Guns and Russians

Mark the date on your calendar: March 24. It’s a Saturday. It’ll be a test for the up-and-coming generation. For that matter, it will be a test for the United States of America and a system of government that gets many failing grades because it has corruption baked in. March 24 is the day that student organizers have announced a rally in Washington — “March for our Lives.”

Anything short of an enormous turnout will reinforce the craven politicians’ belief that they can wait out the outrage that accompanies each regularly occurring mass gun slaughter, such as the latest one in Florida, by uttering a few “thoughts and prayers” statements. That way, they avoid the wrath of the National Rifle Association and its accomplices, who combine intimidation with campaign contributions to those who cower before them. Only crowds that are even bigger than those that attended President Donald Trump’s inauguration can begin to cure America’s sickness: our irrational attachment to weapons of mass destruction.

Even such an outpouring might not be enough. This is a nation with up to 300 million privately owned weapons, many in the hands of millions of people who feel they must jealously guard them with their lives — or more accurately, the lives of the victims of the latest massacre. It also will be a test for a country where most of us have the attention span of a gnat. Our thinking, or lack thereof, is shaped these days by social media, where it’s easy to take full advantage of our inherent superficiality. A certain president uses Twitter to great effect. Others prefer Facebook, like the Russian government. The latest indictment from Robert Mueller’s special counsel operation nails Vladimir Putin’s henchmen by detailing the highly organized ways they distorted the 2016 election.

 

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