It was probably a bad idea to suggest we might get away without another letter through the holidays. This will be brief, though.
By now the mass shooting in Colorado at an LGBTQ nightclub is about two weeks old, but some of the fallout is only just becoming clear. It is not my desire to make hay off a massacre, but it really warrants discussion and I think it's a mistake not to bring it up.
A Very Dark Turn
We've talked a few times about the various mouthpieces spouting vile rhetoric about, primarily, Trans people, but broadly all LBTQ folks and all minorities. This rhetoric, from the likes of Matt Walsh, Andy Ngo, Libs of TikTok, and on and on, has had a consistent if worsening trajectory. However, the wake of the Club Q shooting has revealed a disconcerting turn in the conversation from the far right.
The growth of Christo-fascism of late has meant that a lot of people have gotten a lot more outspoken about their feelings. Their hatred has been nothing if not clear, and loud. And while we may have thought that most of these people were running masks-off, it would appear that their mask had layers, and another has dropped. Some vocal bigots have simply come right out and said that, rather than this being a tragedy, it's the pure consequence of the victims' actions. They say that because these people are "groomers," violence has been called for and should be expected. Others have said, plainly, that the victims got what they deserved.
This is not coming from trolls, or 4chan. These are mainstream conservative voices spewing this vitriol. There was not a moment of silence or a recognition of the tragedy–they went straight for victim blaming and goading further bloodshed. Since the attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband, it seems that the far right is no longer even paying lipservice to niceties. Instead they are actively blaming violence on the victims and calling for more of it.
Not that their calls for peace or "thoughts and prayers" were ever sincere, but this is a frightening acceleration in their argument. Dehumanization has always been part of the game, but for there to be no recognition of a tragedy at all–for such a massacre to, in some corners, be lauded–means that they have, at least in those corners, achieved the complete dehumanization of their targets. This is new, and it's frightening.
The Basics Going Forward
I cannot stress enough that, if you want to be alive and thriving through the coming tumult, you should be thinking about self-defense. Whoever among you has the stomach to commit to armed self-defense should do so armed. Whoever doesn't should be seeking out non-lethal means of self-defense and unarmed combat training. Everyone, and I mean everyone, should take a Stop the Bleed course at minimum, and be sure that you have an IFAK with you or near you pretty much always. Any further first aid training is a boon.
You need to have the skills to respond to a shooting or other kind of attack because the police will not attempt to save you in this situation. I hope that's clear after the Club Q and Uvalde shootings. They will swoop in after most of the gunsmoke has cleared, tackle and arrest anyone attempting to render aid, and get more money in their budget the next month. And, unfortunately, paramedics–and anyone else–will be prevented from interceding by the police. It's become a slogan, but it's true: we protect us. Make sure you're ready to help.