Selling the Shootings

Finally someone is talking about this.  No, not talking about the shootings. Instead we have found a thought piece about the mushrooming “discourse” about the shootings.

It usually takes a bit of time for such a retrospective analysis to take place, but we live in a faster world. Today in Truthout, William Rivers Pitt  looks at the war-of-positions we’ve all been


witnessing, and his thoughts are excerpted briefly below:

“A few hours before President Obama and Vice President Biden unveiled their proposals for gun reform in America, the National Rifle Associationlaunched a preemptive strike on the president’s children. To wit: an NRA-sponsored television commercial claimed that, because Sasha and Malia get armed guards in school and your kids don’t, Mr. Obama is an elitist hypocrite.

“Leaving aside the colossal tin-eared stupidity involved in attacking children in the midst of a debate that was initiated after 20 children were slaughtered, and notwithstanding the fact that, to no small degree, the presidential children need bodyguards to protect them from the very audience targeted by that NRA ad, the simple, ugly truth of the matter is that this most recent example of the NRA’s psychotic nonsense is pretty much what we can expect to hear now that the gun gauntlet has finally been thrown down.

“The substance of the Obama administration’s proposals are historic in scope: enact a stronger assault weapons ban, limit the size of ammunition magazines, require universal background checks for all gun sales, strengthen mental health treatment options, and empower schools to deal with gun violence threats while addressing issues of bullying. Beyond that, Mr. Obama released a list of 23 Executive Ordersaimed at beefing up existing gun laws, allowing the Centers for Disease Control to research the underlying causes of gun violence (something the GOP successfully quashed for years), and reviewing safety standards for gun locks and gun safes.

“On the whole, the administration’s proposals are about as bold as one could hope for in this day and age; more than 900 people have been shot to death since the massacre at Sandy Hook, and Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot through the skull, and President Reagan was shot way back when, and his press secretary took a bullet to the head that day and has spent his whole life since trying to keep that from happening to anyone else, and Columbine happened, and Aurora happened, and the Sikh temple massacre happened, and the body count from American gun violence has been spinning like the fare meter on a Manhattan taxicab since Bobby Kennedy got his brains blown out in a Los Angeles hotel kitchen almost 50 years ago, and still, after everything that has happened and after everything we know, we all somehow became convinced that stuffing the Biblical camel through the eye of the Biblical needle would be easier than passing sensible gun control legislation on a national level in America.

“That, my friends, is salesmanship.”


For the full essay, see:


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