Tolerance of hate-based murder
An essay on why we should stop pretending the right is worth treating civilly
The core of America’s most significant deficit in 2022, and this is my opinion only (I do not have, nor will I ever have, corporate sponsors), is the inability of our politicians and lawmakers to stop America’s gun cultists. Full disclosure: there are far more guns than people in my household. However, I am a veteran with 20-plus years of responsible gun ownership under my belt. Does that mean I should automatically be entitled to own guns, any kind of gun I wish to own?
Absolutely not. There must be a national, rigid screening process that is renewed on a standard interval. Gun owners must participate in extensive, repetitive training at a standard interval. That training must include societal expectations about self-defense use of weapons only, citizen safety standards, and federal and local laws about those subjects. My freedoms, and yours, do not trump safety and sanity or as close as we can get to that state of existence.
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Luke O’Neill of Welcome to Hell World has much to say about America’s unending tolerance for hate murders.
A vigil near the Club Q nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
Here is a thread of verified fundraisers for the victims of the right wing terrorist attack in Colorado Springs over the weekend.
I often find it difficult to say anything new or novel in the immediate aftermath of yet another mass shooting. It makes a person feel insane to keep repeating themselves over and over again. The same sadness and the same anger. You would think either would dull but they do not.
Aside from a big fuck you eat shit to these two monsters below in particular – as well as to their fellow hatemongers on the right who are doing everything in their power to paint targets on the backs of LGBT people around the country – I wanted to reiterate a few things I wrote in here over the summer about the coverage of trans people in the more polite mainstream media as well.
isi baehr-breen (its pronounced ‘izzy’)
Mere hours after a right wing lunatic shot 20 people at a gay nightclub in Colorado, a verified account on Twitter which the owner of Twitter has interacted with jovially is presenting a new target for their psycho followers - in Colorado. twitter.com/libsoftiktok/s… 4:04 PM • Nov 20, 2022 527 likes • 112 retweets
On Friday night, Tucker Carlson was stoking fears about "the sexualization and castration of children" and "drag shows for children." Incredibly common themes for his program and Fox News more generally.
Back in July I wrote about a series of "just asking questions" articles that the New York Times and similar ostensibly centrist outlets like The Atlantic have been publishing about healthcare for trans people. There was yet another one in the NYT this month which was deftly and powerfully covered here by Lauren Theisen in Defector.
How Many Trans People Does The New York Times Believe There Should Be? | Defector
The Times believes there’s an ideal number of trans people who should be alive in the world, and we’re dangerously close to exceeding it.
If we're portioning out blame for the climate of lies and fear swirling around LGBT people (with an emphasis on the T) the likes of Tucker Carlson and LibsOfTikTok (thousands of paid subscribers on Substack by the way!) deserve the bulk of it. But this pose of more polite and searching and neutral concern from the NYT and so on needs to be tabulated as well. It's a way of softening up their nice non-bigoted center-left readers to start asking similar questions. Hey wait a minute what is the deal with all this trans stuff?
And there we have it: names of the hate peddlers. Tucker Carlson of Faux News and LibsofTikTok. Peddling hate on a platform near you (hint: LibsofTikTok is right here on Substack). Both parties are obsessed with sexual orientation, gender presentation, and enforcing traditional Christian religious fundamentalism on Americans. I called out two bad actors, but there are tens of thousands in this country. Extremists in militias. Extremists hiding behind pulpits with large audiences. Extremists peddling lies and conspiracies while calling it “news.”
And what do people who want hate preachers and out-of-control mass murders removed from the national dialog do? We get nasty. We stop pretending that the right wing can be redeemed. We start demanding action from our representatives, and if that does not work, we remove and replace them. We defend the oppressed without debate or hesitation. We call cultists what they are and call their lies and bullshit out. Every, single time. We prepare to defend democracy and progressive, inclusive ideas by force. In defense of a rational world where human equity matters and greed is no longer celebrated. We have to be willing to die for our ideas. Many on the right are, and the meek, despite what some people say, will NOT inherit the earth. The meek will allow the earth and all its living species to perish.
I wrote recently about enculturation. Americans are enculturated to endure an endless stream of mass murders by right-wing extremists(it has happened on the left, but not in anywhere near the same numbers.) White supremacists and those with anti-government ideologies account for 75% of all extremist murders. These can easily be tied to extreme Christian nationalism. Left-wing ideologues account for 4% of politically motivated murders in the USA.
The right-wing likes to argue about other social problems we should worry about. This is the false equivalency fallacy in action. They argue that cars kill more people than crazy mass murderers with right-wing ideas planted in their brains. To that, I say shut your damn mouth. Cars are being regulated and engineered constantly to ensure they kill fewer people every year. When we can say that about guns and politically motivated gun murders (or knives or any other weapons), then you can talk again. Until then, STFU.
I am not done talking about this issue, but what you need to know about the epidemic of mass murders (and single murders) in the USA are as follows:
most are motivated by right-wing messaging and ideology (nationalism, populism, religion);
this messaging includes discrimination against anyone not white, Christian, heteronormative, and cisgender;
the right is intentionally weaponizing lonely, young males;
the vast majority of these deaths are easily preventable through a federal gun ownership standard;
the right is what had been preventing such a standard for decades in the name of a juvenile and ultimately murderous insistence on “muh freedoms” and a refusal to acknowledge that freedoms come with responsibilities;
the left’s inability thus far to pass common-sense gun legislation is tied to Christian nationalism. Stomp that out in America, and a major source of toxicity is removed from the body politic. Potentially saving tens of thousands of children from all walks of life, including the children of right-wing Christian nationalists.
There have been more than 600 mass shootings in the USA this year.How many more are you willing to tolerate?
I’ve been getting a ton of posts from you lately. I think we come from the same place in terms of outlook on life and values.
This post was extremely interesting and well-written. I agree with most of it. But I’m not so optimistic that your bullet list would get at anything but the symptoms.
I was a teacher for nearly a half century and routinely observed that kids who really act out come from a terrible place. The problem is deeply embedded where “Hurt people hurt” here in Canada where I live just as in America. Guns of course are the force multiplier. We just don’t have them in the numbers America does. We have the occasional spat about them, but it always dies down. Guns are a religion of sorts in America and there aren’t enough atheists.
I’ve thought about America a lot and have concluded that there is virtually no hope for it to regain its sanity.
I am brutally and fully pessimistic. And the saddest thing is that in the 40 or 50 times I’ve been there I’ve met the nicest, most open people. (Canadians are far more reserved.) As a country, you don’t deserve this.
The root cause of the problem, I believe, is loneliness, which all too often descends into anger. There’s far more to it than that of course, but I think that’s at rock bottom.
I write on Substack.
It’s a history of America from the Fifties onward with emphasis on the development of a series of changes to America which contribute to its current dire situation.
It’s called Frayed. Splintered. Shattered?
It’s free. There are ~50 essays posted. I have reached the Eighties. You might be interested.
I agree with your position and am deeply saddened by this harsh reality. We’ve also seen them weaponize vehicles, driving them into crowds of people. Free speech is one thing but prolific lying shouldn’t count as free speech. More than 2 mass shootings per day ought to shake everyone’s core confidence... but apparently not.