South Park Self

unwontedly serious

My niece is seven years old. I am sickened and reeling to hear about the elementary school massacre, and I can't even imagine what parents of children must be feeling, let alone the particular parents of those particular kids. I am also moved to admiration of the Harper's Weekly Review response, which is to start their monthly summary paragraph with "At an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, a man carrying three semiautomatic guns fatally shot six women and 20 first-graders" and, after a round-up of recent American shooting incidents and the pro-gun lobby response, to close it with "At an elementary school in Chengping, China, a man carrying a knife wounded one adult and 22 children, killing none." We will always have lunatics among us, but the time for American gun control reform was a decade of massacres ago.

The apparent plan of the Wesboro Baptist Church to picket a post-shooting vigil, on the grounds that the deaths were God's punishment for tolerating gays, would sicken me more except that I think that they've badly underestimated the American and global response to violence against children - or, at least, to violence against the kind of privileged upper-middle-class American children whose characteristic insulation against the hells routinely suffered by Third World kids throws the incident into horrible relief. If anything could close down that passel of insensitive, opportunistic bigots, that particular righteous backlash might.

I have wols and fanfic and more cheerful things about which to babble, but they seem a bit out of place so I'll hold them over.
Or, as SFAM would have it, send the guns to school while you homeschool your kids. Also, arm the guns with other, smaller guns so they don't get hurt.

We don't need satire to tell us that the droolings of the gun lobby make no damned sense, but it does contribute a certain biting surreality to the proceedings.