Friday, March 30, 2018

End Times

My next newspaper column:
That reactions from Ammo-Americans to the March for Our Lives would be fast and furious was predictable. Less so was how dumb, distasteful, and desperate they were. 
The guerdon for dumbness goes to Rick “Don’t google me surname, bro” Santorum, who, after sneering that the kids were asking “others” to solve their problems (it’d take more than one column to unpack that lunacy), suggested learning CPR would be a better use of their time. As an experienced trauma surgeon, let me point out that CPR is for cardiac arrest. If your heart stops after being shot, it’s because you’ve bled out or because your brain died. Attempting to revive an empty heart or a dead brain with chest compression is useless. (Somewhere in there is a metaphor for our times.) It’d have been more fitting had he suggested embalming.  
An NRA spokesdunce dismissed the children by pointing out that no one would even know their names if their classmates hadn’t died. Right. And a firefighter who rescued a family from a burning building wouldn’t be considered a hero if it hadn’t been on fire. 
Aptly dubbed a stupid person’s idea of what a smart person sounds like, Newt Gingrich declared the most salient takeaway from the march is to learn who paid for it. The left can’t govern, he said, but they sure can organize marches. (The simpering “can’t govern” would need a five-column response.) He chose not to mention that the Tea Party movement was birthed on Wall Street, disguised as grass roots, and underwritten by anti-tax billionaires. Of course people gave money to the marchers and to their cause! In what way is that inconsistent with democracy? How does it devalue the message, which, in contrast to the Tea Party, began at the bottom and worked its way up?  
As expected, there were those who called the students Nazis. Or Communists (C’mon, people, read some political science. Make a decision.) Blameless pundits denounced “politicization.” Well, yes, demanding legislative action is “political.” So is demanding no action. 
Stop badmouthing the NRA, they were warned. Then, because it’s become the preferred method of discourse by a certain stratum of Trumpists, there were death threats. And we heard condescending assertions that the students need to read the Constitution. But, in fact, it seems they have. Which brings us to the heart of it. 
First, some facts:  
Barely over twenty-percent of Americans own guns. Nearly half are in the hands of only three percent of us. The vast majority of Americans (including NRA members) favor the regulations advocated by the March for Our Lives students. There’s approximately unanimous approval for stronger background checks, with almost as much support for preventing dangerous people from acquiring guns, and for raising the age of purchase. By electoral standards, it’s even a landslide for banning military-style weapons. 
Here’s another fact, one that our friends of Foxotrumpian persuasion have come strenuously to renounce: we live in a democracy. Those poll numbers speak loudly of a failed one. Ignoring the incontestable will of the people it represents, Congress kowtows to the payola provided by the NRA and gun manufacturers, and to their gerrymandered, rabid, minority base. 
It’s worth recalling that until recently it was settled law that the Second Amendment didn’t confer absolute rights of gun ownership to private citizens. Ignored by Cammo-Americans and NRA spokeshorribles is that Scalia’s ruling allowed for regulation, including concealed carry, safe-zones, and military-style weapons. What’s being demanded is already constitutional.   
The kids understand our Constitution. They know it’s within our power to restore truly representative democracy by electing a new, responsive Congress. Behind the heated, dishonest, dangerous rhetoric of right-wing derogation of the marchers is the same realization, and they’re desperately resisting. But demographics don’t care. They ain’t going back.  
End times are approaching for Regressive, White, Male, Theocratic, political dominion. Among right-wing shibboleths destined for eventual rejection is the fetishizing of guns; understanding the Constitution means recognizing the possibility of repealing or revising the Second Amendment. The marchers do. RWMT politicians do, too. If they’re unable to legislate away fair elections before change arrives, they, like Saddam burning his oil fields when he knew he’d lost, seem intent on trashing the place on their way out. 
Which also explains their eagerness to boost pollution, reduce healthcare access, and crush the dreams of the poor. 
[Image source]


  1. Your words should be required reading for every American citizen. Well, for those who read.

  2. Really now,Sid,did you expect anything less from the Ammosexual crowd? You might have left out the line about repealing the 2ndA. You and I know you were not advocating as much, but ANY mention of such (even as a straw man) is red meat to the Ammosexuals. To them, you are admitting your hidden agenda and hence they are justified in calling you any names deemed necessary.

    Thanks,for all your learned posts,I am riposting it.

  3. Hello, Dr. Schwab.

    I'm just about finished with your book. Reading it and your blogs with much interest (I commented on one of your surgery stories). I think I would have been called a conservative in the past but feel like I'm in no man's land for reasons you have articulated.

    I'd like to see more of how you think, so I'm following you. Could it be that you read from many sources and form careful opinions? I'm trying to cut through the crap myself and there is plenty of it piling up from sources we should be able to trust. Seems like journalists take a stance and support it by cherry picking or even making up stuff.

    The Christian Science Monitor has captured my interest. And I read many mainstream news sites hoping I'll find some thread of clear analysis. It's not easy.

    Curious how you see the immigration issue. I can certainly see how we got where we are and I'm watching to see if you write about it.



  4. Hope you liked the book, Denise.

    As to immigration, yes, I have thoughts and, as with so many other topics, I've started a column on it. But in these times, it's hard to keep up with all the important issues, as Trump or one of his people, or Congress, does something outrageous pretty much every day.


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