February 2, 2019

Philadelphia Inquirer opinion writer Will Bunch has had enough of our collective complacency, and he is not alone. In his column, yesterday, he mourned that there were not one, but THREE mass shootings this week, and not one of them registered on the Richter scale of our consciousness beyond the immediate local community. In fact, sometimes, not even in one's local community, as he found out.

When I called a local anti-gun-violence advocate — Shira Goodman of CeaseFirePA — to talk about the recent shootings, she mentioned one right here in Pennsylvania that I literally knew nothing about. It turns out that also last week, a (stop me if you’ve heard this before) 21-year-old white male pulled out a gun in a hotel bar in State College, killing two of the three people that he hit, before he fled and broke into the home of an 83-year-old man, a stranger, whom he also shot to death before turning the weapon on himself.

Right in his own backyard, and he hadn't heard about it. This, in the same week that a 21-year-old white man gunned down five random women in a Sun Trust Bank in Sebring, Florida. Two of the five had seven children each, who have now have been robbed of the woman raising them.

Marisol Lopez.
Jessica Montague.
Ana Pinon-Williams.
Cynthia Watson.
Victim, whose family prefers to remain private.

This, in the same week a 21-year-old white man shot and killed five people in Louisiana, in a domestic dispute, including his parents.

Elizabeth Theriot.
Keith Theriot.
Billy Ernest.
Tanner Ernest.
Summer Ernest.

This, in the same week five police offers were shot while they were serving a search warrant. They survived, but the two people (one of whom had shot the five officers) and the dog in the home were killed by the police.

We don't know yet the details of the stories in Florida, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania, but they sure smell like incels and/or domestic violence to me. That kind of hate is only fueled by misogynists like Trump in the White House, Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, and James Woods on Twitter. We DO know that signs of hope exist in places they did not before, however.

As Bunch pointed out, Pennsylvania recently passed an actual tough gun law. which would "force people in Pennsylvania with a domestic violence ruling against them to more quickly surrender their guns."

Furthermore, the Trump's presence in the White House has created a sense of security and complacency among gun owners, which ironically, has led to even further-shrinking coffers of the NRA. As Betsy Woodruff detailed on Rachel Maddow's show Thursday night, the NRA makes the most money when Democrats are in power, because their members are terrified they're going to lose their guns.

WOODRUFF: When Trump became president, surprisingly enough, even though the group had an ally in the highest levels of the American government, many of their grassroots supporters, and at least this is the view in the American gun rights community, have become a little complacent and a little less invested in supporting the NRA simply because as long as Trump is in office they're not worried that anyone is going to try to grab their guns.

Combine that with all the connections being made between the NRA, GOP, and Russia, with the skill, tenacity, and strength Team Mueller has shown in exposing all things nefarious, and with the Blue Wave that has taken over the House of Representatives and many down-ballot positions across the nation, we can perhaps manage a wry smile at the Right Wing Gun Nuts' growing apathy and complacency.

As long as we don't allow ourselves apathy and complacency about the mass shootings that take place with increasingly alarming frequency. Because god knows, as far as guns go, the horse is out of the barn. And as far as Incels go, we should be f*cking losing our collective MINDS that there is a growing army of young men thinking that because they are horny and want sex, they are entitled to slaughter women when they don't get it.

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