A Country in Name Only

Our country feels deeply broken. This week’s senseless horror, the mass murder of children and teachers in a classroom in Texas, has stolen our attention away from last week’s horror: the racist slaughter of black people shopping for groceries in Buffalo. This genre of senseless horror is now the norm in America, and there’s a template we have learned to follow in the wake of each occurrence: Many of us, in anguish and outrage, call for some kind of action to curb the proliferation of guns, while others scold us for “politicizing the tragedy.” Many of us shout “this only happens here, in America, because of our unique relationship to guns,” while others blame video games and rap music and not enough church. Many of us want it to be much much harder for people to buy guns, while others propose arming teachers and “hardening” schools. Their answer is always more guns and better guns. Their answer is anything and everything except any limitations whatsoever on their freedom to buy mass-murder weapons and armor-piercing bullets over the counter.

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