I think it’s been clear to many people, if not most who know of Charlie Kirk that he’s just a whiney kid who early on got a big microphone and used it to spread his ignorant, fascist opinions based pretty much on not knowing better.
Charlie Kirk, if you’re unaware of him, is an extreme-right activist who founded the group Turning Point USA in 2012 when he was 19 (not old enough to drink without having an adult with him in any state) and now has a radio talk show. While he’s no longer the wet-behind-the-ears innocent he was back then, and at 29 should know better, when you really were almost totally empty to start with – even though there’s plenty of room to learn and grow – it’s sometimes very difficult to build a foundation on absolutely nothing.
That said, if you had any doubt about who Charlie Kirk is, let his broadcast yesterday make it clear. Importantly, know that it came after the country's latest mass shooting, this time in Louisville, when at least 13 people were shot and, so far, five of them killed. This was the 132nd mass shooting in America this year, after just 100 days. Oh, and after there was another shooting in Louisville outside a community college where one person was killed and another hospitalized. The only good news there was that not enough people were shot to make it a mass shooting.
Among the “thoughts” from Charlie Kirk were. to start with –
"I think it's worth to have a cost of, unfortunately, some gun deaths every single year so that we can have the Second Amendment to protect our other God-given rights,"
Okay, before we go any further and also to give you a chance to catch your breath -- just to be clear, “some gun deaths every single year” is now averaging over 45,000 people dead from guns. So, if you bend incredibly far over backwards and ratchet that way down to averaging just a mere 35,000 gun deaths over just the past 10 years alone (never mind Charlike Kirk's “every single year” going back many decades) that number of “some" gun deaths is 350,000.
Furthermore, the Second Amendment is not a “God-given right.” It’s a right given in the U.S. Constitution, written by human beings down here on Earth who – at the time – had long rifles that took up to two minutes to load and fire a new round. By contrast, today a modified AR-15 can fire up to eight rounds a second. And do so with such power it could take a person’s head off. Something, I’m guessing, that the Founding Fathers didn't ask God about when granting the right.
I also question Charlie Kirk's use of the words "I think," when it's not clear that he really does, but instead just uses words that make him seem puffy to those who like him. And this uncertainly will become even more evident as he goes on.
Because please, don’t think that’s all Charlie Kirk wanted you to know. Because Charlie Kirk was just warming up and went on --
"Now you might say, ‘Oh Charlie, I don't want to live in that kind of militarized society.’ I'm afraid we're already heading towards that, and I would rather have citizens have that ability where it's decentralized than just the government have that ability where it's centralized."
Except…well, honestly, I don’t think that’s what most people might actually say to him after hearing he’s okay with 350,000 gun deaths over just the past decade as “some.” I think what most might say is – “O my dear God, are you totally out of your mind??!!! How cold, heartless, unthinking and blood-thirsty murdering soulless are you?!!
And if anyone did decide to respond to his specific points, I think they might say, “People freely owning guns without restriction and massive gun deaths is not indicative of a militarized society. A militarized society when the government controls the population through the armed forces. What you, young master Charlie, are describing instead is chaos and anarchy. And the only reason we might be ‘heading towards that’ is because of the proliferation of open guns that you and the extreme right fascists are pushing.”
But no, even at that Charlie Kirk isn’t done. Because there are oh-so-much deeper holes he can dig for his fascist little self. Like –
"And, of course, our hearts go out to the victims in Kentucky for every one of these situations. But we cannot allow them to emotionally hijack the narrative."
Interestingly, “We cannot allow them to emotionally hijack the narrative” is almost exactly how I feel about the fascist Charlie Kirks of the world and those in his extreme right fascist world.
But mostly, I just grit my teeth and roll my eyes as he does his best to figure out how to express what is supposed to seem like sympathy to humans by saying “our hearts go out to the victims,” because clearly they don’t. Not when you say you’re okay with 350,000 gun victims over just the past decade, which are "worth" it. Instead, it appears that he and the mob he's talking to are celebrating the victims as being almost an essential part of his personal sense of liberty. Most especially when you describe honoring those victims as “hijacking the narrative.” No, those deaths aren’t hijacking anything – they are the narrative. The five mass shooting deaths yesterday in Louisville, the 48,000 gun deaths a year, the 350,000 gun deaths in just the past decade are the whole point of the outrage!
And no, don’t think that Charlie Kirk is done. Because he can’t stop himself and just keeps rambling on, as he travels on his road trip to hell. And adds –
“You must use reason when you look at these things. A free society comes with a cost, and that cost is worth it. Liberty is worth it."
Honestly, I’m not sure if Charlie Kirk has used reason in most anything he yammers about. If he did, just for starters on the most basic level, he would never have used the hilarious contradiction of saying that a free society has a cost. He’d use actual reason, not empty, bumper sticker catchphrases and instead explain far more meaningfully that a free society is not actually free at all, because like most things of value in life must be protected relentlessly, just like democracy requires vigilance, and that people must fight to keep it and not let fascism take over. Though that would require self-reflection, a quality it has never appeared that Charlie Kirk has.
The thing is, when fighting for liberty over the centuries, it’s been soldiers and nations united to go to war and risk lives against the evils trying to destroy it. Or citizens standing up in their country to battle back against efforts to undermine democracy. Fighting for liberty is not defending the right to massacre little schoolchildren while they are attending class.
Y’know, if you want to use reason to look at these things.
Liberties and freedom exist around the world in countries where gun deaths are miniscule compared to in the United States. Owning semi-automatic weapons, owning guns openly without restriction does not define liberty and freedom. It defines the Wild West and lawlessness that got tamed from which society was created that grew and prospered. It defines anarchy. Liberty and freedom are something totally different.
If you want to use reason to look at these things.
The thing is, when you don't have a clue. When you're still wildly immature at the age of 29. When you think you can pontificate about a Big Word as small as "reason" -- then you wouldn't realize that saying all these incredibly stupid, thoughtless, crass ideas don't make you come across as tough or important (other than to your equally incredibly stupid, thoughtless, crass listeners), they only serve to make you come across as incredibly stupid, thoughtless and crass. Even the most extreme-right gun nut with the slightest sense of reason and maturity knows that you don't say in your big boy outdoor voice that it's worth schoolchildren and others getting shot to death, and you don't keep repeating it's worth it, and you don't say victims are hijacking the narrative, and you don't say that these innocent deaths is what you want. You use dog whistles, and winks that your fellow-fascists understand and use the intelligence you hopefully have to craft arguments that that sound smart on the surface and only hurt when one stops for just a second to think about it. Because when you say that the killing of schoolchildren and others is "worth" it -- especially on the day of a mass murder, followed by another multiple shooting -- you immediately lose everyone else. And risk losing everyone else from listening to anything you might ever say.
That is, if you want to use reason to look at these things.
In the end, though, all this is not about Charlie Kirk. He’s just a whiney, petulant, dangerous megaphone who thinks because words come out of his mouth that makes him wise. This is about all those who listen to Charlie Kirk and agree with him, the extremist, far right fascists who seem to believe that God gave them the right to stand their ground and blow away anyone they don’t like.
And given that this is a core of the Republican Party base, then until Republican leadership disavows itself of such voices among the base and condemns it, condemns this empty-headed view that the deaths of schoolchildren, the deaths of those going to their bank, the deaths of those going to their church or synagogue or grocery store or movie theater or nightclub or concert, the deaths of 48,000 Americans a year, the deaths of at least 350,000 Americans over only the past decade are “worth it,” and that being outraged by such deaths is “hijacking the narrative,” then this is about the Republican Party itself. Not merely a Charlie Kirk who, trying hard to be fair to him, just doesn’t know any better.
Ron DeSantis, for instance, knows better. And he’s currently the second choice of Republicans to lead their party. And under his leadership, Florida just passed a law allowing people to carry a gun without a permit – or training. And Republicans were silent about that, not a word among others leaders in condemnations. Just as they were also silent when North Carolina voted to override a veto by the Democratic governor of a bill removing the need to get a permit to buy a gun.
Because this is on the Republican Party.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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