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America Defeated Itself

Robert Rackley
Robert Rackley
2 min read
Man loading rifle.
Image source: Jay Heike / Unsplash

In America, those that lived during the time of World War II are often referred to as "The Greatest Generation." Their level of self-sacrifice and dedication to their country and to freedom around the world will long be remembered by history. They can tell their grandchildren stories of courage and coming together. By contrast, I wonder sometimes if I'll be telling my grandkids about the selfishness of this moment in American history. Instead of defeating multiple powerful enemies around the globe, we'll be talking about how we defeated ourselves. That thought really hit me hard when reading this piece from Elizabeth Bruenig, regarding the recent photos of politicians and their families proudly holding assault weapons in front of Christmas trees.

I’m not triggered, as it were, by the mere sight of guns. And I tend toward the belief that there are so many guns in circulation and so risibly few politicians demonstrably invested in taking any kind of action on even meek and meager changes to gun policy that there’s not much point in talking about it anymore. Our own politicians are celebrating guns at Christmas mere days after a school shooting precipitated by the purchase of a handgun for the perpetrator as—yes—a Christmas gift. America armed its civilians with so many guns that it conquered itself. I guess this is defeat.

Many knew that the ordinary, sane people who just want their kids to be able to be safe in schools had lost the battle after nothing was done following the Sandy Hook tragedy. Then-president Obama called that the angriest he had ever been as president. We've gone from inaction on the part of politicians to blatantly flaunting weapons with kids directly following another school tragedy. We went from those tragedies being outliers to being fairly commonplace. If a foreign enemy was killing our children in their schools, there would be outrage. We would vow to vanquish our foe. In our present situation, as Bruenig says, we allow or even architect our own defeat.

It looks like the Onion will be able to keep rerunning their famous satirical article, ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens from 2014. This piece will be evergreen because the situation won't change in America. Since part of our legislative branch of government seems to think it's their primary job to "trigger the libs," they will keep flaunting our loss. If America was a soccer team, this season would be littered with own goals.

Robert Rackley

Orthodox Christian, aspiring minimalist, inveterate notetaker, software dev manager and paper airplane mechanic.


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