Bring me your fire and brimstone
WASHINGTON -- Oh, for God's sake.
What else can one say about the week after Florida's high school massacre? Funerals for the 17 students and faculty were barely begun before rhetoric on the right descended into indecency.
Much of it came from the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, a gathering of the extreme right who snack on brimstone. Speaking to the mostly young crowd, politicians and officials from the National Rifle Association went ballistic over recent talk of gun control. Low points included characterizing the media as loving mass shootings and as wanting to advance its socialist agenda.
Is this really the best we can do? I ask this not as a member of the media but as someone who: grew up with guns; lives in a house with guns; knows how to shoot and is good at it; doesn't object to hunting for food; has friends in the NRA. My father, a lawyer, once told me in confidence that the only law he would never obey was to register his guns. (Because then "they" can collect them.)
I've weathered my share of gun spookiness, in other words, with the result that I'm neither anti-gun, nor a socialist. I do not, however, feel the need to pose in pictures wearing a tight-fitting dress and heels, while holding my very own AR-15, as NRA spokesvixen Dana Loesch does on the cover of her book. I'm not absolutely sure, but this increasingly common pose among young-ish female conservatives seems aimed at sexualizing guns, or metaphorizing weapons to within an inch of their lives.
A few highlights from the lectern:
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Loesch, who gained prominence as a "conservative" radio host, projected a she-devil in Prada when she pointed to members of the media and said, "Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it. I'm not saying that you love the tragedy, but I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many of the legacy media in the back."
I once managed to cross the storm-tossed Strait of Gibraltar with my stomach intact, but this vile idiocy is too much.
Crying white mothers? Loesch explained that black mothers are crying every day and "you don't see town halls for them," she said. Obviously, Loesch was making oblique reference to Chicago -- a pro-gun talking point that finds its way to my email folder every day. The point: Chicago's gun deaths by handgun far outnumber the totals by AR-15 or other semi-automatic weapons. Different story, often covered. What's true is that school shootings seem to be the domain of white boys focused on killing their mostly white peers.
To segregate grieving parents by race, essentially mocking the mothers we've witnessed of late, is disgusting. To applaud such distortionist propaganda should be beneath any serious adult concerned enough with these mass assaults to consider sensible alternatives to doing nothing.