Seeing America in Uvalde

Marco Bello/Reuters

On Tuesday night, the poet Jana Prikryl shared the “Alas, poor country” passage from “Macbeth,” in which Ross laments that Scotland has become not a place to live but merely a place to die…A modern ecstasy.” A modern ecstasy—and a habit, or a ritual, with its attendant ceremonies and scripts and rites. These always include cut-and-paste expressions of sympathy and concern from various bridesmaids of the National Rifle Association…

…Politicians like these are routinely criticized for their hypocrisy and empty gestures—their “thoughts and prayers.” But, if only for the sake of rhetorical hygiene, we should go a step further. Republicans, as we know, get what they want. It is their best feature. They have vacuumed up the state legislatures, gerrymandered much of the country, stacked the Supreme Court and the federal judgeships, turned back the clock on L.G.B.T.Q. rights, paralyzed entire school districts with engineered panics over critical race theory and “grooming,” ended (or so it seems) reproductive rights as a constitutionally guaranteed freedom, and blocked all attempts at gun-control legislation. If the leaders of this political movement, which in Texas managed to ban most abortions and criminalize health care for trans kids in the space of a school year, took real offense to murdered children, they would never simply accept their deaths as the unfortunate cost of honoring the Founding Fathers’ right to take up muskets against hypothetical government tyranny. They would act. If America were not afraid to know itself, we could more readily accept that gun-rights advocates are enthralled with violent sorrow. This is the America they envisaged. It is what they worked so hard for. Their thoughts and prayers have been answered.”

Conservative True Believers…for whatever demented reasoning corrupts their minds…seem to believe they carry a mandate to protect gun rights as they presently stand in these United States – forever!


4 thoughts on “Seeing America in Uvalde

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