The other side of gun violence, mental illness, justice

Democrat vs. Republican on whiteA guy shoots up a school, the right howls about not giving up Second Amendment rights because of random gun violence, says it’s mental illness, does nothing about mental illness.

A guy shoots two cops, the right howls about how it’s because we don’t respect cops, it’s not random gun violence, it’s not mental illness, even when the guy’s mother says the guy had a mental illness, tried to commit suicide last year, the blood is on the hands of those who don’t put pro-police memes on their Facebook pages, not to mention the president, because he’s black.

Cops shoot a kid with a toy gun on a playground two seconds after driving up to the scene, that’s cops doing their job, because it’s a black kid, open-carry state, sure, and if it had been a white guy wearing military fatigues, he’d have been a hunter, and there’d have been no incident.

Cops shoot a guy carrying a toy rifle in a Walmart, same story, guy falls to the ground literally a couple of seconds after police encounter him, his mistake being he didn’t fit the profile of somebody in a Walmart, which sells toy rifles, who should be carrying a toy rifle.

Put a pro-citizen meme on your Facebook page, wear a T-shirt demanding justice where none is coming, and you’re the one contributing to the decay of moral fiber in our society, not the cops who shoot kids with toy guns, twentysomethings with toy rifles, not the guy with mental illness sheltered from reality by wealthy white parents who coddled his interest in guns and violent video games, not the movement that expanded the concept of our Second Amendment to foster an industry that makes the movement’s benefactors gobs of money through the free flow of guns, to good guys and bad guys.

We have a mental illness problem, and do nothing to address it, because it’s too hard to address it, too expensive to address it. We have a gun problem, and do nothing to address it, because a small cabal of people make too much money because we don’t address it. We have a justice problem, and do nothing to address it, because the people that we put in charge of administering our system of justice have carved out a series of unwritten rules about how justice doesn’t apply to them, and how can people on the outside possibly fight back against the system.

Ninety-nine-point-something percent of those folks are salt of the earth, thank you immensely for your service, for dedicating your lives to doing what’s right.

The shootings of the two cops in Brooklyn were reprehensible, the shootings of the guys with toy guns in Ohio, reprehensible, the shooting in Newtown, reprehensible, the proliferation of guns that make it easy for us to shoot first, ask questions later, reprehensible, the lack of desire on any of our parts to address our mental health, gun violence, justice crises, reprehensible.

But let’s keep yelling over each other’s heads. Because that will make us all feel better.

– Column by Chris Graham


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