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Wisdom is thrown into jail


Jelani Cobb is good on how you can’t “politicize” what is inherently political:

All this was the context when Beto O’Rourke confronted Abbott during a press conference in Uvalde last Wednesday. “The time to stop the next shooting is right now, and you are doing nothing,” he said, adding, “This is on you.” O’Rourke, the former Democratic congressman and Presidential candidate, whose angry pledge to take away guns after the killings in El Paso was widely thought to have damaged his political prospects, is running for governor against Abbott this year. That likely explains, in part, why Don McLaughlin, the Republican mayor of Uvalde, who has appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show, called O’Rourke a “sick son of a bitch” and accused him of making the shooting “a political issue.” Senator Ted Cruz, who was also at the press conference, later said, “I get tired of all the politicking. It happens every time there is a mass shooting.” That Cruz used the phrase “every time there is a mass shooting” spoke volumes about how commonplace these abominations have become. Two days later, Cruz addressed the annual N.R.A. convention, in Houston.

O’Rourke did not politicize the shooting. The circumstances that make a mass murder of fourth graders possible are inherently political. The legal access to the weaponry involved is political. The most visible people refusing to see these things as political happen to be elected to political office. But O’Rourke was only partially right. Some of this is on Second Amendment fundamentalists and the politicians who translate their zealotry into law—the rest is on every one of us who has yet to find the courage, the creativity, or the resolve to stop it.

When an 18-year-old can buy military-grade weapons more easily than over-the-counter cold medication, that’s politics. When it results in 19 dead children, that’s politics. When you say that you can’t say anything about it at any point, that’s politics. When you advent ad hoc reasons about why you can never discuss the causes of mass killings, that’s politics. If you choose not to do anything you are still a massive sicko, not someone above “politics.”

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