Only in America

From Esquire, by Jack Holmes:

Other countries have people who suffer from mental illness. Other countries have racists and white supremacists. But only the United States of America has these mass shootings all the time, like a drumbeat in our collective consciousness. According to the Gun Violence Archive, which classifies a mass shooting as an event where four or more people are injured, there have been 255 in America this year. It’s the guns, and it’s about time for Objective Journalists to say so.

The time for Listening to Both Sides Until We Move On Without Doing Anything is over. What is the Republican Party’s solution to the gun violence epidemic? They talk about mental health, then attempt—by any means necessary—to strip millions of people of their healthcare. Right now, more than 20 Republican attorneys general are suing to abolish the Affordable Care Act, threatening the health insurance of 20 million Americans and the pre-existing conditions coverage of 50 million more. Will that help with mental health?

All the coverage of these events and the discussions that follow should reflect this reality. One political party wants to institute modest reforms to the ways Americans can acquire weapons and which weapons they can acquire. The other side seems to believe the current system is working perfectly, and has offered zero solutions. The president has come out for background checks—the absolute fucking minimum measure, which he’s motioned towards before and is attempting to tie to “immigration reform,” a surefire way to kill it—but Mitch McConnell is holed up in Kentucky and will probably never put the bill the House passed five months ago up for a vote in the Senate. Unless, of course, this reality was represented in the Very Objective Journalist Zone. Do not ask questions of fact and pretend you don’t know the answer. You can’t climb the stairs if you continually pretend the first step isn’t there.

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