Folks, last week, I paused any hilarious frivolity in my column to get serious — if, yes, a bit snarky — about guns in our country. Because honestly, the tragedies in El Paso and Dayton permeated pop culture for me. As much as I wanted to rant and rave about the state of the WWE, how mainstream comics have left me behind, or how Nerf’s releasing of a “value” brand was a big deal… all seemed silly in contrast. And while “silly in contrast” is a little of the mojo that makes Pop Culture Squad keep the lights on, sometimes, a Fish has to vent.
This week, I opened a nice fresh blank document from which to dispense the good times once again, and my mind went as blank as the document itself. Sure, I could talk about the Agents of SHIELD season finale. I could expound on my finally binging the entirety of Community. Hell, WWE’s Summerslam is Sunday, and I still could bitch about that with my eyes closed.
But no. Guns are still on my mind. I’m going to get a bit flagrant with my language. Consider this your only warning.
Last week’s article got us into hot water with a few, ahem, outspoken fellows (on the Facebooks, don’t-cha-know) that came as absolutely no surprise. A few of us at PCS took to respond to their vitriol with some of our own. But here a week later I can’t help but feel that ultimately — for the time being — those dipshit-dickhead-dickbags got the last laugh. Because at the time when it felt like perhaps we’d finally gotten the better part of the nation to throw its hands up in disgust and agree “something has to change”, well, I ask sincerely: what the hell changed?
Congress at the moment is on a five week vacation. And in spite of the tragedies, with gun control legislation on his desk (since February!), Mitch McConnell (#MoscowMitch), just smiled his little impish smile and the vacation continues without pause. And in a brilliant attempt to move past those tragedies… the Trump Administration did what it always does: create some more panic and anger-inducing headline to shift focus. And hence we learn ICE conducted raids in Mississippi that left children literally without parents to pick them up from school. And to this, our President (#CheetoDustedBagOfLiesInChief) simply said that this should be seen as “a very good deterrent” for any people crossing our border illegally.
Time the fuck out, people.
Not even a week after a deranged White Nationalist drove ten hours with specific intent to exterminate an “invasion” of illegal immigrants, the leader of this country had the fucking nerve to stand in front of cameras to celebrate raids on people who were working in poultry factories who shouldn’t be. I don’t even know where to begin!? Was there any discussion about the owner(s) of those factories knowingly hiring illegal immigrants — likely because they know it’s a way to cut costs? No. Is it possible the same White Nationalist domestic terrorists sitting in their bedrooms — MAGA hats on their heads, camo and AK’s and AR’s cocked, locked, and loaded in their hands — saw Donald Trump’s continued baiting and hissing at illegal immigrants, and felt reassured that their leader still thought of them as being some of the good on both sides? Almost undoubtedly. And when that orange-faced fartknocker had the decency to read a prepared speech about how in the wake of the tragedies it was time to put partisan bickering behind us… started slinging mud mere hours later.
Which brings us to the here and now. Bloomberg through his not-for-profit “Everytown for Gun Safety” threw a public forum in Iowa this weekend to keep the conversation going. 17 democrats running for President in 2020 took to the stage to listen to questions, give statements, and discuss how they’ll change things when they take the Oval Office for their own. While I want to celebrate the sober, smart, and measured policies of Sanders, Warren, Harris, Ryan, Bullock, Gillibrand, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Hickenlooper, Castro, Biden, O’Rourke, Bennett, Inslee, de Blasio, Gabbard, and Yang… I ask a simple question:
What the fuck good does it do right now?
Words are words. Not action. Not a single one of those speaking at the logical, intelligent, and compassionate event could say with any certainty what would be done now to stop the killing of innocent men, women, and children at the hands of assault weapons in our country. All they could do was deliver snappy writers room sound bites, and make mention of the countless plausible bi-partisan ideas that congress has discussed at nauseum for years without being able to concretely say when any of it could actually make it to the floor for a vote.
Because it won’t.
The House could pass a thousand bi-partisan measures — from an assault weapon ban, to universal background checks, ending the flea market loopholes, etc. — but Comrade McConnell will only crumple each proposal up to practice his garbage can jump shot. Because he’s in the pocket of the NRA (like plenty of his brethren). And because Donald Dumps knows where his bread is buttered come election season. It’s right in the middle of the Venn diagram between 2nd Amendment worshipers, Larry the Cable Guy fans, racists, and money-hungry billionaires. The NRA won’t back down. They’ll use PR to save face, while the sycophants suck up assault rifles before “the lefties take them away.”
And North Korea fired some more missiles. The story changes, and the dead have no voice to call us back. I want change. I want it now. And fuck all… so should you.