I am sure a number of people of my acquaintance remember the “Lone Gunman Theory” al la the Warren Commission Report. To wit: three bullets all fired by the same person and fired faster than any marksman could have fired them from a bolt action rifle, hit and killed President John Kennedy and wounded Governor John Connally of Texas in 1963. One of these bullets according to Arlen Specter, former Senator from Pennsylvania, was magic bouncing around the inside of a car, rolling up and down rib cages, turning corners and perforating throats and wrists only to end up unscathed on a gurney outside of the Emergency Room where the governor was taken for treatment. Many people, myself included, considered this proposition to be what the Brits call bullocks – government manufactured pabulum to be fed to a gullible nation of perpetual infants looking for an easy solution to an abominable crime that would exonerate their society as a whole from any responsibility direct or tangential.
Sound familiar? Well it bloody well should. This bland and insipid intellectual mush has been spread generously over mass shootings for years. The lone gunman; the lone psycho; the lone evil doer; the lone, cowardly, psycho, evil doer – oh yeah, that’s the ticket. The hope is that the American people will be discouraged from digging underneath the mess and getting a good look at the truth.
President Obama spoke the truth yesterday when he said that we as a nation have no monopoly on nut jobs. However, it seems to me that we do have a near monopoly on nut jobs with guns blasting hell out of anyone who gets in their way. In the wake of Charleston the truth that few people want to talk about is that there are too many guns in this country, and they are too easy to come by. The only people who truly benefit from this state of affairs are gun manufacturers and their various sycophants – the NRA; influence peddling politicians who insist upon valuing the 2nd Amendment right to own guns over the 1st Amendment right to freedom of and from religion, the 14th Amendment implied right to privacy and the 15th Amendment right to vote; finally, a cottage industry founded on the propagation of hate that fuels the fear, resentment and ignorance of white supremacist and similar groups.
The truth is that when an individual walks into a church full of innocent people, and by his own admission, kills nine of them because of the color of their skin this is not, as dimwits like Santorum would have us believe, an attack on religion. It is instead an act of domestic terrorism grounded in a culture of systemic and institutionalized racial hate. I will say again, this hate and it propagation has become an industry. The simple and ugly truth is that there is money to be made – a lot of money – off of hate. From Fox News to the NRA; from vicious voices like Coulter, Palin, Savage and others to the politicians who stay in office with money earned through the dissemination of hate it has reached corporate proportions this vile trade in the darkness of the human soul.
I have always believed that JFK was murdered by the military industrial complex. Motive: war for profit. Kennedy would not have been as easily led as Johnson into a ground war in Viet Nam. That is just one woman’s opinion. However what is not an opinion is the existence of a malignant corporatized war machine that drives this nation from one armed conflict to another while cheerleaders like Cheney and Rumsfeld grow bloated with power, and I suspect wealth, manipulating buffoons like Bush. The acceptance of the whitewash that was the Warren Commission report helped make all of this possible. Just as giving credence to the bleating of modern day lone gunman advocates who insist that it isn’t about the guns, the racism or the incivility of our civil society helps enable the corporate hate complex to do its work.
This morning South Carolina’s Governor, Nikki Haley, crocodile tears dried, was standing firm on the death penalty under the shadow of the Confederate flag and her NRA endorsements. While she conceded that President Obama has a right to his opinion about gun legislation, she has a state to heal. Well, la de da and bully for her. Beware of healers who use death as a remedy while refusing to address the underlying disease.