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And then that psychotic man shot a United States Representative who was a bit of a Blue Dog, and a killed a federal district court judge, appointed by a Republican president, who died shielding another from a hail of bullets with his body and a lot of other people. Including a little girl born on 9/11 who, like me at that age, was having that first awakening of interest in civics and politics and wanted to meet Representative Gifford. And my resignation began to feel like cowardice. Then came the next ten mass shootings and then Sandy Hook.
I'm not a parent and I could only imagine how it would make a parent feel. But I'm at an age where, if you're single and childless, and you're not a total misanthrope, you come to feel like you have an investment in all children. And I just can't keep myself from coming back to these pictures on CNN, a news organization I hold in contempt. Pictures of little kids who had lives ahead of them and presents under the tree and parents anticipating watching them open them in a few days. Their tragically short life stories and the stories he teachers and administrators who died trying to save them.
And suddenly, I just didn't give a damn. I've just had enough. I don't care if it's politically unwise and an expenditure of time and political capital that will never be more profitably spent on one of my other priorities. I just don't care if it feeds directly into the paranoia the NRA has been nurturing in the segment of the gun-owning population who think they could overthrow the government with their personal weapons if necessary. I just don't care if we can win. Because kids. Because twenty little kids are dead because, in some tiny part, of my own lethargy and defeatism and sensible pragmatism these last several year.
If the only thing we accomplish is to demonstrate to the rest of the public how extreme the NRA truly is, how utterly beholden to a gun industry that depends on paranoia for its sales the GOP has become that's enough for me, for now, whatever other priorities might go by the wayside. If the cost is inflaming the paranoia of a heavily armed paranoid minority, so be it. Because this.
Again and again, because twenty little kids, along with half a dozen heroic adults, have had their entire lives stolen from them, their families, and the friends of the families, have suffered a wound that will never heal. And all perhaps,in some small par due to, people like me, and for that matter, Obama, gave in in to complacency and defeatism and the siren song of pragmatism on the issue of guns.
I'm often accused of being a mindless Obama apologist. I've spent a good chunk of the last four years being called a corporatist and worse. I've heaped scorn on what I've tactlessly called the unicorn and rainbows mentality of many on the left and I'll doubtless keep doing it. Somewhat hypocritically, I'll probably even continue to insist that drone attacks are no worse than any other kind of military action and better than many. But I simply cannot be pragmatic and sensible about this one thing. And I'm damn pleased that the President agrees.