Mike Dunford didn’t like my previous post, and says that it’s important to talk about gun control right now:
But we also cannot forget that people are dead. We cannot forget that people have been murdered. We cannot forget that many – too many – lives have been brought to a sudden, random end. We cannot forget that these deaths were not necessary, that they could have been avoided. […]
How, in good conscience, could we possibly be expected to shut up right now?
I managed to edit all the f-bombs out of yesterday’s post, but this annoys me. I’m not sure exactly which straw caused the fatal spinal injury to the metaphorical pack animal, but I’m sufficiently pissed off to post the blue version of the rant below the fold. Consider yourself warned.
“People are dead,” and thus we must speak, that’s the argument.
Yes, people are dead. And you know what? They’ll still be dead tomorrow. They’ll still be dead next week. They’ll still be dead in thirty fucking years, because that’s what being fucking dead means.
This is not a time-sensitive topic. They’re not going to pop back to life three days hence, when Keanu Reeves reboots the fucking Matrix, thus invalidating all your arguments about the political significance of their deaths. They’ll still be dead in a week. And a week from now, we’ll probably even know their names, which we don’t yet.
This is the problem with the blogosphere, and why I sometimes think of giving the whole thing up– it’s a million monkeys at a million keyboard typing away with absolutely no fucking sense of perspective.
“People are dead.” Yes, they’re dead. There are parents who will never see their children again, and children who will never see their parents again. And we don’t even know who they are. Hell, they don’t even know who they are, as some of the families haven’t been contacted yet.
And yet, to some people, nothing is more important than using their deaths to score cheap rhetorical points in an endless fucking argument on the fucking Internet. Which is absolutely fucking repellant– it pains me to share a species with these people.
Get some fucking perspective. People are dead, and they and their families deserve a decent interval in which to mourn and be mourned. They’ll still be dead in a week, they’ll still be excellent fucking props for useless Internet wanking.
“We cannot forget…” Do you think that’s fucking likely? Do you think there’s a fucking ghost of an atom of a chance that any of their friends and familiy are ever going to fucking forget that their loved ones are senselessly dead? There are thirty-three families out there for whom April 16, 2007 will forever be burned into their memories. This is their September 11, their November 22nd 1963– they’re never going to forget this.
There’s an entire university worth of students and faculty who are never going to feel safe again. Do you think they’re going to fucking forget this? Do you think these deaths will somehow stop being fucking relevant to them if you don’t get your blog posts out there right this second?
“It won’t be news in a week,” you might say. Well, fuck that. Fuck the American people and their mayflylike attention spans. If it’s too much fucking work to penetrate their American Idol haze seven days from now when you’ve got thirty-three senseless deaths to remind them, they’re a lost cause anyway.
“We have to act immediately…” Why? Did they pass a fucking Amendment when I wasn’t looking that gives jack-offs on the Internet the power to re-write the laws of the nation if they just type fast enough in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy? You’re not going to change the laws tomorrow, and you’re not going to change them next week. There’ll be time enough for legislative wrangling a week from now, and the dead will still be dead.
“Bush and McCain already said that we don’t need gun control…” someone says in comments. Well, fuck Bush, and fuck McCain, too. They’re assholes– and you already fucking knew that. And there has never in the history of human speech been an instant where “he did it first” was a winning argument. The fact that they’ve thrown away any lingering shred of dignity they might’ve retained is no reason for the rest of us to go stomping ghoulishly all over this issue before the blood is even dry.
The gun control argument is always going to be there. It’s not like another round of deaths is suddenly going to make John Lott and his army of fucking sock puppets say “Wait, maybe I’ve been wrong all this time…” or Sarah Brady say “You know, if only some of those students had been packing heat…” There will be the same stupid fucking arguments on both sides tomorrow, and next week, and the week after that. You’ll be having the same stupid fucking argument long after the names are released and the dead are buried and the lives of the survivors are pieced back together as best they can be.
Yeah, this is a wonderful case study for whatever your favored position on gun control is. It’ll fucking keep.
Someone in my comments claims that this is just an attempt to suppress the gun control argument entirely, and to some degree it is. If I go a hundred years before I here another round of this “debate,” it’ll still be too fucking soon for me. But look, if it means that much to you, I’ll promise to post my take on the whole thing next week, in exchange for a little basic human decency and respect for the dead.
Let the families grieve. Let the invesitgators sift through the wreckage. Have a little fucking perspective.