Liberals, freedom fighters, and thinking citizens everywhere have nobly battled the forces of greed, the sources of corruption since civil life began. There were heroes then. In America, patriots tossed tea into the harbor. They fought the British to end oppression. Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and unnamed multitudes were brave and restrained in their determination to end injustice. Americans have marched, chained themselves, written songs, poems, and essays, seeking to reach the good in the worst of money grubbers and self-servers. The poor in France would not surrender to the structures in society that held them bound. Even here in the twenty-first century, we have seen youthful occupiers, joining forces to force reason upon the unreasonable.
Has that day ended? Have we reached a point in time when the ignoble have surged to be beyond hearing? Is it possible that hope for true democracy has ended and we are in the early years of corporate domination? How is it possible, with the daily reports of killing and bloodshed, from children, from babies, from couples at malls and movies, that the U.S. Government is now unable to pass a ban on murderous assault weapons?
In Brunswick, Georgia, two teens shot a baby in the face, as the infant’s mother pleaded, “Don’t shoot my baby.” It was a handgun they used. Why should teenaged delinquents have access to handguns, much less assault weapons?
The gun lobby, a terrible corporate force now dominating large parts of the American government, will quote passages written hundreds of years ago to suggest that the people have a free and unfettered right to arm themselves as if lions and bears were prowling the streets. But now, for perhaps the first time, the gun lobby can ignore critics of their profiteering. They have politicians and a vast array of media outlets bought and paid for. Now, they need not worry about the outcry from mothers and people in desperate areas; they merely sit and wait. They own the government, and nothing will stop them.
In the past, newspapers and pamphleteers gave a voice to those who reel in corruption. Brave reporters, like superheroes, pulled back dark curtains to expose the corruption in government, and among the manipulators who prey. Famed reporters in cities and towns said “no” to the evil and greedy. Where have these superheroes gone? Now the networks and the news providers claim a loyalty to bland coverage without direction. They say they only report, never take sides. When the good won’t take sides, the evil prevails.
We have reached a point where every law passed, every decree placed forth, is tied to invisible strings of money, wealth, prestige, and power. It has become a foregone conclusion. We are a striated society, and among those who will suffer are those who approach the points of extreme wealth but haven’t yet achieved that lofty stratum.
Even as politicians preach the need for education, schools are closed. As they close, pledges to “educate every child” become impossible to fulfill. Instead it becomes necessary to educate the children of the affluent, while discouraging the unmotivated or un-able. With fewer schools, the educable must be moderated. Those who are young and don’t know to stay in school will be, of necessity, allowed to fade. They will go back to the mean streets to learn the ABCs of crime, drugs, killing, and pain.
There are no superhero daily reporters to note the unnecessary repairs, the unneeded and expensive equipment, and the ever increasing climate of corruption. The people are helpless now; no one hears and none takes the gauntlet. We are moved by forces over which we have no control.
So let’s let the gun lobby prevail. Let’s pretend the founding fathers were right in their ability to see a future much like the violent present in which they lived. Children are dying. A culture of death and pain is fostered and growing daily. Yet the Congress is unable to explain why the weapons of destruction should be delivered to the streets and to the baby killers.
Photo of Ms. West, Action News, Jacksonville