The fathers of our dysfunction
Are we bored yet? These stories of massacres by white kids with heavy weapons always leaves us numb and totally desensitized. It happens so often that we don't even have time to process the previous one. Add to that a non-stop news cycle at break-neck speed and by the weekend we are already looking for the next big story.
In fact, we are already so bored by what happened in Colorado that last week CNN posted a video online of the massacre in 3D, just to remind us. I wish I was kidding. If you click on the link, you are a braver person than I, because, quite frankly, I do not want to see it. Not as a cartoon and not in fu**ing 3D!
But by this week, after all (most?) of the dead are buried and their families and friends are left to deal with their unimaginable loss, we will go back to our lives, the presidential election, the new judge on Idol, and whatever else has not even happened yet. It is what we do. Sure, there will still be stories about gun owners fighting with anti-gun folks over their "rights," Ted Nugent will continue to say stupid sh*t as usual, and anti-gun activists will still be protesting somewhere. But by this week the shock and awe of Aurora will all be over and nothing will have changed, because nothing ever does.
Why? Because our Constitution makes it so. It is as close to the Bible as we have to a religious document while not actually being one. And no matter how convoluted and totally misinterpreted our "right of the people to keep and bear Arms" is, as long as the NRA continues to shape national policy, as long as the gun-and-ammo industry continues making billions off of our collective fear and paranoia and their interest in allowing insane people to use their weapons as viral marketing campaigns to show off their effectiveness, nothing is going to change, ever.
That is to say, nothing except for our fear of yet another place that used to be fun. Where will it be next? Disney World? A Lollapalooza festival? The Taste of Chicago? A baseball game? It is only a matter of time before everything we ever knew as being fun, as a night out, as an afternoon with the kids, turns into bedlam and more bloodshed because of long-dead, power-hungry, war-thirsty, extremists in tight stockings who thought it would be a good idea to write into our Constitution a right to own weapons to protect against an enemy they apparently believed would be around forever.
Well, turns out their foresight and omniscience was spot on because we still do have an enemy. Only, the enemy, it turns out, is ourselves and our ever growing desire to own insane weapons that would have blown the minds of the Founders. Perhaps, if they truly were forward-thinking, as many claim they were, they would have at least have put in some footnote, some caveat to the Second Amendment that said something like: "In the event that weapons one day become so powerful and so deadly on a mass scale as to be used against our own citizens and not in a time of war, than that other thing we said about the right to bear arms, you can just cancel that part."
Seems they forgot to put that in because I looked and it's not in there. It just says over and over again about our right to own weapons. Good thing it said nothing about the right to bear medicine or we would now all be on heroine, bath salts, and LSD during work hours.
Makes me wonder though, how would the "Founding Fathers" feel today knowing how it all turned out? Would they feel remorse, regret, a need to apologize to the future generations who have been put in harm's way and killed just because they went to the movies? Nah. I think they would be, and were, no different than the politicians we know today, except perhaps with less hygiene and a more visible need for a dentist.
Thing is, some things never change -- like the need for votes from ignorant, frightened men and politicians who see the Second Amendment as a sure way to get their support. It is a trick as old as the paper our Constitution is written on and as a result our excuse to be irresponsible and deadly while hiding behind daddy, who said it was okay. But daddy is long gone and he left us to mind the store with no real instruction about how to do it or how to deal with the mounting psychological debt that is piling up faster than we, or they, could have imagined.
What happened in Aurora and elsewhere and what will continue to happen all over the country from now till forever, is truly the lasting legacy of the Founders who, from the grave, are still able to wreak havoc and pain upon a weak and fragile constituency that looked to them for guidance but instead got what politicians of any age have been delivering for time immemorial: irresponsible, empty promises in return for power. The future be damned!