June 6, 2022

Melissa Ryan, expert on the right wing and publisher of Control Alt-Right Delete, cuts to the point:

For the Right, mass shootings are a feature, not a bug.

I’m tired of dancing around this. Because it’s true of the people in power and the MAGA base that supports them. Mass shootings are a tactic of the Right. Deployed to terrorize Americans. Priming America for authoritarianism. The Right doesn’t stop mass shootings or work to curb gun culture.

I've specifically thought this since the Bundy occupation. When the federal government is reluctant to move illegal occupiers off public land because they fear a violent uprising, Republicans have clearly nurtured a serious threat to democracy in their bosom.

So what do we do? We can’t rely on Congress or the Federal government to pass gun safety legislation, but that doesn’t mean we’re powerless. It’s time to take a page out of the Right’s playbook. We need to make the people in power uncomfortable. And we need to cause disruption wherever we can. At school board meetings, in Congressional Districts, and community events where elected officials appear, and yes, outside of their homes. With corporations that donate to Right-wing politicians and big money donors generally. When schools resume, we should consider how to cause disruption there as well, everything from targeted protests to walkouts to shutdowns.

These tactics might feel uncomfortable, especially if you’re still clinging to the notion of civility. But what I’m suggesting isn’t that much more radical than tactics laid out in the original Indivisible Guide. If we want common-sense policy changes on guns and school safety, our response to the slaughter of human beings, especially children in schools, needs to be all-encompassing. And it needs to match the intensity that this crisis calls for.

For the Right mass shootings are a feature, not a bug. They don’t care about being called hypocrites or heartless. They don’t care about any data or evidence we could show them. They don’t even care about polling or guns as an election issue. A violent minority of people are willing to sacrifice anything and everything for white supremacy and authoritarianism. Power and control are what motivates them. We have to adjust our tactics accordingly.

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