The Gun Cult’s Asymmetrical War on Reality

The gun cult in a nutshell: Take a look at this Elizabeth, New Jersey cop. He’s an armed agent of the state guarding a literal concentration camp where innocent people are imprisoned based on nothing but their immigration status, and yet he’s fooled himself into believing that his membership in the gun cult means that he’s somehow guarding our “liberty.”

Mass shootings in the United States has become so common that they might even motivate the newspapers to bring back their evening editions.  Last week, on July 28th, a 19-year-old gun nut named Santino William Legan bravely exercised his Second Amendment rights against our tyrannical government by shooting up the Gilroy Garlic Festival and killing a 6-year-old child. Not even a week later, a 21-year-old gun nut named Patrick Crusius decided to strike a blow for the white race by murdering 21 innocent people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Since he published a manifesto detailing his obsession with the neo-fascist “great replacement” theory, there was no question about his motivations. Like so many gun nuts in America, he probably had a secret stash Waffen SS memorabilia in his closet.

Not to be outdone, however, we leftists seem to have produced our own mass shooter. Connor Betts, the Dayton Ohio gun nut who killed ten people, including his own sister, had previously expressed admiration for Satan, socialism and Elizabeth Warren. In other words, due to our mutual admiration for Satan, he was someone I might have even hung out with in real life.

Pretty much anybody these days might become a mass shooter. Guns are so readily and easily available,  Americans are so alienated and politically disempowered, there’s so much anger and nihilism that if it’s an American and it has a penis — women don’t become mass shooters — it might at some point think about walking through some random crowd somewhere in the United States slaughtering random innocent people with an AR-15. These mass murders could easily be stopped. Gun control works. A majority of Americans support at least a ban on assault weapons. But the tiny minority of pro-gun American extremists has so much political clout that nothing is going to be done. The mass shootings will continue. Politicians will continue to offer their thoughts and prayers, and the corporate media will continue to frame the issue as a “problem to be solved.” Even worse, the left and the right will continue to try to pin our epidemic of not so random random mass murder on their political opponents. If the shooter is a white supremacist, the left will make sure we know. If the shooter shows any kind of anti-establishment bias, the right will not be silent. And therein lies the problem. A small group of pro-gun extremists and their allies in the mass media has forced the “debate” on mass murder into a framework that is nothing less than an asymmetrical war on American reality.

First a few points:

1.) You cannot debate the “motives” of a mass murderer from a distance. Only a trained psychologist with years of experience and years of access to the killer can figure out what makes one of these monsters tick.

2.) There’s no mystery about the solution to mass shootings. Confiscate the guns and pass strict gun control laws. Having a “debate” about something so obvious is a bit like having a debate about whether or not 2 + 2 = 4 or 5.

3.) The gun cult isn’t interested in debating how to stop mass murder. They are not having this “discussion” in good faith. Quite the contrary, they are trolling you. They are gas lighting you. Most of us, liberals and even conservatives, don’t want to see a 6 year old ripped to pieces by an automatic rifle. For the gun cult, however, every mass murder, every senseless death allows them to push their fascist agenda.

So what is the gun cult’s agenda?

Back in the 1940s, the German novelist Thomas Mann, who had originally been a monarchist and a conservative, but later turned to New Deal Liberalism after the Nazis rose to power in Germany, gave perhaps the best, most succinct description of antisemitism. Antisemitism, he argued, wasn’t only about a hatred of Jews. It went further. Classical antisemitism, with its baroque conspiracy theories and grotesque paranoia was about undermining rationality itself. The antisemite wanted not only  to kill all the Jews. He wanted to kill our sense of what was true and what was false. He wanted to murder the Enlightenment and even Christian universalism.

The anti-semitism of today, the efficient though artificial anti-Semitism of our technical age, is no object in itself. It is nothing but a wrench to unscrew, bit by bit, the whole machinery of our civilization. Or, to use an up-to-date simile, Anti-Semitism is like a hand grenade tossed over the wall to work havoc and confusion in the camp of democracy. That is its real and main purpose.

I’ve argued for awhile that the single most important event leading up to the election of Donald Trump was the massacre at Sandy Hook in Connecticut. To be more specific, it was the birth of the Sandy Hook conspiracy theory. I think it’s pretty safe to say that most of us were shocked when a mentally ill young man slaughtered 20 grade school students at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton Connecticut. I invite you to think about what a 6-year old child who’s been hit by fire from an AR15 looks like. Go ahead cowards. I dare you. The gun cult, however, the gun cult in the form of a white nationalist and antisemite named Alex Jones, however, was ready. The Sandy Hook Massacre, they argued, never happened. The reason we never saw photos of the dead grade school students had nothing to do with our delicate sensibilities, but the fact that nobody died. It had been staged by the Obama Administration as part of a plot to take away our “liberty.” But it gets even more complex. Immediately after proclaiming that the Sandy Hook Massacre had never happened, he reversed himself, denying that he had ever even made the claim.

Jones, Clinton declared Aug. 25, 2016, “even said, and this really just is so disgusting, he even said the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre were child actors and no one was actually killed there. I don’t know what happens in somebody’s mind or how dark their heart must be to say things like that.”

The same day, Jones disputed Clinton’s statement, telling viewers of his Austin-based program that Clinton “lied, not only to the U.S. but the world… that I say that no children died at Sandy Hook and they were all actors. I’ve never said any of those things.”

A moment later, Jones went on: “They can’t find anywhere where I have said that I know the kids killed at Sandy Hook were actors or that it didn’t happen” and furthermore, he said, he’s been criticized by conspiracy theorists who maintain the Sandy Hook events were fake–“because I don’t buy into that.”

In other words, Jones was fucking with our sense of reality. He was trying to throw a hand grenade into the democratic process that might lead to a new assault weapons ban. Even more, he was trying to undermine our ability to come to terms with what should be a rare tragedy and grieve. He was feasting on our pain over murdered children. Above all, he and the far right were making a statement about just how far they were willing to go. Anybody willing to psychologically torment the families of murdered grade school children has no limits, no boundaries, no line he won’t cross. Liberals, and even many leftists, never understood the extremist nature of their opponents until Donald Trump was in the White House yammering on about “fake news” (fucking with our sense of reality). Sandy Hook Conspiracy theories were a declaration of war on the American people, and most of us never saw it.

I think it’s important to keep this in mind the next time there’s a mass shooting. Don’t debate the gun cult. They’re not arguing in good faith. But even more, don’t debate the motivations of the shooter. Observe how the gun cult, the NRA and its supporters in the mass media try to spin the murder. Observe how they try to undermine your sense of reality and common sense. Observe the unproven assumptions they try to slip into the dialog when you’re not looking. Take note of their agenda, and start to think about how you’re going to defeat them politically.

9 thoughts on “The Gun Cult’s Asymmetrical War on Reality”

  1. The US was born and bred in violence and continues to spread hate and violence around the world through its 800 military bases, deployments in over 150 countries, and a “might makes right” attitude that won’t quit. Americans are fascinated by violence and thrive on the vicarious gratification they get from thrillers, murders, and wars. The mass shootings would also diminish if the media quit paying so much attention, using them to push their gun control agendas. They can blame Trump, but he is just the latest bully on the block.

    We have over 2 million people incarcerated in this country, more per capita than in any country in the world. The second amendment was passed to protect people from the government, and with what I see, they have a lot to fear. As long as police and military have guns, everyone should have that right.

    1. ” As long as police and military have guns, everyone should have that right.”

      Not one of these mass murderers has attacked the police, the military, or the government. They’re gunning down random civilians in random public spaces, including grade schools. When was the last time an American gunman actually attacked the American government? Lee Harvey Oswald?

      You’ve previously argued that “laws cause crime.” But now you’re defending the Second Amendment, a law. Isn’t this an obvious case where a law, the Second Amendment, is not only causing crime, but literally blocking the democratic will of the American people?

      1. I can’t speak for the mass murderers, but I would suggest that they are a symptom of a government and society run amok. By attacking innocents, they are attacking society itself, its perverted values, and the government indirectly.

        1. Take a look at that policeman. He is literally the government keeping people in cages based on the idea that the state can arbitrarily decide who’s “legal” and who’s “illegal.” Yet he has an “anti-government” tattoo on his arm. Isn’t this a cognitive dissonance?

  2. Have you heard of or seen the 1971 movie “Little Murders” with Elliott Gould and Alan Arkin? I recently came across a brief review that described how it is set in a modern time where mass shootings and random violent acts are happening 24/7 across the U.S. and everyone is mostly indifferent. Again, this movie was released in 1971.

    I haven’t been able to find it so I have no idea if it’s good or not, but it sounds intriguing and prescient. I’d be curious to read a review if you can get a copy.

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