun control (or progress on any other issue for that matter) is soul-crushing. I’m not stupid: I realize Democrats don’t have the votes to do anything meaningful (and Republicans are the lost and the damned so let’s not waste our time on that). But what is the plan to change this situation? As Alex Pareene put it recently, Democrats, especially the New/moderate Democrats, know how to talk about helping people without actually doing so. Obviously, that’s insufficient to the moment.
- Related to the previous point, how many more Democratic Senators are needed to pass gun control legislation? And it doesn’t matter what you or I think, we must hear what professional Democrats think they need and then hold them to that (instead of fanboi/grrl-ing over these assholes).
- Clearly, we need to fund more police so they wait even longer for reinforcements before doing something (if you’re unclear what I’m referring to, Commandante Atrios brings the appropriate heat on this). Will any of the officers lose their jobs? If they’re not going to be the Thin Blue Line, there’s no reason to not be skeptical of funding requests.
- (Updated) To add to the above point, if police are under no ethical obligation to endanger themselves in this type of situation, then we should stop pretending they’re warrior kings, and start treating them like they’re clerks at the DMV (nothing wrong with that job, but no one calls them Heroes).
Update: Amanda Marcotte nails it:
Police, it appears, were not keen on confronting a teenager armed with an AR-15. That’s understandable from a human perspective but in direct conflict with the image that law enforcement likes to portray of themselves as brave public servants who put their life on the line for ordinary citizens. This image has been bandied about even harder in recent years, in response to the ongoing debate over how much public money is spent on policing in lieu of other social services. It’s safe to say that the widespread support for robust police funding is entirely due to the assumption that cops have a duty to rush in and protect people, especially children, in such situations.
…it is also and equally true that the cops are overfunded and all too often ineffective, often due to being spoiled rotten by both the public and politicians who are caught up in the myth of the hero cop. We need to de-romanticize law enforcement, bring police budgets to heel, and hold cops accountable for doing their jobs, like everyone else is expected to do.