Monday, January 23, 2023

No Way to Prevent This, Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

Of course the ease of getting guns is a lot of it, but it's also the fucking "gun culture" that has infected everything so much so that mass shooters are borderline treated as heroic.

I know that defending that idea - that mass shooters are treated as borderline heroic - is a bit complicated. It isn't *always* the case, and it isn't entirely straightforward, but it's a bit like how the worst racists somehow get transmuted into "champions of free speech." 1st amendment absolutism and 2nd amendment absolutism aren't so different. Whatever one thinks of the appropriate government role in either of these things, we've gone from championing the ideals to championing the dickheads who absolutely abuse it.

Even if one supports legal open carry, the guy walking into Wal-Mart toting several guns is a fucking asshole, not a hero. That you can doesn't mean you should. The cultural impulses that turn fucking Milo Yiannopoulos into a free speech hero for harassing trans students (a job now taken over by The Atlantic and The New York Times) provide the foundation for treating people who shoot up schools as heroes, too.

Related: a light really went off in my brain when someone made the should-be-obvious point that it's "interesting" that the big Freedom of Speech case we all learn is Skokie. The 20th-21st centuries are filled with examples of censored speech and curtailed assembly, so why do we focus on the biggest assholes of all and hold up their case as the pinnacle example of our enlightened approach to free speech?

We're so brave and wonderful for letting the Nazis march [scene cuts to cops absolutely beating the crap out of basically any other protesters].