If you happened to see the news last night – actually early this morning - as the shootings in Dallas, Texas, unrolled, you might have wondered, as I did, what the fuck is happening to our country?  Coupled with the police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana to boot in the past two days it looks as if we’ve become a nation of crazed, arms toting killers.   Just yesterday Paul Ryan (R-WI), Speaker of the House, announced that the House would not consider even a do-nothing gun control bill, a bill, by the way, so weak, that even the NRA supported it.  So I guess what happened in Dallas and Louisiana and Minnesota is how the National Rifle Association (NRA) wants us to be as a nation to be – a bunch of gun slinging tough cowboy types, armed to the teeth at all times and ready to shoot anybody who pisses us off for any reason.  They - the NRA - seem to be getting their way. 

There was a Black Lives Matter demonstration supplied with Dallas Police and Transit offer protection that had ended just before all the shooting broke out and you can be sure that the right wingers and the gun rights folks will somehow figure out how to blame the demonstrators.   (In fact, watching Fox and Friends this morning, I just heard some Black preacher blame Obama.) There were many such demonstrations around the country yesterday after the police killings in Minnesota and Louisiana and the Dallas shootings began as people were leaving downtown.  (Back to Fox for a moment.  Right now one pundit (Black, of course, because Fox understands that having Black faces in a situation like this brings “credibility” to them no matter how stupid the words these folks spew from their mouths might be) has already figured out the why and how of the Dallas police killings even before there has been any news on any other news outlet about who and why.)  In fact, I just switched to "CBS This Morning" where Bob Schieffer, newsman extraordinaire, is flat out saying that we know absolutely nothing about the motivations of the police killers, how it was accomplished, or who the four or five shooters are.  

Right now the Dallas Police Chief is having a news conference, about one of the shooters whom the police confronted and who was killed when “a bomb” was detonated.  According to the Chief, the suspect, during negotiations with the police, stated that he was taking revenge on the police for the shootings of Black men and woman.   This is not surprising to me.  It was my first thoughts when I saw the news reports early this morning. 

But here’s the deal.  When the Republicans in Congress continue to do nothing after Sandy Hook, after San Bernardino, after Orlando, the message to the rest of us is pretty damned clear:  they believe that the NRA and it’s gun money and gun policies are infinitely more important than protecting us from gun violence.  From being shot to death while exercising our rights to Free Speech and assembly whether in church, a movie theater, pubic school or shopping mall.    None of us are experts in how to defend ourselves against AR-15’s, against mass shooters, against bomb detonations in crowded places.   And so far, despite the Democrats' sit-in last week in the Senate to protest the Republicans blocking any and all gun restrictions from even coming up for debate, it is left to us as individuals to do whatever it is to make sure that we are not victims of deadly, random gun violence. 

And this is precisely where we end up as a nation when we are told that “personal responsibility and individual initiative” is how we are to conduct our lives in every action we take on each and every day of our lives.  Our legislatures, our elected officials, our courts, our police departments, and our institutions apparently have no role in making our lives safe. 

And even when we obey all the laws and all the commands we are presented with every single day of our lives, say in a traffic stop, even when we conduct ourselves as honest, good, cooperative citizens of the United States of America, like Philando Castile did, we are never more than an instant from death.  And we are to expect not a scintilla of help from our leaders to prevent this from happening. 

The Dallas tragedy fits the NRA’s prescription – and apparently the Republicans in Congress as well - perfectly:  Have a beef against your neighbor over dog shit on your property?  Take him out with your personal Glock G42.  Your wife cruised by some guy in your local bar?  Kill the fucker with your Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 38.  Object to police officers killing Black men?  Get your AR-15 and multiple magazine cartridges and take out as many innocent cops as you can.  

This madness is where we are.  This is how we implement public safety. This is how we protect ourselves as individuals exercising individual responsibility and personal responsibility. 

There are no good days when we are exhorted to arm ourselves with AR-15’s as a solution to anything.  

PS:  Back to Fox News again.  Now a retired cop is exhorting Obama to take action to protect the police.  That our politicians should come together to support our police.  Somehow - as you would expect - it's Obama's fault for the Dallas killings. Not the NRA.  Not the do-nothing Republicans in Congress. Not the proliferation of guns across the country.  Not the easy availability to military assault weapons like AR-15's.  No. None of these have anything at all to do with the gun violence ripping us to shred.   

Again:  there is no good day when shooting our fellow citizens with guns is a solution to anything.

My prediction:  Nothing will happen.  Only words.  It seems that unless every Tea Baggin', Freedom Caucus, right wing, conservative is removed from public office will we continue to be treated to "words" rather than solutions.   


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