Yesterday it was “out of wedlock child birth, divorce, single parent homes and abortion;” today it’s “Black people, frankly.”
In an Around the Block post last week, America may be broken beyond repair, the featured photo I chose was a screen shot from a campaign ad from Blake Masters, a man running for the Republican nomination for Senate from Arizona. If Masters becomes the GOP candidate, he will challenge the incumbent Democrat, Mark Kelly.
Here’s what I wrote, courtesy of the New York Times Michelle Goldberg.
In an ad released last year, Blake Masters, a leading candidate in Arizona’s Republican Senate primary, cradles a semiautomatic weapon. “This is a short-barreled rifle,” he said, ominous music playing in the background. “It wasn’t designed for hunting. This is designed to kill people.”
If you actually clicked on the link to the ad, you’d see that Masters went on to say, “…but if you’re not a bad guy, I support your right to own one.”
Particularly after the events of the last several weeks.
As I write this on a Monday, a headline today read:
At least 12 dead in another weekend of mass shootings across America
The article went on to detail attacks in Philadelphia and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
But despite the carnage caused by the inability of this country to control guns, Blake Masters won’t shut-up! Here’s his latest outrage:
“Tech investor and Arizona Republican Senate hopeful Blake Masters acknowledges that the United States has a gun violence problem. But he also has a theory about why there’s a problem—it’s “Black people, frankly.”
Yes, you read that correctly. A Republican candidate for the United States Senate is blaming the unrelenting gun violence at schools, at supermarkets, at houses of worship and on the streets of America…on “Black people, frankly.”
Now just to be clear, all the facts are not in, but based on preliminary information, in the majority of the recent mass shootings the perpetrator was not Black.
In fact, according to Statista, between 1982 and June 2022 there were 129 documented mass shootings in the United States. Of those, 68 (53%) were done by White shooters; 21 (16%) by Blacks.
Number of mass shootings in the United States between 1982 and June 2022, by shooter’s race or ethnicity
Not suprisingly, facts doesn’t seem to bother people like Masters.
According to Yahoo News, “it was unclear why Masters—who has pushed the baseless ‘great replacement’ conspiracy theory narrative—felt compelled to single out Black people.” And frankly, I don’t have the time or stomach to list all Masters other outrageous statements, theories and lies. Suffice it to say, at least for some of us, candidates like the Stanford-educated Masters, who was recently endorsed by the ever reliable Donald Trump, are scary beyond comprehension.
The only good news is that in a field of five GOP candidates, Masters is running third, 5-6 points below the leaders. And in current head-to-head polling, incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Kelly is running 4-10 points ahead of any of the Republicans.
Having said that, Masters is still garnering 20% of the Republican vote in this primary. Based on what you now know about this man, I ask you, “How do you feel about our great country when your fellow citizens continue to vote for people like Blake Masters?
5 thoughts on “As mass shootings become a daily event, GOP theories as to their cause become ever more outrageous”
I beg to refrain from answering your question, Ted, not because I am not American, but because your country is not now, and has never been great in the eyes of the rest of the world. And the current state of affairs in the USA is making the possibility of America ever being seen as great is very very difficult. I don’t know that this is still true, but I once read that the motto across the doors of City Hall in New York City spoke the words, “Mow Your Lawn, Lady.” Sounds like good advice to me.
I agree with you 100% that America is not great now. In fact, it is a disgrace. And, I agree that America has not been great for a very long time. But, compared to other major first world countries, at least from WWII to the mid-’50’s, America was, if not great, if not Ronald Reagan’s “shining city on a hill,” at least near the head of the back. Accomplishments like the Marshall Plan put the world, or at least Europe, back together, at least to a degree, The fact that America’s two greatest adversaries in the last 80 years are now, perhaps, its greatest allies, suggests some level of accomplishment, if not greatness.
Go back to my story history. I’ve been critical of the term, “American Exceptionalism,” so many times, I’m getting tedious. For the most part, my explanation of this exceptionalism has mostly identified with how this country, particularly over the last few decades, has been exceptionally bad. I travelled the world on business. I used to be asked by many of my foreign colleagues, particularly after Bush II was elected and then even more so after his second election, “What’s wrong with your country. It’s bad enough you elected this guy once…but twice?”
As my last few posts suggest, the polarization in this country, the incredible gullibility (dare I say lack of critical thinking or more directly, stupidity) of so many on the right, has gotten to the point of intolerability. American democracy is a shambles. Our rules and regulations are outdated and because of our systems, unfixable. I’m going to be 76 next month and I’m wits end. The question is, what to do and where to go to escape the horror show that has become my country. Canada? Portugal? Iceland? It’s a sad state of affairs and there don’t appear to be many ways out!
Canada is a step above, but not a big step. I’m not quite as old as you, 72, but my health and poverty do not allow me to move. Where would I go? New Zealand, because I can at least speak the language. They at least have sensible gun laws.
I don’t know, Ted … seems like virtually no other industrial democratic country in the world has this problem. In Sicily, unless you watch US / International news, you’d never know a situation like ours existed.
And here’s a memory from years ago – I remember reading a Tom Friedman column in 2008. He was in China talking with, either a journalist, corporatist or whoever, somebody significant. He was asked about this black man who was running for President in The US. They discussed it and Tom indicated that he might win.
His companion was flabbergasted! …”You mean he could actually win and become President? That’s astonishing. What a country you have.”
Today, that dialogue might as well be from Mars, or another alternative time universe.
What has happened to us … and can we come back?
I’m thinking about applying for political asylum here in Italy.
How about a nice little compound in the Northwest of Sicily? … i.e. unless you have something scouted out in Portugal. 😉
Charles, your comments, particularly the reference to the Friedman column, struck a chord. In 2008 I walked around saying, “Can you imagine what the world will think about America if we elect as president a black man named Barack Hussein Obama? They would say, ‘America truly is great!'”
Can we come back? I’ve never been accused of being an optimist, so take this in that vein. I don’t think so. Polarized doesn’t do justice to the division in this country. Guns, abortion, voter suppression, gerrymandering, the big lie, you name it…the sides are dug in. And our side is polite, playing by the rules, while their side will do and say anything to maintain power and control. Supporting this has been Fox, the evil, disingenuous, lie-spinning “news” source for a large proportion of the country. (Except when the “news” does not jibe with their venom…like not televising the January 6 hearing last night.)
I spoke to a neighbor this morning, older than I (even older than you…Happy belated birthday by the way). I said you were a kid during WWII. I was born just after the war. Perhaps that extra 10+ years gives you a different perspective, but as for me, when I review the decades I’ve lived in I believe this is the worst in my lifetime:
The’50’s cold war and nuclear holocaust threats (remember the bomb shelters and the ridiculous “what to do in case of a bomb” TV PSAs aimed at kids); the ’60’s race riots and war protests; the ’70’s — Nixon, Watergate, more Vietnam, WIN (Ford’s Whip Inflation Now); the ’80’s Reaganism and the re-birth of the right-wing tropes that informed the country today; the ’90’s America’s decline and Japan’s ascension; the ’00’s — stolen elections, Bush the lame, 9/11 and (mostly) foreign terrorism; the ’10’s GOP obstructionism moving into high gear and the rise of DJT and domestic terrorism. And now this. Ugh.
Let me tell you, if the GOP takes the Congress in 2022, leaving an impotent Biden (and with gas prices and inflation running rampant, combined with all the GOP dirty election tricks, there’s a better than 50/50 chance that will happen), Sicily, Portugal, perhaps some others, are becoming more and more appealing. And, since Sharon holds a Polish/EU passport, residing in EU countries will be much easier for us.
More to come.