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By Robert A. Vella

Yesterday, another tragic mass shooting took the lives of many people and injured many more.  If such senseless deadly violence seems to be a daily occurrence in America these days, it’s because it really is.  But, maybe this ongoing slaughter of Americans by Americans isn’t so senseless after all.  To an objective, outside observer, it is indicative of a society torn asunder from internal conflict.  America is truly at war, although its most dangerous and destructive enemy is itself.

From ReutersAuthorities seek motive for couple’s California rampage that killed 14:

Authorities on Thursday worked to determine why a man and a woman opened fire at a holiday party of his co-workers in Southern California, killing 14 people and wounding 17 in what appeared to be a planned attack.

Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, who had a 6-month-old daughter together, were killed in a shootout with police after Wednesday’s mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in the city of San Bernardino, a social services agency where Farook worked as an inspector.

[…]

Farook, a U.S. citizen, was born in Illinois, the son of Pakistani immigrants, according to Hussam Ayloush, who heads the Los Angeles area chapter of the Muslim advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Malik, his wife, was born in Pakistan and had been living in Saudi Arabia before marrying Farook, Ayloush said. Both were Muslims, Ayloush said.

[…]

The two assault rifles and two handguns recovered from the shootout were legally purchased in the United States, said Meredith Davis, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Two of them were purchased by someone “associated with this investigation,” while the buyer of the other two was not linked to the investigation, she said.

As usual, the incident was immediately followed by statements from law enforcement officials to discover what triggered these killings as well as offerings of prayers from the religiously-inclined ostensibly to ease the pain of suffering.

I’m sorry, but the official focus on this crime alone without any correlative analysis of the larger mass shooting problem in America just isn’t sufficient anymore.  What motivated this couple pales in comparison to the growing societal problem now afflicting the nation.  Whether motivated by rage against co-workers (as it initially appears in this case), rage against abortion providers, rage against blacks and other minorities, rage against different religions and cultures, or rage induced by mental illness, the result is the same.  It is that increasingly common primeval rage which lays at the root of the problem.  Why are Americans becoming obsessed with rage?

I’ve also had quite enough of prayer.  Prayer does one thing and one thing only.  It allows the sanctimoniously self-righteous to absolve themselves from the responsibility they bear in contributing to this problem.  How many Christians prayed while spewing vile, inciting rhetoric against Planned Parenthood?  How many conservative politicians prayed while doing everything imaginable to defeat even the most sensible of gun control reforms?  How many white supremacist sympathizers prayed as their brothers gunned down black churchgoers? How many Muslims prayed when Islamist Jihadists attacked Paris?

I want answers to these questions.  I demand America’s leaders answer these questions.

Further reading and videos:

San Bernardino suspect, a dad who lived the American dream

San Bernardino struggled with hate groups before shooting

BBC reporter refers to San Bernardino shooting as ‘just another day in the United States’ (VIDEO)

Mass shootings occur, on average, every day records show

GOP offers prayers, not solutions on California massacre

Daily News provokes with cover on California shooting: ‘God isn’t fixing this’

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7 thoughts on “San Bernardino: another day in America, and another Mass Shooting

  1. Yes, indeed, Robert. Unfortunately, guns in the hands of angry people usually has one outcome.

    Just as I was typing that sentence, a movie popped into my head. When our girls were still at home(they were all teenagers, I think our son was too young to go with us), we went to a theatre one night. You need to understand that, for us, trips to a theatre are few and far between – we live in a rural area and it’s not something we did/do very often. We had no idea what was showing that night, but it turned out that it was a very popular film of ‘the day’ – Legends of the Fall. Right from the start, we were dismayed. Over-the-top feats of bravery, ah la Hollywood, and various people shooting each other (and the one character who shot herself). We left before it was over, but I said to the girls as we left, “Why didn’t they just call it ‘GUNS’ ??”

    Imagine our surprise when we vocalized our dismay at that dreadful movie — other people seemed to have loved it! In fact, I think it was a box-office hit. . . so I have to wonder if generations of Americans (and Canadians, as well – after all, we share the same culture) have become completely desensitized to violence, destruction and ‘gore’.

    Sorry for the stream-of-consciousness narrative; it’s just where my mind went as I was processing your commentary. I share your frustration and anger.

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  2. As for where to get answers specifically on mass shootings, I don’t know where that will come from. After all, Congress has prevented the CDC from spending money to investigate gun violence since the mid-1990s.

    As for the rage, here’s a clue. Since at least the time that Lee Atwater unleashed Willie Horton as a weapon, possibly since the time a President invented The Welfare Queen, or maybe as far back as when the New Nixon devised the Southern Strategy/Moral Majority, one national political party has learned to mix a toxic combination of intentional lies, strident rhetoric, racism and demagoguery to deflect attention towards college professors, intellectuals, “elites,” civil rights organizations as the supposed cause of the working class’s woes and away from the plutocrats and their policies which were the actual reason for their woes. For this party, politics is an ad hominem game where labels are used instead of argument. Opponents are not to be disagreed with, they are to be demonized. The genius of their approach has been to vilify government itself. That way when their own candidates once in office prove incompetent or malefactors they can excuse it not as the fault of their philosophy but as another example of the evils inherent in government and the solution to do away with more of it (those parts that help anyone other than the plutocrats, their clients). They have peddled the falsehood that the social safety net is what impoverished the country, not the tax breaks, subsidies and protection they have given, in inordinate amounts, to the plutocrats. And so a war on the poor, the needy, and those who seek to help them seems entirely appropriate. Police departments have followed suit and violence has become a currency in this country. And it is the only tool in our foreign policy chest. Add to this that this party is the wholly-owned subsidiary of the NRA, a trade organization whose sole purpose is the maximization of the sale of firearms of all types and without restrictions, and here we are: The land of the heavily armed, anger-filled (usually) white male, and home of the scared. This party would not have succeeded had they not had a co-enabler in the other party, which decided its path to success was to become more like the other, lest they be accused of fomenting “class warfare.”

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