There is a deadly virus on the loose in this country. An unstoppable plague rampaging through communities big and small like an untrammeled beast, picking us off day by day, two, three, four at a time. The news gorges itself on the gorey statistics every night, teasing us with expanding body counts and daring us not to touch that dial and miss another gruesome tidbit. This disease is their plaything. They pretend to cover it because they care but they can barely contain their glee every time it claims another victim, because another victim almost always means another ratings hike, desperately needed for Fourth Estate subsistence in the post-Trump era, and they're not disappointed. The bodies just keep on dropping everyday as this virus grows closer and closer to us all.
I'm not talking about COVID. I'm talking about America's other epidemic, gun violence. Or at least liberals like to frame this problem as an epidemic and for once I agree with them and not just to fulfill my sick zeal for clever allegories either. While America has experienced a precipitous drop in most forms of violent crime over the last two decades, we retain a uniquely high body count compared to our other first world neighbors and seem to be a deadly playing field for genres of mass slaughter that seem peculiarly American in character. I've never made my disdain for gun control of any kind a mystery. I come from the Alex Cockburn school of artillery friendly leftism. But even I have to admit their is something going on here.
2021 has only just begun but it's already been a banner year for America's other national pass time, the mass shooting. In just four months we've seen over 150 of those goddamn things, 50 in the weeks following the Atlanta Spa Shootings alone. This is enough to freak even the staunchest gun nut out a bit and naturally the Democrats are pouncing on this excuse to roll out more kneejerk gun control regulations. "What's the problem with that?', my left wing friends might ask. Well, aside from being patently immoral to deny working class class people the right to defend themselves, it completely ignores that other very American genre of gun violence known as the police shooting.
Any logical form of gun control depends on an armed class to maintain it. Americans will never just throw away their Glocks like a bunch of drunken Australians, so that leaves the job of regulating American firearm rights up to the state, which means the police. That's right, hippie, the same thugs you've been protesting all year and righteously calling to defund will be the paladins in charge of defiling the constitutional rights of more minorities like me. These are the same psychos who lynched George Floyd. The same remorseless killing machine that took another 64 lives during the trial of Derek Chauvin alone. They killed 1,127 people last year. That is more than twice as many as those killed by civilian active shooters and I honestly see very little difference between the two.
If you ask me what the source of America's gun violence epidemic is, I would have to turn to Brother Malcolm and suggest that the chickens are coming home to roost. America is a violent colonialist nation in decline that lashes out at unarmed populaces across the globe to cover up its increasingly obvious inadequacies on the world stage. Is it really so shocking that it's citizens handle their problems the same way? Suburban cops stalk the streets of poor neighborhoods like soldiers on patrol. Active shooters target unarmed civilian market places the same way and often for the same reasons. Your average cop and your average active shooter are both middle class white men in their thirties. No subset is more likely to feel the decline of American supremacy first hand. These are all scared men (and women) losing control in a rapidly changing world and desperately struggling to take it back by any means necessary, leaving the rest of us cowering in their crossfire.
So what's the solution then? How do we cure this epidemic? I really hate to piss on your parade, dearest motherfuckers, for once I really do, but their likely is no easy cure. America is a nation that had it all and now, do to its own hubris, like every empire before it, it is going to slowly and excruciatingly lose it all. And people are going to lash out in the darkness. Cops are going to get more trigger happy and active shooters are going to follow their lead regardless of gun control to reenact America's glorious massacres from yesteryear at a shopping mall near you. All the while, the vampires of cable news will continue to gorge themselves into a bloody drunken stupor over the lurid details.
The closest thing I have to a solution is not one the left is gonna like because it involves more guns. Americans are lost. They need a sense of direction. They need something to fight for. At the same time we find ourselves at the mercy of a standing army in blue. Our wiser founding fathers warned us of this very threat. They told us their was no greater threat to peace than a professional army. This has proven to be true both at home and abroad. Ask any unterrified Jeffersonian what the solution to the scourge of the standing army is and they will tell you that it is the civilian militia. Huey Newton understood this. Karl Hess understood this. Black Panthers and Sovereign Citizens offered lost Americans something positive to belong to. They offered something greater than a nation to fight for and that was their own communities.
I don't believe that all cops are bad anymore than I believe that all mass shooters are irredeemable psychopaths, though many if not most surely are. The fact that we see more people abandoning the police force now than ever before is proof of this. Those who really truly want to protect and serve their communities can do so by protecting them from the police and other war junkies as part of democratic organizations directly answerable to the public through civilian councils and reversible contracts. This is the best way to combat the dangers of a dying toxic society, build a new thriving one within that crumbling shell and give people something worth fighting for. It may not be a cure for America's gun violence epidemic, but it's a start.
Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH
Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post
* Hey Joe by Jimi Hendricks
* Come As You Are by Nirvana
* $10 Bill by Cop Shoot Cop
* Kerosene by Big Black
* Rock n Roll N*gger by Patti Smith
* Can You Read My Mind by Boygenius
* Jeremy by Pearl Jam
* Negative Creep by Nirvana
* London Calling by the Clash