It’s interesting that the only gun control measure politicians (and Elon Musk) can even somewhat agree on are so-called red-flag laws, which mostly target people who display signs of being mentally ill, because everyone, even sheriffs, can agree that “madmen” are the one group of people universally hated by everyone. Democrats, I believe, circle on this as a compromise tactic because most people agree with the idea (even sheriffs), It just doesn’t really address the root of the problem.
And, in probably the most inane response, a sheriff’s deputy from Tarrant County, Texas, went to an elementary school and gave a presentation that included photos of AR-15s as part of a “career day” presentation.
Their blustering even hides the obvious, which is that the police – and definitely sheriffs – cannot protect us.
Indeed, the entire apparatus – law enforcement officers, lawyers, judges, legislators – are to blame as they seem happy to execute people by firing squad so long as it is in secret, but when children are murdered, they pretend that they prevent – not create and protect – violence.
And why should law enforcement be required to protect any of us when the reality is that their violence is only intended to uphold a social order that benefits only certain people in society? The rise of Christian nationalism has made it clear that what powerful pollical factions of this country want is a Christian ethno-state where bodies are policed in order to assure the reproduction of heteronormative, self-sustaining family systems while the apparatus of the state itself is allowed to dwindle to a shriveled husk, no longer able to ensure that water is drinkable or that children have food to eat.
Police cause more violence. They kill residents of communities. They kill and abuse their family members (and children) more often than non-police. They even kill themselves because causing violence to others in a systemic way is bad for the human psyche. Therefore, the solution to violence can never be more violence – violence will always be in service to white supremacy.
On the left, I noticed an intense desire to analyze the police in Uvalde and how they failed to protect children (and white people’s disappointment in discovering that’s what police do). It’s true, of course, but also a symptom of policing in general, as Alex Vitale told The Intercept:
Instead of marshaling a robust preventative intervention, we wait until the problem expresses itself as a mass killing, and then we microanalyze the police response…This is a completely backwards way to approach the problem. Because policing is an inherently inadequate response to these things. By the time the shooting starts, the police intervention is going to be reactive. People will already be dead.
More analysis of how to “better” police response just plays into the hands of those who want more violence.
Meanwhile, the right is arguing for the closure of public schools. It’s a bit ironic given how the same coalition is not willing to pay teachers a living wage, ensure children have homes, or support COVID mitigation measures. But, of course, this has been part of their plan all along, a desire to return to segregated communities and white Christian nationalism. In a way, it’s the logical endpoint of their war on the rest of us — horde resources, bunker up, and send soldiers to protect the order that they have always wanted.
This article was first published in Posse Comitatus and republished with permission.