The Boston Marathon bombing and aftermath brought out the best and the worst in American life. You could see them both for example on the same Rachel Maddow program (Wednesday's): the millions in contributions to help the victims, the Rabid Right conspiracy theories and xenophobia.
There are also many kinds of attempts to figure out how to prevent such destructive actions in the future. Because of the as-yet unknowns and the complexities of the Boston bomber situation--the dynamics of personality, age, family, unique experience as well as political and religious beliefs and information--that add up to never-to-be-completely-knowns.
But surely the point is that whatever those beliefs, motivations, etc. might be in this case or any other, what matters most are the actions taken. And dealing with those require what much of the Rabid Right won't deal with.
In previous posts I noted various intersections of the bombing and gun debates. Now there are clear relationships. It's the NRA and its successful efforts to prevent background checks for people who buy the gunpowder (the "black powder") of the kind used to make the Boston bombs. And the NRA's very successful efforts to prevent the powder from containing "taggants" or very small markers that could trace the powder back to the person who bought it. It's been technically possible since the 70s, and advocated by law enforcement etc. but the NRA and its congressional minions have prevented it.
Rachel detailed the absurdity of the current situation regarding background checks. A person can be put on the terrorist watch list, and therefore be prevented from getting on a commercial airliner. But they can leave the airport and buy as many guns and as much gunpowder as they want, legally.
In a sane society it might be noticed that while you can't tell how potentially dangerous someone is from what they say about their beliefs or what they read, you have a better chance by knowing how many weapons and how much bomb-making material they've acquired.
That doesn't make sense to the Rabid Right, because government is the enemy, and they need those guns and bombs to defend themselves, or kill abortion doctors and other evil people. They are so close to being the GOPer mainstream now partly because of gun manufacturer money, on top of all that oil money etc.
In terms of the electorate, we're probably seeing a time lag phenomenon: their time is demographically gone, but demography hasn't quite caught up to political structures. However, this reactionary phase is lengthened and made more powerful and dangerous by the uber-wealthy who use this dwindling group for their own interests. Money has a multiplier effect. Together these elements are paralyzing the federal legislature, weakening government's ability to respond to needs at every level. We're in the deep water of insanity, with no clear idea how close to shore we might be.
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