Let’s start here:
“Too soon” is the invention of people too scared to actually try to be funny. I am almost dead certain that it was invented by a non-comedian, and maybe even someone who doesn’t even generally like or get comedy. Unless someone can show me where my satirizing or politicizing the shooting in Las Vegas will somehow be worse than either what the gunman did or the inactivity of Congress to move even a centimeter in the direction of smarter gun control laws, then no, I won’t stop making posts like these on my various social media outlets:
To be fair, the overwhelming majority of reactions and responses to that joke I made this morning on Alternative Facts were overwhelmingly positive. Most people, I think, got the joke and understood its context. I’m not a fan of unpacking my comedy so I’m not going to deconstruct the joke, but if you’ve not been in a coma and lived in America for the last 16 years, then you’ll understand that a certain element of our citizenry genuinely think that, in general, Muslims and even Muslim Americans support terrorism and violent attacks on the U.S.
Yet, post 9/11 and before it, the overwhelming majority of multiple fatality homicides have been carried out by white dudes. Sure, that’s because we’re a majority white country, but the simple fact is that some would have us be more terrified of Syrian refugees fleeing a war zone we’re helping to prop up than we are of people having access to the kinds of weapons that bastard in Las Vegas used. And believe me, I’m politicizing this tragedy but not out of any partisanship. If that fucker turns out to be a card carrying left-wing socialist Democrat who voted for Bernie, I’d be saying the same things right now.
But as much as most people were supportive of that joke, I got plenty of concern trolling. People were convinced it was too soon to make jokes and it was disrespectful of me to conflate Trump’s idiotic “travel” ban with the events in Vegas. But, here’s the thing, it’s not remotely disrespectful to point out the flaws in someone’s argument for a xenophobic policy overreach when the evidence is literally piling up in front of us. It’s common sense to do that. If we’re being told that there’s a reason for a law, and we’re also shown video evidence for why that law would be completely ineffectual against the kinds of mass shooting attacks we face today, it’s the height of stupidity to ignore the evidence and just keep right on believing there’s nothing we can do about gun violence.
I also write some satirical news stories for The Political Garbage Chute today, and plan to have a few more about the shooting throughout the week. You won’t find me apologizing for writing these stories even as the investigation into the shooting is just starting out. Why? Because we’ve been stuck on the same shitty feedback loop with these mass shootings for decades now, that’s why, and at some point you realize that some of us are massive cowards, and the rest of us know that it’s okay to talk about a mass shooting right after a mass shooting.
Ultimately, my reasoning for why it’s okay to politicize things as soon as they happen is pretty simple: Life is too fucking short not too. Will politicizing these deaths in any way bring them back? Of course not. But just because it’s already too late to advocate for policies that would save these fifty-plus lives in Vegas, that doesn’t mean we can’t do something for people in the future. And if now isn’t the right time, no time is. Because soon, we’ll be told that the country has already “moved on” and is “healing.” That’s how gun nuts win, every time.
Fuck all that shit. I’m going to politicize things. Even though I know, according to good, clean, ammo hoarding, Rush Limbaugh loving, Sean Hannity adoring, Donald Trump worshiping patriots it doesn’t do anything. And you know what? They’re right! We really should stop politicizing this tragedy! Because it never works to politicize things!
-Genocide of the natives
-the very founding of our fucking country
But except for that, politicizing things NEVER helps.
Here’s the reality, as I see it: I don’t have the answers to the gun violence problem. I just know we have one, and that doing nothing is wrong. I also can see how leaving everything up to the states in terms of gun trafficking laws just create a patchwork of laws that give everyone massive loopholes to drive trucks full of semi-autos through. So to me, that means something’s gotta give. Background checks are literally the lowest of the low hanging fruit, but somehow we’ll get bombarded with platitudes and stupid talking points about how even that violates the very core of what American principles are.