Dark gray handgun lying sideways on a table with gold bullets strewn around it

I sat down last week ready to say how the week before had bruised my ego. Some (very, very few) progressives won Democratic primaries and the Korean negotiations collapsed overnight. I hadn’t expected any progressives to even come close to victory and I thought any dysfunction surrounding the then-upcoming Korea summit would be minor and only occur in dribs and drabs. Then more children were murdered as they studied peacefully in their school. I was disgusted at the lack of response from all politicians and found myself unable to write about another mass shooting and how gun violence is easily unavoidable so soon. So I decided to give myself another week to start to get over my horror and see if anything would be done to stop innocent people being gunned down on a daily basis.

The second round of midterm primaries brought marginally more hopeful results for progressives. Four socialists won races for Pennsylvania statehouse seats while the more progressive of the candidates also won elections across the country. None of the races were for high-profile positions and the Democratic establishment actively campaigned against the socialists and progressives. We’ll see the DNC’s true colors this year as they either move left and support their own candidates or withhold financial and human resources so their corporate owners do not begin supporting the Republicans. Judging by history, political science, and common sense, progressives shouldn’t be getting too excited. Not that any of the midterms will likely matter. Unless candidates support monumental gun control legislation and will kill the private health and fossil fuel industries, nobody’s lives will improve thanks to politics.

Kim Jong-un has had a schizophrenic couple of weeks. He started out insulting the Americans and accurately calling Pence an idiot. Then he had another photo-op with the South Korean leadership and said he was still interested in meeting with an American delegation. Trump responded by saying……. Oh, who the fuck cares?! There aren’t any missiles near American shores pointed at major cities and we are not in any form of conflict with a rich, technologically advanced nation. Kids are having active shooter drills at school and are listening to adults tell them their lives are less important than the right to own tools of slaughter. Problems on the Korean peninsula can wait. The safety of our children cannot.

Ten more high school kids were killed by a fellow student in Santa Fe, Texas. The gunman (gunboy?) was a 17-year-old who was apparently bullied by classmates and possibly some faculty members. If that is true, the most bullying did was turn him into an even more sullen teenager. It did not put a gun in his hands, it did not provide him with the bullets, and it did not teach him how to use the gun. Bullying happens all around the world, so why are shootings like this unique to the United States?

Every single individual who has the power to do something about gun violence said something incredibly stupid or did nothing at all. Democrats said we need to do “something” and conservatives refused to consider gun control and blamed murder on everything but the kitchen sink. Texas’ Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick, said the shooting was due to abortion, video games, and too many entrances and exits. His answer to schoolroom slaughters is to let more kids die in the event of a fire. Republicans will get rid of doors before they get rid of guns. Somehow, his comments were not international headlines and the supposed good guys in government did not ceaselessly denounce his words which were echoed by many others. How are we supposed to get excited about heading to the polls when all we have to choose from is a piece of shit who thinks emergency exits kill kids and a rich elitist who is too afraid to challenge stupidity and evil?

I could go out of my way to sound intelligent and add layers of nuance to my writing. But this is an issue that boils down to black and white, right and wrong. Other countries permit abortion but do not experience gun violence. Other countries sell video games but do not experience gun violence. Other countries have lots of doors and windows but do not experience gun violence. Other countries have bullying, polarizing politics, violent movies, intelligent secularism, income inequality, and hot summers but do not experience gun violence. America has almost unrestricted access to firearms and experiences daily gun violence.

It’s disgraceful how this is being allowed to continue. It’s disgraceful how otherwise well-meaning citizens vote for candidates who won’t eliminate the single cause for gun deaths. Politicians deserve plenty of blame, but their supporters are responsible too.