The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

“We’re not gonna fix it.” ~ Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN)

That was the gist of Tim Burchett’s response to the killing of three, nine year old children and three members of the staff at The Covenant School, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Given that there have been more mass shootings in America in the year 2023, than the number of days, and given that mass shootings have become a sort of ho-hum, what else is new kind of event, I’ll give Burchett some credit for telling it like it is. Not gonna fix it.

I tell my wife more or less the same thing every time there’s a mass shooting and she says, “They really have to do something about these guns.”

My response to her is always , “They won’t. This is how it is and this is how it’s going to be. The NRA owns the cowards in the Republican Party.”

Yep, I agree with Burchett, but not for the same reasons that he put forth. After, “We’re not gonna fix it,” I hopped off the Burchett bullshit train.

Burchett elaborated by making a nonsensical comparison of school shootings to suicidal Japanese soldiers in World War II. “It’s a horrible, horrible situation, and we’re not going to fix it,” Burchett said. “Criminals are gonna be criminals. And my daddy fought in the second world war, fought in the Pacific, fought the Japanese, and he told me, he said, ‘Buddy,’ he said, ‘if somebody wants to take you out, and doesn’t mind losing their life, there’s not a whole heck of a lot you can do about it.’”

Does that tell anyone how bad it’s gotten when a sitting member of Congress compares a World War to an epidemic of school shootings? It’s an absurd flight of fancy that flies in the face of reason and in fact flies in the face of history.

What Burchett left out in his World War II analogy was the inconvenient fact that American soldiers, in the face of a fanatical enemy, took on the horror, the punishment and the casualties and did something about it. They didn’t throw up a white flag and say, ‘nothing we can do about it.’ If America and its brave soldiers had shared Burchett’s can’t do attitude we’d all be speaking Japanese right about now.

It’s quite possible that Burchett’s “daddy” might be looking down and shaking his head in disgust over his son’s cowardice and defeatism.

Why don’t we just take Burchett’s attitude at face value, stop making laws and repeal every law on every book? Despite laws, people commit murder, they steal, they vandalize and they sure as shit speed and text while driving. Think of the possibilities if we follow Burchett’s lead. Think of all of the policing costs, court costs and costs of incarceration we could save. What a bonanza!

Ah, but Burchett wasn’t done. He opined that we, as a nation need to pray on it, “I think you got to change people’s hearts. You know, as a Christian, as we talk about in the church, and I’ve said this many times, I think we really need a revival in this country” Well, glory, fucking, hallelujah, there you go, it’s that simple. Let’s have a good old fashioned national evangelical tent show and God will make it all go away.

I’m starting to be of the opinion that maybe there should be a religious test given to people who run for office. No, not in the sense that’s popular with the right wing, that in order to run for office one should be an upright, God fearing Christian. I’m of the opposite opinion that if you want to run for office and you think this country “needs a revival,” then maybe you should be disqualified from office. I firmly believe that next to guns and fascism, religion, and specifically Christianity, is one of the greatest threats to America. It’s clear that in America, the three, fascism, guns and Christianity, often travel hand in hand in hand.

During his interview Burchett had a tone deaf moment, because, that’s what Republican politicians do. Burchett was asked, “What else should be done to protect people like your little girl from being safe in school?”

“Well, we homeschool her,” he responded with a shrug. “But you know, that’s our decision. Some people don’t have that option and frankly, some people don’t need to do it. I mean, they don’t have to. It just suited our needs much better.”

Translated that means, ‘Oh, the little woman has to work? Sucks for you then. Buy the kiddos some body armor.’


The good people of Nashville won’t get any sympathy from their very own representative, Andy Ogles. During the holiday season of goodwill in 2021, Ogles and his family posted a yuletide Christmas card on social media in which he, his wife and two of his children posed, strapped, in front of a Christmas tree with the greeting, “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” Happy birthday to you, Prince of Peace.

Ogles remains unapologetic.

After the Nashville shooting, and in typical GOP fashion, Ogles sent his thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families. It’s up to the people of Nashville now. They can send Ogles and his guns back to Congress or tell him to shove his guns and go find a job as a barista. “Two shots with almond milk, Andy.”

Burchett is right, nothing is going to happen. The Speaker of the House doesn’t have the stomach for action. You see, Kevin McCarthy, in his desperate bid to become a toothless Speaker gave away the store and part of that giveaway was to appoint three fire eating nut jobs, Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Chip Roy (R-Texas),to the Rules Committee. It’s the Rules Committee that predetermines the fate of a bill before it gets further consideration, and we can all be certain that anything containing the words “gun” and “control” will be dead before arrival.

When asked his reaction to the Nashville shooting the Speaker refused to speak, telling reporters that he wants to see “all the facts” first. He was probably under orders from de facto speaker, Marjorie Taylor Greene, who keeps McCarthy’s gonads in a lock box, to keep mum. Well, Mr. Speaker, we have the pertinent facts. They’re the same facts that we’ve seen 125 times in the year 2023. Person takes gun(s), person goes to _________(fill in the blank), person opens fire killing _______(fill in the blank). In most cases, person used a military style weapon.

And it isn’t just the whack-a-doodle House that’s throwing in the towel. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), said in an interview, “There isn’t anybody here that, if they could find the right approach, wouldn’t try to do something because they feel that pain. And yet, when we start talking about bans or challenging the Second Amendment, I think the things that have already been done have gone about as far as we’re going to with gun control.” So the Senate has tapped out before the bout even begins.


This week, we’ve seen the right wing follow its usual script which is to point the finger at anything but guns. That the school had a glass door will reinforce the right wing argument that the shooting was due to poor security. Their answer is to harden the schools. Indeed, during an interview on MSNBC, Sherly Crow relayed a conversation with a Tennessee legislator in which the lawmaker expressed hope that leftover COVID funds could be used to fortify schools. That’s the Republican solution; fortify schools and arm teachers.

In an argument between a Republican Congressman and a Democrat, the Republican called for MORE guns. The old good guy with a gun argument. Ask the people of Uvalde how that worked out for them.

Nashville is different though. The Nashville shooter’s identification as trans provided new prey, and the wolves wasted no time in pouncing.

Fox “News” called the shooting “trans terrorism,” and Tucker Carlson went on a terrifying fascistic rant, saying, in part, “Trans ideology claims dominion over nature itself. ‘We can change the identity we were born with,’ they will tell you with wild-eyed certainty. Christians can never agree with the statement because these are powers they believe God alone possesses.” He concluded his bigoted diatribe, saying, “Yesterday’s massacre did not happen because of lax gun laws. Yesterday’s massacre happened because of a deranged and demonic ideology that is infecting this country.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene took to Twitter, “”How much hormones like testosterone and medications for mental illness was the transgender Nashville school shooter taking? Everyone can stop blaming guns now.”

Donald Trump Jr, tweeted, “rather than talking about guns we should be talking about lunatics pushing their gender affirming bullshit on our kids.” It’s not known whether or not Donnie was coked out at the time.

The shooter provided the the right with a new and convenient scapegoat to turn their hate filled rifle scopes on. It doesn’t matter that since 2009 only 1.3 percent of all shooters have identified as non-binary or trans. None of the soulless, bigots on the right, most of whom would identify as Christian, care in the least that the suicide rate among people who identify as trans is considerably higher than that of the general population. Just add more anxiety. After all they are, as Carlson put it, the anti-Christ.

Just another week in America. This week marks the opening of the 2023 major league baseball season. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves opens in theaters this week. The Los Angeles Lakers are making a last minute playoff run. Another round of storms hit California this week.

Oh yeah, and in case you missed it, there was another school shooting in America, this time in Nashville. Nothing to see here.

13 thoughts on “Another School Shooting in America. Nothing to see here.

  1. Jane Fritz says:

    All my favorite bloggers in the U.S. have the same mournful and despairing lament, each cry from the heart in their own admirable writing style, very much including yours. The ultimate go-tos of the gun champions – God and the Founding Fathers with their 2nd amendment – have to be besides themselves with horror and dismay. The right of everyone to carry assault weapons and concealed guns in classrooms and on public transit is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind. Their expectation was for a household to be able to have a musket to keep the British away. And God made humans to use the brains they were given, not to give away their integrity and the safety of their fellow citizens in order to get more and more money from the NRA to stay in power, just for the sake of power. The shining city on the hill is dead. And the ideal of a true democracy is extraordinarily unhealthy. Sad for the U.S., sad for the world.

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Jane,
      I can’t disagree with anything you wrote.

      You ended with, “The shining city on the hill is dead. And the ideal of a true democracy is extraordinarily unhealthy. Sad for the U.S., sad for the world.”

      Sadly, I can’t disagree with that either. Unfortunately right wing populism and autocracy is on the rise worldwide. I hope that the flame of the “great experiment” doesn’t completely go out and that the flicker will come to life again. I fear for the future of my children and their children.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.


  2. mistermuse says:

    What can I say? We keep seeing the same movie over and over, and nothing changes. It’s a beyond SAD movie.

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Mr. M.
      It’s an American tragedy. I don’t believe in banning movies but this movie is one that should have never left the can.

  3. Deb says:

    I agree with every word Paul.

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you so much, Deb.

  4. Toonsarah says:

    The sentence that struck me most in this post full of common sense and understandable passion was ‘in America, the three, fascism, guns and Christianity, often travel hand in hand in hand’. I’m sure you are right, but when you consider the core message of Christianity (love of neighbour), doesn’t that show how distorted that message has become in many people’s belief systems, including those of the clergy who should be preaching it?

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Sarah,
      Thank you for reading and commenting. You commented on one particular sentence that reads, ‘in America, the three, fascism, guns and Christianity, often travel hand in hand in hand.’

      I had to think long and hard before including that sentence. Religion is after all the third rail and I’ve written around the edges of it a number of times. I’ve lost enough readers over the past few months and it’s either because I’ve gotten stale or because I’ve struck a nerve, I can’t afford to lose many more. That said, I think it’s time that I publish a full post on religion and just grab the third rail with both hands. Maybe I should do it before my WP renewal comes up so that when I go into negative numbers I can just kill the whole site (as I write this sentence, my tongue is in my cheek – a little bit).

      Your comment, “I’m sure you are right, but when you consider the core message of Christianity (love of neighbour), doesn’t that show how distorted that message has become in many people’s belief systems, including those of the clergy who should be preaching it?”

      I’m going to give you a short preview of my (possibly) upcoming post. Clearly, I’m not a believer. That being said, I have nothing against the Christians who I am acquainted with and I don’t begrudge them their beliefs. We live our own lives. They have their beliefs and I have my own.

      My wife has a little altar in our upstairs and the Virgin Mary is looking down over our bed (awkward?). She goes to church on Sunday, I watch sports. We don’t judge each other and we’re respectful towards each other’s beliefs and we don’t try to force change on one another. That’s how it should be. Hell, if one of us was a Democrat and the other a Republican we’d probably be divorced by now if we hadn’t killed each other first.

      The brand of “Christianity,” that I refer to is the one that absolutely flies in the face of Christ’s teaching and the notions of good works, and love of neighbor. These self-proclaimed “Christians” are narrow minded, mean spirited and are working to shape American society to conform to their own twisted beliefs. Think, Tucker Carlson.

      I don’t believe that a person has to be a Christian to be a good person. Take Jimmy Carter. I don’t know how much you know about him. Jimmy Carter is 98, and a very devout Christian who is currently in hospice. He has spent his post-presidency doing good works. He has helped the poor, the hungry, the homeless and the sick. He’s never hidden his Christianity but he also never flaunted it as some sort of badge. I believe that Jimmy Carter would be the same good man whether he was Christian, Muslim, Jewish or Atheist. His goodness is innate.

      He was denied a second term when Ronald Reagan was elected. Reagan was a man who wore his Chrisitanity on his sleeve but he was a cruel and callous man. He was the antithesis of what a Christian ought to be.

      I’ve prattled long enough. Thank you for reading and commenting.


      1. Toonsarah says:

        I’m not saying it’s unique to the US but that particular brand of so-called Christianity does seem to be particularly prevalent there, from all I read, and its influence over politic is far stronger than any religion gets the chance to have in the UK. I remember Jimmy Carter as president and although I didn’t especially follow US politics then (apart from the Watergate scandal of course), I was very aware that he seemed to have his heart and his policies in the right place. I wasn’t aware however that he continued to do so much good after his term in office. You badly need more presidents like him, but I don’t suppose there are any in the offing.

        1. Paul says:

          The “religious” right in America has often been referred to as America’s Taliban. I don’t consider that to be hyperbole.
          Jimmy Carter was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. Here is about a one minute read on his post-presidency.
          I don’t think we have any Jimmy Carters in the offing. Biden seems to be a decent man. He’s certainly better than anything the Republicans are throwing out but that’s a bar so low that it’s almost below ground.

  5. Anyone can hide behind religion. Anyone can hide behind anything. The real trouble is the number of gullibles. That’s why we’re sinking.

    1. Paul says:

      True that. After having driven through the Midwest and the South I can attest that there is no short supply of gullibles.

  6. mistermuse says:

    We’ve seen this movie before….and before that….and before that….ad infinitum….and yet millions of Americans keep buying it. Anyone who thinks America is the shining light on the hill is looking at the wrong hill — the right hill is to the left (but not to the extreme left).

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