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And most politicians, including both presidential candidates, are far more worried about losing the votes of gun advocates than they are about the victims of gun violence. Most politicians refuse to touch this issue at all. Mayor Bloomberg is a rare exception to this rule and spoke on the radio this morning, prior to the Empire State Building shooting, about gun control saying, "I don't know what it takes. Somebody asked me what would shock Congress. Well, they had a Congresswoman shot [Rep. Gabrielle Giffords]... And that didn't seem to do anything. The Founding Fathers, I don't think, ever envisioned AK-47s in the hands of people."
But while Bloomberg's intentions are clearly in the right place, the effectiveness of some of his programs must continue to be questioned. I doubt, for example, that white 53-year-old killer Jeffrey Johnson ever would have been targeted for a stop-and-frisk.
I'm not a politician. I can say whatever I want about guns and how I don't think there's anything even remotely resembling a good excuse as to why people say they "need" guns. If your best reason for "needing" a gun is so that you can go shoot animals, I really don't care about your needs. But banning guns—and it's not as if that could ever, EVER be a reality—would solve nothing. And, frankly, shootings like in Aurora or Wisconsin or the ESB are the kind of big events that might not seems so rare anymore but, strictly speaking, are not the main problem guns pose. Because the problem isn't really the guns, the problem is our culture's obsession with violence. It's an obsession that has become almost second-nature, to the point where we have become inured to it. The problem can best be seen in a neighborhood like Brownsville where the murder of a thirteen-year-old is not a front page story. We barely even see it.
Here's one other thing I read in the news today. Former President George W. Bush has released some of the details of his Presidential library and museum. There will be a room which we suppose is intended as a remembrance of the events of September 11. Is it a reconstructed version of the top-secret bunker former President Bush was holed up in? No. It's a room which "opens up onto 22-foot-high beams of twisted steel, now ghostly under plastic wrap, that once held up the 85th floor of the World Trade Center. The steel will be surrounded by walls bearing the names of the victims of 9/11 and a video loop of the Twin Towers getting hit and going down."
Yeah, this is the country we live in. You know that's going to be the most popular part of that shitty ex-President's shitty museum. A bunch of Americans are going to line up to stand in a room where they can watch the deaths of thousands of people, over and over again. It's background. It's just noise. It's just flashing images. We live in a country where death has become wallpaper. Is it really any wonder these shootings keep happening?
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen