Trout Fisting In America #39 – Las Vegas

Look at all this fucking freedom.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news my mom would always say ‘Look for the legislators. Call those fuckers. We don’t have to live like this.’ ” – Fred Rogers.

The picture at the top of this article sickens me. It makes me angry; it makes me shudder. But I feel I should have to look at it. I feel like we all should. I feel like maybe if it was everywhere we looked, enough of us would do what we need to do as citizens in order to stop it. If something could have been done to prevent a tragedy from happening, then it isn’t a tragedy—it’s a failure.

And so the Las Vegas is a failure of government, a failure by legislators to enact laws in order to keep us safer. But it’s also a failure—given our theoretical ability as citizens to organize and exert pressure on elected officials—of self-government. It’s our own failure as citizens to subdue, demonize, and render politically irrelevant the domestic terrorist group better known as the NRA. At this point, there are no ‘responsible gun owners’ in a group that has so much political power, a group that uses its political power to intimidate legislators while preying on the worst fears of Americans in order to line their own pockets.

The idea that we can’t have background checks, or effective gun regulations because a bunch of sad weird men want to pretend to be army men & cops (fun fact: you can JOIN the military and/or police any time you want to!) is a sad indictment of everything America in the 21st century. The fact that most Americans WANT stricter gun laws and yet legislators don’t give a fuck is a sad indictment of everything congressional in the 21st century. This isn’t a democracy. it’s a corrupt oligarchy and the oligarchs are really, really fucking bad at running a society.

But it can be changed if enough people push hard enough for a long enough time. And while I may be on the phone today, I could have done more. I wish I had done more. When all your candidates are corrupt, then voting simply isn’t enough.

When politicians paint their opponent as an enemy, as a potential criminal bent on the destruction of all things America, as someone who might round up gun-owning Americans and put them in camps, it only enhances people’s paranoia. Enough Americans feel isolated & afraid, desperate & paranoid, that for a news channel, or a politician, or a lobbyist group to stoke their fears for their own political/economic advantage is beyond irresponsible. It’s simply assuming that when the bullets eventually fly, you won’t be the one to get hit.

Because while wealth never ever trickles down, hate flows like a river to the sea. 

Publicly demonizing large groups of your fellow citizens and simultaneously overarming the general population is a terrible idea. For most of us anyway. It’s good business for the NRA. And also a tremendous source of income for US politicians. But like I wrote ten days ago, go ask yourself why they don’t allow guns at NRA conventions or in the halls of Congress. Look, I don’t care what this guy’s politics were. I don’t care what his motivation was. He never should have been able to get his hands on those kinds of weapons. No one should. And as long as people are able to get their hands on these weapons and take them anywhere they like, then none of us anywhere are safe.

The idea that this is a price we pay for our freedom, the idea that grown adults would actually say this, makes me want to puke. Please call and berate your elected officials. Please work to make gun control as important to the candidates your party nominates as the NRA and their supporters do for theirs. Please keep pushing. And please don’t be scared of your fellow Americans, no matter what political team colors they like to wear. There is more that ties us together than separates us, and there’s a hell of a lot more of us than there is of them.

Trout Fisting In America appears here every Tuesday (sometimes even more often!). We’re going to keep going until we reach #50, or until the Trout begs for mercy. You can check out previous installments HERE.

About ScottCreney

Scott Creney lives in Athens, Georgia. He is the author of "Dear Al-Qaeda: Letters to the World’s Most Notorious Terror Organiztion".
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