Outside Reading — As American as the Fourth of July edition

Guns on Parade by Henry Grabar
Much as I think it’s broadly acknowledged that the constant cycle of gun violence, especially as perpetrated against average people simply going about their days, is dispiriting and exhausting, I sometimes do think enough attention is paid to just how completely dread has infiltrated all of American life. Writing for Slate, Henry Grabar effectively explores that facet of living in the perpetual aftermath of the slaughter of citizens by people wielding weapons of war that be purchased about as easily as a pack of gum. Participation in public life shouldn’t require the level of risk assessment and impromptu escape planning we as residents of The Greatest Country on Earth™ have to do, but the gun lobby, soulless Republicans, and a cowardly Democrats have ensured that’s precisely where we’re at.

North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, in Highland Park, Illinois (via)

The Jewishness of the July 4th mass shooting by Marisa Kabas

While we’re on the subject of considerations too often unspoken following these unchecked attacks on the populace, too much of the mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois framed it as an act of horrific cruelty not all that different from the myriad of other times an individual fired into a crowd of people. But there are clear indications that the assailant in this case was acting out of anti-semitism and the general bigotry proudly fomented by right-wingers in this country. There’s nothing random about what happened here. Like the gun attack at the Buffalo supermarket, at the El Paso Wal-Mart, and countless other places, this is the entirely predictable result of a mass ideology — propped up and exploited by the GOP for decades — that merges fealty to firearms with hatred against basically anyone who’s not white, straight, cisgendered, or, increasingly, a blind adherent to conservative Christian political views. For her own substack, The Handbasket, Marisa Kabas writes about the erasure of the anti-semitism in news coverage on the Highland Park shooting.

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