How do you express your condolences to a country that has suffered so much already. A country that has gone through four years of intentionally unabashed cruelty under the rule of a ruthless dictator wannabe and his shameless sycophants. A country left to be decimated by a pandemic. A country still grappling with the aftershock of an insurrection.
How can you express to America how sorry you are for her loss when she keeps losing so much, so many, so often. Before you can even extend your condolences she’s already suffering the next loss, because time to mourn the victims of one mass shooting before the next one happens has become an over-priced luxury. And the absolute monstrosity of the current political climate has mutated the simple act of sending your Thoughts and Prayers into an act of empty platitudes, reflecting the shameless obstructionism of a Republican Party beholden to the gun lobby without a care for the communities they have sworn to protect.
There are no words, no emotions, no thoughts, no prayers, no nothing that could express the rage the international community feels on your behalf, America, watching the same tragedy unfold time and again.
And yet, you still hold hope that this time can be different. Because for the first time in over a decade, you have the power to actually effect real change, to punch back, scream ENOUGH, to finally pass comprehensive gun-control legislation and put a stop to all that senseless ongoing genocide. For the first time in years, you have the power to crush the NRA, to sever its supremacy over one political party and its constant provocation of deeply ingrained toxic masculinity. You can do this, so do it right.
And so the only party openly standing up to the gun lobby now strategically moves to effect change. The strategy always starts with building the right narrative, refusing to allow the lens to shift its focus away from the direct causes of all that violence in favor of vomit-inducing clichés, and pushes instead the conversation on comprehensive gun-control legislation.
On March 11, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bipartisan bills that would require background checks on nearly all gun purchases, including transactions involving unlicensed and private sellers, and to close the Charleston Loophole. This week, the Senate is taking the first steps into packaging the House bills by conducting hearings on the gun violence epidemic, and as there is no Grim Reaper in power to murder progress, the Democratic Majority Leader will then bring the Senate-packaged House bills to the floor for a vote. The Senate Democratic majority needs 10 Republicans to vote with them, and although eight Republicans joined their Democratic peers in the House and voted for the bills, it is unlikely that the Senate would see such bipartisanship.
And so the conversation on the filibuster will have to be had, openly on the Senate floor instead of behind the corporate media lens. The heinous loss of lives has made it impossible not to face the necessity of getting rid of Jim Crow ideology permeating process in Congress.
After surviving the last four years of relentless attacks against decency, of shameless pandering to all that is toxic and destructive to your daily lives, you may understandably be tired and would prefer nothing more than to sit down, take a break from all that chaos. But the reality is that reconstruction and recovery demand you still get up and find within you that last drop of fight, that will to right wrongs. You don’t need to put on your walking shoes, your mask, or to grab your pussyhat and march outside (there’s still an ongoing pandemic); you just need to reach for that weapon that annoys your representatives to no end. Start dialing, specifically nagging and shaming Senate Republicans, let them know your thoughts on gun-control legislation. You have your job, what little power you have as a citizen of a country in constant mourning; you do what you can in order to support Democrats pushing for change. And for for once, the fight isn’t meaningless as you have the White House, the House of Representatives, and an extremely slim majority in the Senate on your side. And your persistent nagging might just help hasten the passing of new legislation, pushing it faster onto Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
And despite its now sadly bland flavor, I still wish to tell you, America, to express how deeply sorry I am for your losses. Have faith, despite all faced odds, that this time will be different. It has to be different!