Another day, another school shooting. This one in my neighborhood.
Who cares about the post-born?
Recently, on a quiet Friday afternoon in relatively serene Northwest Washington, DC, a disturbed young man, a “sniper” with a stockpiled arsenal, shot up a nearby school from his fifth-floor apartment.
The school and neighborhood went into mass shooter lockdown. Children sheltered in place, huddled together, blocked doors in case the gunman was roaming the building, and cried in fear. Parents were frantic. Police swarmed, trying to track down the gunman. Mayhem reigned, as it does in these situations. The community was terrorized, terrified, traumatized, not knowing what was going on and who might die. Friends texted me, worried.
Before the “Van Ness” shooter shot himself, he grazed one victim and critically wounded three (two men — one a retired policeman who worked at the school — and a girl, 12). Only luck saved lives.
If you haven’t heard about the Edmund Burke DC school shooting, I don’t blame you.
It’s hard to follow every latest random mass shooting, unless it happens to you, your kids, your people, or your community.
Second Amendment gun militants obviously don’t care.
As with all school and mass shootings, among the thousands of yearly shootings of innocent people, the NRA-craven sheep re-bleat the usual selfish, shameless, ridiculous, pretzel-logical, grasping, whatabout-the-criminals, whatabout-the-Black-cities deflections. While their precious gun freedoms flood poor communities with cheap weapons that kill the innocent, including children.
The so-called “good guy with a gun” isn’t stopping the “bad guy with a gun” — he’s arming him.
By the way, I’m not talking here about responsible gun owners, reasonable people who treat their weapons with respect and support common-sense controls to curb the senseless, needless shootings. And I’m not knee-jerk anti-gun; as a young Navy enlistee, I trained in how to use, and respect, firearms.
I’m talking about the testosterone-addled, knuckle-dragging dirt bags who cosplay as self-appointed militias and preen in public armed to the teeth, intending to intimidate and ready to take the law into their own hands, shoot first and ask questions later.
I’m talking about pathetic, fragile men who need more and bigger guns to feel safe and tough. Especially semiautomatic assault weapons with large capacity magazines and rigged to spray rounds of bullets that can kill a lot of people quickly and indiscriminately, which makes them popular with mass shooters.
And I’m talking about the people who support the gun militants — from their Facebook and antisocial media friends, to their pandering politicians and judges who are taking control of our government, the courts and the country.
Forget trying to talk to gun militants.
Forget debating with facts, knowledge, logic, reason, or any form of reality. Forget appealing to conscience or care for the ever-mounting toll of innocent victims.
Gun militants believe what they believe, and that’s that. Their chosen broadcast, online and social media confirms their beliefs and biases, offering twisted facts to back preconceived notions and scare-mongering for proudly uneducated followers too dim to think for themselves or realize they’re useful idiots for the smarter, wealthier and more powerful.
So forget all the innocent wounded, dead and their grieving families, friends, neighbors and colleagues — they’re merely collateral damage necessary to protect gun freedom. Freedom ain’t free.
Forget fellow Americans. That’s what the Covid denial, anti-masking and anti-vaxxing were all about. That’s what gun freedom is all about.
Like the old song by The Strokes goes, “Oh, my feelings are more important than yours …”
Sociopathic selfishness means nothing anyone could ever say will ever change the gun militant’s mind.
Debating a bullheaded, diehard, pry-my-gun believer is a fool’s errand — and like the proverbial pig being wrestled, the fool enjoys it.
But it’s not funny. With the MAGA-captive GOP likely to take control of the House and Senate this fall, and the 6–3 conservative Supreme Court majority poised to do the unthinkable by overturning Roe v. Wade, gun control surely is a next big target — leading to even more school and mass shootings.
“Pro-life” MAGAs and their Republican handmaidens performatively weep for the “pre-born.” But if the post-born — from suburban schools to urban streets — are shot and killed, well boo hoo. That’s life.
Now, I know, not every gun nut is a pro-lifer is a MAGA. But it’s safe to assume the Venn Diagram intersection of these right-wing stooges is big enough to drive a tank through.
Imagine if the Trump Court reinterprets the Second Amendment to mean zero infringements on the right to bear arms.
It’s not farfetched.
By canceling Roe, the Trump Court is eviscerating our Constitutional rights against government intrusion in our private lives. Why wouldn’t it outlaw all gun measures?
The precedent is there: The 2008 Supreme Court’s landmark decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the conservative majority struck down a Washington, D.C., gun law the city enacted to curb gun killings.
The Heller decision, written by the now late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia — legislating from the bench, which conservatives normally hate — fundamentally reinterpreted the Founders’ language and intent. Namely, the meaning of “a well regulated militia”
As Scalia wrote, “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.” (emphasis added).
In effect, Heller says anyone with a gun is now a “well regulated militia.”
Yep, that includes:
— The selfish anti-mask and -vax idiots who spread the pandemic, shutdowns, illness and death, many who died regretting they were so stupid;
— The barely sentient jackasses we see screaming hate and lies at Trump rallies;
— The pathetic shitheads who stormed and ransacked the U.S. Capitol, battled Blue Lives, chased down lawmakers, and threatened to hang the vice president;
— The disturbed basement trolls spewing hate and death threats online;
— The guy who shot up the Comet pizza/ping-pong establishment in Washington, incidentally just up the same street from the Edmund Burke school, believing dark web claims about Hillary’s pedophile slavery operation in the basement;
— Domestic abusers, disturbers of the peace, and other drunk and/or angry people who Blue Lives fear when they answer a 9–11 call;
— Last but not least, the next deranged shooters planning to kill a lot of children at school, offices, concerts or other public places.
I wonder how many innocent gun victims were wounded and killed by weapons the gunman obtained for “traditionally lawful purposes”? Likely many.
In any case, with Heller, gun ownership is truly democratized.
Now everyone on the street has the same gun rights as the actual militia, the National Guard. Even though, lest it need noting, the Guard is highly trained to manage fraught situations to keep the peace so nobody gets hurt, and avoid shooting unless absolutely necessary.
But even Heller imposes gun limits that seem ripe for lifting by the Trump Court.
As Scalia wrote, “The Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.” Specifically, “dangerous and unusual weapons,” such as, “weapons that are most useful in military service — M-16 rifles and the like.”
“The like” would seem to include the dangerous, unusual, military-style weapons the Edmund Burke sniper stockpiled and used to quickly fire 200 rounds at school children and send bullets thousands of yards. One lodged in the window of a deli a mile away.
But under the twisted logic of gun militants, since semiautomatic military-grade assault weapons are best sellers, they’re exempt from Scalia’s definition of “not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens ….”
Then, becoming English professors, gun militants use semantics, semiotics and deconstructionism to claim AR-15s are neither military-grade nor semiautomatic. Just because something looks, acts, and shoots like a duck, existentially speaking, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a duck.
If enough duck hunters used hand grenades — sorry, “duck flushers” — and shoulder-fired missiles — sorry, “mallard landers” — or machine guns — sorry, “shredded duck renderers” ostensibly they would be legal under Heller.
And what’s the difference really between a machine gun and an AR-15 rigged like one? Now we’re just haggling over the quantity, volume and speed of the bullets ripping people apart.
You can see where the gun militant logic goes: Anything goes.
The Trump Court may well agree.
So someday, look for the Mk19 automatic grenade launcher or M60 machine gun mounted on your neighbor’s Humvee. Do not walk across his lawn.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.