The NRA won | Armed violence

Innocents were killed after innocents. Burial after burial was consecrated. Hymn after hymn was sung. Tear after tear fell. Vigil after vigil was held. Plea after plea is made. Solution after solution was offered. Column after column was written.

However, nothing changes.

Today it is so clear if it was not obvious before: the majority of America has admitted. The National Rifle Association (NRA) won.

The suave defenders of America’s absurd gun addiction have prevailed. The NRA’s victory over the multitudes of unarmed Americans—including elementary school children—who surrendered their lives to the astronomical arsenal of weapons littering America is as complete as it is unequivocal.

The peddlers of mayhem are no longer required to even feign concern for the latest victims of the latest carnage or utter familiar, trite phrases to defend what enlightened Americans find indefensible.

So the NRA keeps a silent distance and clings to its insane beliefs that its beloved weapon is not responsible for the pain and suffering so often endured by so many despite the one trait that all American domestic crimes have in common: the killer pulled the trigger.

Consider the numbers that stop. Almost half of American households have at least one gun. In the past four decades, there have been at least 139 “mass shootings” across the United States in 37 states. Since 2011, a mass shooting has occurred on average every 64 days. It is, by any human measure, an epidemic of man-made horrors.

No one and no place is safe, not a classroom, a church, a movie theater, a college campus, a restaurant, a grocery store, a nightclub, a bar, a bus, a subway station, a park, a mall, a suburban office building, a parade, an outdoor concert, or home.

And yet the brazen leaders of the NRA and its cheerleaders know that no matter how obscene the assault on the senses and decency, or the age and vulnerability of the mutilated and dismembered, America can, for a moment, condemn grief and loss, but this a sick, paralyzed nation will do nothing about it.

He did nothing after 26 children and a teacher were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012. He did nothing 10 years later after 21 children and a teacher were killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, while an army of nervous police officers stood aside.

Why would America be prompted to do something meaningful now?

Mass shootings have become, in effect, America’s NRA-sanctioned pastime—a grim American phenomenon played out again and again under the grotesque name of “liberty.”

Oh, how I hope the NRA and its rabid supporters get hit with my indictment. The truth is meant to sting. Like enlightened Americans, I am offended by the failure of cowardly politicians to challenge the NRA’s hegemony – through guns – over life and death.

Instead, they give the same somber speeches at funerals to express their solidarity and compassion for those left behind. When the glare and attention inevitably subsides, the bereaved continue, as best they can, to recover and rebuild what remains of their shattered lives. on her own.

This time the inevitable “victims” were happy couples dancing in a ballroom Saturday night in Monterey, California where they held hands to move to the music and celebrate the Lunar New Year. The other dead were humble farm workers in Half Moon Bay, California, trying to make an honest living picking mushrooms to pay the bills and provide for their families.

Their names and histories are reduced, momentarily, to a number, forgotten by all but the people who loved them. Three crime scenes. Eighteen dead in less than 48 hours.

They were not victims of “tragedy”—a word that implies that their sudden, cruel deaths were the product of some unexpected accident or chance.

No, they didn’t. Like all other murders, in all other sad places across scarred America, the killers planned their executions, to deprive their prey not only of peace, but of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness contained in the Declaration of Independence that Americans hold so dear.

Press conferences soon followed. Another police chief in blue said that “all the facts” are being collected. Meanwhile, the chief shared some of the first “details” about what happened, who it happened to and why the killer may have done what he did.

Another politician said the community was united in grief and determination, even as it writhed in shock and disbelief at the “senseless” carnage.

Another “hero” emerged from madness who should be celebrated for saving lives. Another silver lining to another massacre.

Another TV star arrived from New York or Atlanta to report the ritual “live” and interview the hero and police chiefs and politicians – who repeated what they said in their press conferences.

The “debates” and “conversations” that America’s recurring spasms of deadly violence are supposed to provoke are a useless mirage. Prescriptions for preventing this “death of despair” are earnestly given, but rarely carried out. Calls to ban or limit the range of weapons that fire high-velocity bullets, of course, go unheeded.

In America, guns are more valuable than human life. The NRA took care of that.

The heinous murders in California have already receded into the background, overtaken by the gruesome images of Memphis police brutally beating a black man to death with boots, fists and batons.

The old rage was replaced by a new rage. Police and politicians are holding multiple press conferences away from California. A caravan of TV stars joined them.

The NRA is, as always, happy.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Al Jazeera.

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