MANSFIELD: Cry, Havoc!

 

Well over a year ago I penned an opinion piece in which I put forth a proposition that was deemed by some to be mean-spirited, preposterous and downright wacky: I essentially said that instead of a mass shooting occurring every two or three months in America as they had been occurring, that if they’re going to happen, it would be better if they were aggregated into a very short time span — something like a mass shooting every day for a week or so. My logic was simple: Such a preponderance of killings in a truncated period of time would rouse such public outrage that Congress would be forced to finally act on gun control.

Not to boast or brag about being right, especially concerning tragedies, but the two back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton indeed have galvanized the country in a manner that we have never witnessed before (not even with Sandy Hook or Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School), which sort of proves my theory. But alas, both incidents still are not enough to cause the Senate to act.

However, I guarantee you this: if two more such mass killings were to occur in the very near future — instead of months down the road — even Senator Mitch McConnell would finally have to listen to the electorate in regards to military-style weapons in the hands of civilians.

But while Congress still hasn’t changed because of the most recent killings, American society already has. It’s similar to 9/11 when, after the second plane hit the World Trade Center, I immediately thought, “Our world has just changed forever.”

Know this: The day after the most recent killings, when people on the streets of Manhattan panicked and ran over each other for cover due to a motorcycle backfiring (and people shopping in a Utah shopping mall reacted in a similar manner when a sign came crashing down, making a sound similar to a gunshot), they were signaling a profound cultural shift; we Americans are no longer feeling safe in our public spaces. And every future mass shooting — shootings that we know are bound to occur sooner rather than later — will only exacerbate the feeling of dread that is being inculcated into the body public.

Know this too. Political pranksters are no doubt already planning to capitalize on this newfound fear and do so for political advantage. They are already plotting to explode flash powder firecrackers (or other devices that sound similar to gunfire) in crowded venues to create panic, in the belief that the blame for this form of cultural disintegration will far squarely on the shoulders of the current president. The problem is, the ensuring stampedes that will be created are eventually going to cause injury to weaker individuals, or a hapless child.

And know something else: Being scared out of one’s wits, being caused to run for one’s life, often with your bowels and bladder betraying you as you run for cover, is eventually going to frighten the public into staying home. People will avoid going to shopping in malls and big-box stores, quit attending concerts and sporting events, and generally eschew any activity that might make them the target of a deranged individual with an easily acquired high-powered and high-capacity weapon of mass destruction. The nation, sadly, is going to be held hostage by right-wing madmen with angry agendas.

Try as he might, tRump is not going to be able to distance himself from the fear caused by deranged shooters, not as long as they leave manifestos that echo the disgusting and hateful views he regularly espouses. There can no longer be any doubt that he is pushing marginal people over the edge. And as the fear mounts — as unfortunately it will since no one has yet discovered a method of putting a genie back into the bottle once it has escaped — it will be converted to anger, and anger always has to have a target.

Know this final thing: The justifiable anger will eventually find its way to the doorstep of the White House, which is exactly where it belongs. tRump has been playing with the dynamite of hatred and fear, and eventually it’s going to explode in his hands.

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier mansfieldfATgmail.com. Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsInc.

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