Monday, April 15, 2013

Assimilating mass violence

One of my friends just posted on Facebook that whoever is behind the Boston bombing today, she hope we, mean

I replied, I don't know, maybe the rhetoric needs to be dialed up in some ways. The first reports on these things are always wrong in some significant ways, so I'm not making any assumptions. Obviously, multiple bombs planned to go off at the same time wasn't just "boys will be boys" or whatever. I still think it was a big mistake for Obama to respond to the attempted assassination of Gaby Giffords with a vague call for "civility."

And "we're" - especially the pundits who are convinced they speak for the regular Real American - developing a jaded attitude toward mass murder attempts. If it's some rightwinger trying to stop the Agenda 21 Conspiracy, our star pundits will say it's another "lone nut." If its someone Muslim behind it, we'll probably bomb another village in Pakistan or Somalia and say we killed some important Terrorist (Al Qaeda's Number Two! again) with some unfortunate collateral women and children collateral damage. (Any grown men we automatically count as Terrorists.) Maybe we can have another round of "Why Do They Hate Us?"

And, whoever did it, the NRA will use it for a new round of the-scary-Negro-President-is-coming-to-confiscate-your-huntin'-rifles, and gun and ammo sales will spike up again. It's become standard firearms industry marketing.

The Obama-is-behind-it and they're-coming-for-your-guns crowd are already at it hard. Conspiracy-theory guru mongerer Alex Jones already has one like that going. There's a significant portion of the public to whom actual facts are irrelevant. The only certainty about it right now is that the NRA will use it for marketing even more guns and ammo.

And, of course, some neocon is undoubtedly trying to scare up an Iranian connection.

Mass killings have become a routine fact of American life. And we are developing standard rituals for responding to them. That's not a bad thing in itself, they've become a frequently recurring event in the US, and you have to find some way to adjust to something that has become to an amazing degree accepted as normal in our culture.

We'll soon see which type predominate after this one.


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