In the wake of the horrifying school shooting at Marshall County High on January 23rd, the mourning parents of two dead and eighteen injured children are looking to Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin for answers and action.
As the nation grapples with the eleventh school shooting in the first month of 2018, gun reform advocates are throwing up their hands in frustration as their children are gunned down by their peers at the rate of one school shooting every week.
And what do conservative leaders like Matt Bevin have to say about the reckless proliferation of firearms to an irresponsible civilian population?
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It’s the damn video games and violent movies and the hip-hop style rap music!
Yes, the governor of Kentucky, who refuses to accept the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, is going right back to blaming the media and pop culture for “desensitizing” young people to mass death.
“Be mindful of what is listened to. To those of you who play music over the intercom at the halftime of various sporting events, be mindful of what those lyrics are at every turn. Our culture is crumbling from within and the cost of it is high” said Bevin in response to the shooting.
Ironically, he’s not wrong about the desensitization – but it’s not “violent movies” that are doing it. We are being desensitized to mass death and murder by its stunning frequency and accepting that our political leaders won’t lift a finger to stop it.
America is a dying nation, and our society has been meticulously trained to ignore the suffering and the deaths of our fellow citizens and our fellow humans.
The constant, pervasive specter of death haunts our society. Thousands are gunned down by police officers, tens of thousands are murdered by gun violence and tens of thousands of people are killed by American drone strikes abroad as millions die of opioid overdose and preventable disease.
If there’s one thing we’ve taught our children it’s that we value the profits of corporations and the needs of shareholders more than we do their lives – and that there’s absolutely no hope that our elected politicians will side with us against the needs of the donor class.
How can we be surprised at our children being desensitized to violence when they are forced to witness atrocity after atrocity and their elected officials shrug their shoulders, offer empty thoughts and prayers and then call for more guns in schools, like state Sen. Steve West did immediately following the January 23rd shooting?
If we want the shootings to stop, we have to take serious action to not only drastically reduce the amount of weapons available and restrict who can access them but to fundamentally rethink the way that we treat each other.