Friday, February 16, 2018

Gun Massacres in America

At the end of 2016, I put $5k into a T.Rowe Price Global Tech Fund (PRGTX). It's now worth $9k, and it's on track to double its initial value by the end of the year. And I'd still would have rather had Hillary Clinton as president, clean energy, and gun control...OR....I guess I should say I still could have had those profits AND gun control AND clean energy AND SANITY. Somewhere along the way, this country bought into the 'either/or' belief of conservatism: either you get fucked or I get fucked, but someone has to get fucked. There is still a deeply held concept that to do good for all results in the powerful getting screwed, to share profits from a booming economy robs from the rich, to say blacklivesmatter means you're implying that white lives do not, or to be a good person means that we are denying ourselves some joy in debasing others. The issue of gun violence is not only coming out of a deep-seeded fear and anger, but also a misunderstanding of the world: we think we have to choose between allowing these massacres to go on to keep the second amendment or getting rid of everything. NRA and GOP has this figured out.

When faced with the choice between money/power and anything else, Americans will always choose money. We worship money, whether it comes from the NRA or Exxon or trial lawyers. We worship it over the bodies of our dead children, over the broken bones of ancestors, over history, we even worship money/power over God. But it's the greedy and savvy minds who got us to buy into choosing between ‘money' or the 'other thing.' And that's how they win because they know the vast majority of Americans fear the loss of money/power more than their own life or their neighbor's child. After a few days, the anger and shock at this massacre will fade away, and the old thinking will set in again: either I get fucked or you get fucked? Either I get to protect myself by buying as many guns as I want (therefore everyone should be allowed to do this) or I won't be allowed to have anything because the 'mythical vegan liberal gynocracy' will take away everyone's guns.

As long as we continue to believe in 'either/or' scenarios we will never have gun control, sensible immigration policies, civil rights for black people, gender equality. Our stinginess and fear plays into the hands of those who will divide us. In fact, they are counting on it.

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