Best thing I’ve read on the Dallas shootings is in the New Yorker. Read it:
Weapons empower extremes. Allowing members of any fringe of any movement to get their hands on military weapons guarantees that any normal dispute—political or, for that matter, domestic—can quickly lead to a massacre. Our guns have outraced our restrictions, but not our imaginations. Sometime in the not-too-distant past, annihilation replaced street theatre and demonstrations as the central possibility of the enraged American imagination. Guns allow the fringe to occupy the center.
Once again, the difference in policy views is clear, and can be coolly stated: those who insist on the right to concealed weapons, to the open carrying of firearms, to the availability of military weapons—to the essentially unlimited dissemination of guns—guarantee that the murders will continue. They have no plan to end them, except to return fire, with results we know. The people who don’t want the regulations that we know will help curb (not end) violent acts and help make them rare (not non-existent) have reconciled themselves to the mass murder of police officers, as well as of innocent men and women during traffic stops and of long, ghostly rows of harmless civilians and helpless children. The country is now clearly divided among those who want the killings and violence to stop and those who don’t. In the words of the old activist song, which side are you on?
Some really good stuff here.
I wish people would stop trying to spin this Dallas shooting as anything other than your ordinary, garden-variety, all-American mass shooting.
Like every other mass shooting, the shooter targeted a specific group. This time it was police officers. Last time it was the GLBT community. The time before that it was, gosh I don’t even remember — was it a workplace shooting? Women at a health clinic? Or was it a bunch of college kids? Gee, there are so many, it’s hard to keep track.
America has about one of these a month and each one is the same: a person who shouldn’t have access to a weapon gets his hands on one and takes out his anger against the (fill in the blanks) he blames for the world’s problems.
The man who the Dallas police say killed five officers in a barrage of bullets on Thursday was a troubled Army reservist who left Afghanistan under a cloud of sexual harassment charges made by a fellow soldier who sought an order of protection against him and said he needed mental health counseling.
We don’t know where Johnson’s guns came from. But there doesn’t appear to be anything that would have prevented Johnson from legally purchasing the SKS semi-automatic assault rifle and handgun he used in his attack on Dallas police officers, or the other weapons and ammo found in his home. Texas probably has the most liberal gun laws in the country, open carry is legal, the right-wing governor of Texas has shilled for the firearms industry and encouraged gun sales. The gun derp is strong. Should anyone really be surprised that there was a mass shooting here? That a culture of “guns everywhere” would end up being an issue for law enforcement? Please.
Wake up, America. Who thought allowing every idiot to buy a gun was a good idea in the first place?
One thing is clear after the Dallas shootings: the NRA’s talking points were all debunked in one horrifying blood bath. There were hundreds of police officers protecting the rally that night … armed police officers. The police officers shot were armed. And still, one crazy person with a high-powered rifle was able to take down five officers, wound seven more, and injure two civilians. The idea that everyone needs to be armed to protect against a mass shooting was proven to be wholly ridiculous.
It’s the guns, dammit. Get them off the streets. It’s long past time we stopped pretending this is about anything else.