The right wing in this country has a problem. The very thing they’ve been hyping (urging, threatening, promising, hoping for) has finally happened. A man used a gun to strike out against government tyranny. What do they do now, as reality sinks in? From preliminary reports, it looks like it was someone from the left who decided the government had gone too far, and acted out Paul’s Tweet. The 2A crowd has, for years (especially the last eight), been threatening to take up arms against a government they don’t like. Since Sarah Palin and Donald Trump’s threats that “second amendment people” might act to change the results of elections, and of the “second amendment remedies” suggested by Sharon Angle, the rhetoric of violence has floated around the right-wing echo chamber for years, always prodded along by Fox, the NRA, and the gun lobby. Rand Paul and people like him simply never thought THEY would be the targets.
This creates quite the conundrum for those caressing their AR-15s as they keep an eye out for the black helicopters. How could it be that a liberal snowflake was the one that actually carried out the mission they’ve been preparing for all these years? He can’t do that! Didn’t he know that’s their gig?
If this wasn’t such a tragic incident, it might be funny. Especially the way some on the far right are twisting themselves into pretzels to blame the attack on President Obama. Just how that’s supposed to work, I don’t know. Trying to make sense of right-wing-gun-nut “thinking” will just cause a migraine, so best not to try.
So now we wait for the FBI and the Capitol Police to complete their investigations. Cable news will fill hundreds of hours of air time with promises not to speculate before the facts are in, as they go right ahead and speculate anyway.
Some will engage in gallows humor, reporting “Congratulations, USA! It’s been “0” days since your last mass shooting!” (already seen on Twitter)
The fact that another mass shooting occurred only hours later in San Francisco will get some air time, but not much.
Other western nations will again wonder just what in the hell is going on in America? Why do we continue to allow these massacres to happen? I suppose we should remind them that twenty first graders were not too many to sacrifice to “shall not be infringed”, so why would anyone expect that anything will ever change?
Will this incident create an environment where those that have long prodded the hornet’s nest will tone down their rhetoric? Especially since the first sting was to their own kin? I suspect not, but we can hope. They will most likely continue to spout their wackery, and blame Hillary or Obama or the UN or the New World Order or… whatever comes next down the pike from Fox, Breitbart, and Bannon.
Of course I condemn the violence, and hope those injured make a rapid and complete recovery. Kudos to the security team that jumped into action to protect the assembled crowd, their actions no doubt limited the carnage that might otherwise have ensued.
I also send my appreciation to the dispatchers, policemen, firefighters, EMTs, and other first responders who leapt into action with the first panicked 9-1-1 calls. Their actions to protect and serve will always be under-reported, and under-appreciated.
Image: Senator Rand Paul’s Twitter feed.