I don’t even know what to say anymore. The only things that seem newsworthy about what happened in San Bernardino are the circumstances of the murders. The facts on the ground as first reported are as strange as they are garish. At the moment, we are being told that there were as many as three shooters, that they were wearing body armor, that they were carrying “long guns,” that they were wearing “tactical gear,” and that they got away, leaving a “suspicious package” lying around the Inland Regional Center conference facility where 14 people (at last count) were shot to death. All of this is, of course, subject to change. There may only have been two shooters, but there also may be more people who died. Otherwise, it’s just another day in America, another day with another mass shooting, another day in which people decided to exercise their Second Amendment rights in very inconvenient ways.
Very nearly three years ago—damn near three fcking goddamn years ago!—Adam Lanza shot up the Sandy Hook Elementary School, and we all were supposed to learn something. What we learned is that this country’s insane attachment to its firearms is well-nigh unbreakable. Less than a week ago, Robert Dear shot up a Planned Parenthood facility, and we were all supposed to learn something. What we learned is that the people who deal in inflammatory mendacity for their own political advantage are well-nigh unshakable. No matter what “motive” ostensibly was behind what can legitimately be called the “attack” in San Bernardino, there is no question that there is murder in this country’s heart now, not buried very deeply at all any more, and that there are people who are more than willing to act on it. This is a ferocious loss of faith in democracy, in the project of creating a viable political commonwealth. It is aided and abetted by a revolting firearms fetish that is exploited by cheap and miserable politicians. I don’t care anymore about pointing out who may or may not have blood on their hands. It’s knee-deep, and we’re all in it.
The worst part of this is that we have become so numb to this. The body counts, the “breaking news,” the meaningless search for sense. We’ve gotten way past outrage and just given up.