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Someday, the Shooting Will Stop

Someday, the gun massacres will stop. It won’t of course be because we, as a people, got tired of being cut down in our schools, our workplaces, our shopping malls, and our churches, and said “Enough!” to the gunmakers and the worshippers at the altar of the Great God Gun, which is the same as the cult of Moloch, which is the cult of death to our own children. We blew past that point of objection long ago, decades ago in fact. Our national anthem tells us that we are the land of the free, and the home of the brave, and we affect to believe it, when in fact we are the vilest, most contemptible lot of sniveling, self-regarding cowards ever to disgrace the face of the suffering earth. The proof is self-evident, in that we will not lift a finger or spend a single dollar to stop these massacres, not even to save ourselves and our children.

It is true that the massacres will stop in the end, but the ceasefire will be none of our doing. Perhaps the global supply of saltpeter will run out. A financial panic will take down the gunmakers. Or some war or plague unimaginably worse than what is happening today will thin out the population so much that the hair triggerers gunning down fast food workers and convenience store clerks for not attending them with sufficient servility will run out of targets. I don’t know. I can’t predict it. All I know is that all things pass, and so too will this cowardly, stuttering, narcissistic American version of the War of All Against All; but it will take some unfathomable catastrophe to do what we could not. What we would not.

On that day, a great silence will fall where once was heard the screaming, and the sirens, and the cable news droning on about the ever-rising death tolls, and the politicians yammering their empty thoughts and blasphemous prayers. But then the unthinkable will happen: someone will start to cry. Not for themselves, in the now-traditional American fashion, but for the son or the daughter or the husband or the wife or the father or the mother or the best and only friend they ever had on this suffering earth, taken from them in the prime of life because someone had a “legally purchased” gun and a grudge against the world and a burning desire to be infamous for one single shining microsecond. And then someone else will start to cry. And then another. And soon a great wailing will arise over this Sweet Land of Liberty, and no power of positive thinking, of let’s turn the page and move on, of false closure and cheap organ music, will be able to quell it, because no power on earth will be able to quell it.

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