This week’s one man well-regulated militia murder rampage was brought to you by unwanted thoughts and useless prayers. There were 13 mass shootings over the Fourth of July weekend, but the biggest happened in Highland Park, Illinois. The further bad news is there will be another week of counterfeit outraged Republican lawmakers virtue-signalling about useless distractions like door security and why the “Democrat city” of Chicago is so full of crime. I don’t know what the good news is.
This time the victims weren’t children in a school but anybody watching a Fourth of July parade. It won’t matter to Republican gun-apologists that Highland Park is not Chicago. I’ve been there. My aunt used to live there. It’s just a little, harmless, picturesque midwestern town about 25 miles north of Chicago. But watch them blame anything but guns because that’s what the game is all about and that’s the way they hang.
The fact remains, everywhere else in the world has video games, porn, violence on TV, fatherless and broken homes, atheism and liberals. What they don’t have is guns, guns, guns — and a culture that loves and promotes the almost sexual worship of guns. That only happens in one place. That is uniquely American. That is the man behind the curtain in the United States that the NRA very much wants you to pay no attention to.
The shooter is another white Trump supporter born in this century. When the 21st century became an adult, so did some of its most disturbing products.
Highland Park will soon be forgotten. It’s a horrifying fact but since the death toll was relatively small (6 as I write this) it will probably never make the usual growing list of big, important shootings such as Las Vegas, Orlando, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook. Highland Park is a midrange murder spree for America. If it happened anywhere else in the world it would profoundly affect that country’s morale and change its laws forever. In the United States it’s just business as usual and nothing, absolutely nothing will happen because of it.
After all, nothing came of the Uvalde, Texas, mass murder of children, so why should Highland Park be any different? When Uvalde happened Ted Cruz raged for 15 minutes about door security. Then it all died down and nothing else was said. Cruz didn’t even have to do anything about doors. So he didn’t.
And there it will end. Somewhere out there next time’s victims are blissfully unaware that their lives will soon be over. All because a certain party of certain elected officials need money to keep their lousy little jobs. It really is just that simple. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.