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DM27 Classrooms Filled with Blood


Daen's Musings #27- Classrooms Filled with Blood

Hey, all.

I know it's been a while since I've done a Musing. I've been focused on a new sci-fi novel, and writing bits of Drive to upload piece by piece. Still, the events at Robb Elementary demand a response. From all of us.

For any Americans living under a rock, let me explain. Two days ago, an eighteen year old walked into Robb Elementary school in Uvalde Texas, with an AR rifle he'd bought only days before. He used it to kill 2 teachers and a bunch of grade schoolers, before getting shot himself.

The national response has been just as predictable as it is depressing.

The people cry out about gun control. The politicians claim to hear them, and promise to do something about it. Or they claim to hear them, but that there's nothing that can be done, depending on which color they wear. Neither side intends to do anything, because it's profitable to let things continue as they are.

We know something can be done about this! We've SEEN it happen, in other countries! We've seen places like New Zealand and Australia take notice of attacks like this, and take immediate, and effective, action to stop it!

At first, I didn't react too strongly to all this. Because mass shootings in America happen more than once per day on average, I've become dead inside for the most part. It was only after a conversation with a co-worker that I realized this was reaching more than just me.

This is one of the same co-workers I've mentioned in earlier Musings. He's one of the most passive people I've ever met. Pretty much everything slides off his back. He's a black man, living and working in a Southern state, and he didn't even get worked up during the BLM protests following the George Floyd murder. But this? This school shooting got to him.

"Kids- little kids- shouldn't be worrying about dying at school!" He told me angrily. "They just got past worrying about Covid, and now they have to worry about being shot! What is happening to us?"

I asked him who he meant by 'us', and he eventually said the country itself. I agreed with him, and our conversation moved on to what to do about it. I'm slightly more politically interested than he is, so I offered to get him a list of local politicians he could vote for, who have publicly endorsed gun restrictions.

He shook his head. "There's nothing making them do what they say they will! We got all these politicians saying it's such a shame. Saying 'thoughts and prayers'. But none of them are doing anything to stop it!"

There! Right there, he hit the nail on the head.

Our politicians ARE immune to our wrath, for the most part! Unless they commit an actual crime and can be charged and arrested for it, their position in whatever post they have is theirs until their term is set to expire! They can do whatever the hell they want, and there's nothing we can do about it.

One of my currently favorite TV shows is The Boys. I even wrote a story set in that universe. In that show, one of the main characters, a black man called A-Train, finds out that one of his co-workers, Starlight, has been messing with Vought, the corporation that pays them all. Trying to reveal to the world just how messed up Vought is, and how many lives it has destroyed. A-Train is horrified, but not at what his benefactors are up to. No, he's horrified at Starlight for trying to expose them. "You don't f** with the money!" He exclaims. "We're gonna lose everything! I mean, cars, houses, bonuses."

She responds, "there are more important things," and he just sighs.

"You know, the only people that say that, are the people who grew up with money."

pensive silence

If you're wondering why I brought up a TV show in relation to a school shooting and gun legislation, I'll explain. You might think that in this example, A-Train represents us as normal Americans: angry at what's going on, but not sure what to do about it. Starlight probably represents gun restriction advocates, who are trying to make the world better, but causing bigger problems doing so. Vought is most likely our gun industry. Doing horrible things, to be sure, but also too powerful to attack directly.

When A-Train urges her to never f*** with the money, he's doing so out of fear for his own well-being. He doesn't want Starlight to succeed, because if Vought is punished, his own money will be affected, and as someone who didn't have money growing up, he knows very well what that feels like. He doesn't want her to try and fail either, because Vought will retaliate, and his money will probably be affected just the same. In his mind, it's better to just let them do what they're doing, and try to make the best of it.

The thing is, in reality, we're not A-Train. We're not the helpless individual, at the mercy of the great and powerful corporation. WE'RE THE MONEY here, people! WE are the ones with the power! They (in this example, the politicians and the gun industry), work for US!

So, no. I'm not going to advocate for gun restrictions here. I mean it's a good idea, and we should definitely do it, but it's not why I'm here. I'm advocating for a change in how we are governed.

The big problem with our current system is that our politicians know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are immune to us. They can break any promises they make on the campaign trail, because they know we can't do a thing about it. Even the ones who actually want to improve the lives of their constituents aren't actually forced to do so. And we all know how rare an honest politician is.

So let's force them! Let's alter our system itself, so that while getting elected is a long and involved process, getting UNELECTED is remarkably fast and easy! If, for example, one of our elected leaders votes no on a bill that, say, ninety percent of their district wants made into law, they can simply remove that leader from power! Not in a few years when the next election comes up. Not even in a few weeks after criminal charges have been processed and filed. Within MINUTES of the politician ignoring the will of the majority!

The process itself would be pretty simple. We've got people watching our politicians' voting decisions already. When they find out that a politician has acted against the polls of the majority, they send up a proverbial flare. A text goes out to the phone of every registered voter in the district. The text would be something easy to understand, like, "Representative So-and-So has voted FOR bill Such-and-Such, which makes it easier to buy guns with bump stocks. Poll This-and-That, taken only days ago, says that 78 percent of your district are against that bill. If you want to remove So-and-So from office, respond with a 'y'. If you want So-and-So to stay in office, respond with 'n'. Respond within the next 5 minutes for your vote to matter."

That's it. If the 'y's outnumber the 'n's, the politician is gone. Immediately relieved of all responsibilities and power of the office. An ordinary citizen again.

Interesting thought, isn't it? Workers are always more efficient if they know they're being observed, and kids more well-behaved if they've got a caretaker in the room with them. Why would our politicians, who are both workers for us, and behave like kids themselves for the most part, be any different?

Now I'm sure some of you are already shaking your heads at this idea. "What's to stop people from just using this to stir up trouble?" You might say. "If I don't like what some politician does, I can fake up a poll, and use this method to get them fired!"

Well, there are ways to make the system more secure. Vetting the polls in question beforehand, for example. Sure, some people could try and fake texts to voters, including lies about what the politician does, but it wouldn't do them any good. The responses would go to the fake phone number, and not the one that matters. But even if this method was occasionally used to fire a 'good' politician, it's no different than making our justice system 'innocent until proven guilty'. Sure, some guilty people got away with some crimes, but the net result was a benefit to all of us! Making it easy to fire our leaders makes our leaders more likely to pay attention to us!

Sending out a mass text is not hard to do. We have the technology. Anyone who's carried a phone on them during an election cycle knows what I'm talking about. Imagine though, that you knew your response itself had an effect on our system. That voting was literally as easy as pushing a button!

Greg Abbott is governor of Texas. His voting record on gun control has been... well, I gotta be careful not to use that language here. Let's just say he likes making guns available to people. If Abbott, or any other governor, or representative, or senator, or president, knew that they could be fired within minutes of a school shooting... isn't it reasonable to assume that they'd DO SOMETHING to prevent school shootings from happening?!? Wouldn't the direct result of creating an 'unelection' process like this be, among other things, safer schools/places of worship/businesses?

About half of our presidents since WW2 have had job approval ratings under fifty percent. That means that if this system existed, half of our presidents wouldn't have served their whole terms at all. To some people, that idea sounds like chaos. To me, it sounds like us having the power to hold our leaders accountable for their actions.

I've been clear that I don't like our government very much. I haven't liked any of our presidents to date, and most of our elected and appointed leaders are wastes of our time. But what if they knew that they were effectively useless? If they knew that the only thing keeping them in office was the protection of the majority... wouldn't they be much more willing to obey the will of that majority? Wouldn't they be much more likely to protect us, in turn?

Gun control is good, but it's not enough. What we really need is politician control.


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