Last Saturday, May 6, another mass shooting occurred; this one in Allen, Texas, just north of Dallas. I live relatively close to Allen in another Dallas suburb. The gunmen, Mauricio Garcia, slaughtered 8 people, including 3 children, before an Allen police officer who just happened to be on the scene responding to another call killed him. The incident was the 202nd mass shooting in the U.S. so far this year; meaning we’ve experienced more such events than there have been days in the year.
In response President Joe Biden ordered American flags to be flown at half-mast. I thought to myself – just keep them there. At the rate we’re going they should never be raised again – certainly not any time soon.
In his own convoluted reaction to the tragedy, Texas Governor Greg Abbott stated he sees no need for any kind of gun control, but emphasized the need for mental health care. He’s right about the mental health issue. Part of the problem is right-wing morons like him still maintain that more guns equals a safer society. Using that “logic”, the U.S. would be the safest country Earth, as we have more firearms than people. If that type of convoluted thinking doesn’t count as mental illness, I don’t know what does.
In the immediate aftermath of the Allen massacre, however, Texas State Rep. Tracy King proposed a bill in the state legislature to raise the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21. (The legislature meets every other year.) But this year’s session is coming to a close, so the bill won’t make it to a vote. And I’m sure, even if it could, the gang of far-right extremists that dominate the legislature would smack it down faster than they would a drag show.
The Allen gunman would probably be happy to see that happen. He’s joined that dubious pantheon of angry White males who – aside from being afflicted with pencil penis syndrome – are obviously too stupid to address serious issues with conversation, so he breaks out his gun. Garcia turned out to be a White supremacist who had Nazi regalia tattooed onto his torso, as photos he posted to social media prove. And, like most White supremacists, he zeroed in on the usual targets: Blacks, Jews, Muslims, immigrants and queers. Enraged about (unable to cope with) an increasingly diverse America, he opted for the Hitleresque solution – just wipe out as many of “those people” as quickly as possible.
I feel that America has become almost jaded in the face of these massacres. I just know that more of them loom on the dark horizon. More helpless people will fall victim to the wrath of angry and/or mentally unstable individuals, which will only prompt more of the “thoughts-and-prayers” bullshit regurgitated by conservative officials who place the value of guns over that of human lives.
So just keep that flag at half mast, Mr. President. I see no real change in the future, except more bodies.