On the other hand

Greg Allen is a painter whose has been exhibited in museums around the West.

Brendan Trainor’s meandering essay “Tragedy in Las Vegas” secures his future as top fluffer on gun wag porn shoots. He works the massacre without sincerity and pimps the horror like a worn-out hooker on Fourth Street’s track.

After the de rigueur “Our thoughts and prayers go with the victims and their families,” he informs we can never understand how someone who mastered life garnishing every success could throw it all away for 15 minutes of rampage infamy.

Trainor bounces from bewilderment to heartfelt gratitude with a long list of shout-outs to all involved, celebrating their exemplary responses and sundry heroism, before sinking into far-right muck and exploiting the event to take a mandatory and utterly irrelevant swipe at Hillary Clinton, then castigate politicians seeking to limit these killing sprees through legislation, because, as he understands it, the cure for America’s firearm sickness isn’t fewer guns of decreased lethality, but more guns of unlimited firepower.

He thinks the answer to the United States’ near monopoly on firearm violence in the industrialized world is a more positive gun culture, apparently including, for example, the idiocy of guns in K-12 classrooms, including “Organized gun safety and responsibility activities.” I guess he hasn’t heard that the NRA’s program of gun safety for children didn’t stop them from looking down the barrel of guns or pointing them at each other.

Trainor opines that since the state is under no obligation to protect us he wants citizens to form standing militias. Yup, the old protection from the government gone rogue trope. A Posse Comitatus in every garage, because a bunch of gun nuts with AR-15s are going to get in the ring and defend us against A10 Warthogs. Does he really believe this crap, or is he repeating NRA talking points?

He points out that two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides. What he conveniently fails to mention is that women attempt suicide four times as often as men, but men commit two-thirds of suicides. The disparity exists because men choose firearms as the method of their disposal. Firearms allow successful suicide bids 85 percent of the time, whereas the most popular option, drugs, are successful a mere three percent of the time. States with higher firearm ownership rates also have higher rates of suicide. The correlation is apparent to anyone except a gun wag like Trainor. He also mentions Israel, Switzerland and Finland as countries that incorporate firearms into their civil defense structure and have low rates of gun crimes. Israel and Switzerland had a problem with off-duty soldiers committing suicide and addressed the issue by no longer allowing soldiers to take ammunition home. Regardless, Switzerland and Finland still have the highest rates of suicide in Europe because of the availability of firearms. Is suicide not a crime, even if self-inflicted? It is in Nevada. Peer reviewed studies show Australia’s gun buy-back program reduced suicide by 80 percent and homicide by 50 percent in participating counties, in spite of right-wing blogger claims. If every life is precious, Trainor’s positions are point for point unsupported by the facts.