CSotD: Where in God’s name is our backbone?

As often as I’ve complained about cartoonists sticking to their schedules despite compelling events, I have to say a good number jumped to their drawing boards last night.

But I was still left with the task of looking for copyright dates, because some posted old work and why not? What has changed? What is there new to say?

I did the above piece in 2005 after the Red Lake shootings in Minnesota, in which a boy killed his grandfather and grandfather’s girlfriend, then went to his high school and killed seven more people. It was six years after Columbine and mass murder had not yet emerged as a trend.

Gary Varvel pleaded for meaningful responses to warning signs, while Signe Wilkinson’s piece echoed the then-current Terry Schiavo case, in which a family fought publicly over the fate of a woman in a persistent vegetative state.

We still fail to respond and there still seems no chance Congress will disconnect the easy access to guns that keeps mass murder alive.

Last night, President Biden gave a brief, brilliant, furious speech to the nation. No performative “thoughts and prayers” bullshit but a genuine call to action.

Why are we willing to live with this carnage?  Why do we keep letting this happen?  Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it and stand up to the lobbies? 

Clay Bennett (CTFP) echoes Biden’s loss of patience with those lobbyists, and it was good to see how people on Twitter blasted the empty “thoughts and prayers” from people like Ted Cruz.

Cruz had to take the gun lobbies’ teat out his mouth long enough to make his statement; In his most recent campaign, he received more than $300,000 in contributions from gun groups, tops in the nation.

So I kind of doubt he’ll tear up his membership card at the NRA Convention in Houston this weekend.

He’s scheduled to speak there, along with Donald Trump, who has echoed a call for civil war in this country, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who issued a statement saying that murdering little children is not a good thing and that he has ordered an investigation and whitewashing.


Dr. MacLeod isn’t buying it, and his angry God echoes our angry President.

In his remarks last night, Biden noted that, when Congress banned assault rifles, mass killings went down. When Congress allowed the ban to expire, they went back up again.

The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong. What in God’s name do you need an assault weapon for except to kill someone? Deer aren’t running through the forest with Kevlar vests on, for God’s sake. It’s just sick.

As we all know by now, the non-responsive response to his question is a debate-club discussion of what constitutes an “assault weapon.”

If it’s not technically an assault weapon, then I guess those little children — some of whose tiny bodies were so torn up that they had to be identified by parental DNA — must not technically be dead, right?

Sick doesn’t begin to describe it.

Ann Telnaes offers a parallel that others have cited: These Right-to-Lifers are eager to preserve fetuses, but they don’t give a damn about kids who have been born.

It even goes deeper: They insist on turning zygotes into babies, but refuse to fund prenatal care, and then complain about the cost of feeding, educating and providing medical care for those children.

And when they are murdered, these heartless ghouls offer meaningless thoughts and prayers and wonder how in the world it could have happened.

Well, how in the United States.

It doesn’t happen in the world, as POTUS pointed out.

I just got off my trip from Asia, meeting with Asian leaders, and I learned of this while I was on the aircraft. And what struck me on that 17-hour flight — what struck me was these kinds of mass shootings rarely happen anywhere else in the world. Why? They have mental health problems. They have domestic disputes in other countries. They have people who are lost. But these kinds of mass shootings never happen with the kind of frequency that they happen in America. Why?

It was, of course, a rhetorical question, because we all know why, but he added a demand for us to stand up to the gun lobbies and demand common sense gun laws.

Either you believe in the Right to Life or you don’t.


Senator Chris Murphy’s floor speech went viral because the majority of people in this country wanted to hear it.

But did anybody in the Senate want to hear it? Was anyone even in the Chamber?

And do they have the courage to defy their deep-pocketed masters?


Steve Brodner mourns a decade of doing nothing, and it’s no coincidence that, when the Sandy Hook murders took place, Chris Murphy was in the House and represented that school district.

But the solution isn’t to wait until every member of Congress has seen mass murder back home, because, if that is what it takes, we’d already have the votes necessary.

Uvalde, Texas is represented by Tony Gonzalez, who proudly tweeted this a year ago.

Then, yesterday, he offered his thoughts and prayers, quoting Matthew 19.

He might better have read the previous chapter:

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! … 10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. [11]

Uvalde is represented in the Senate by Ted Cruz, and by John Cornyn, who sends …

… well, you know.


Same News, Different Day

As DD Degg reported yesterday, Clay Jones has been awarded the cartooning prize in the RFK Human Rights Award.

This was one of the timeless pieces in his portfolio.


2 thoughts on “CSotD: Where in God’s name is our backbone?

  1. Maybe it’s time we stopped drawing on this issue. If I stacked up all the many gun cartoons I’ve drawn over the years, taped them together and strapped them on the front and back of a Texas fourth grader, they still wouldn’t have stopped the bullets that killed the children in Texas yesterday. I grieve for their parents and for the souls of the politicians who can’t at least take assault rifles out of the hands of civilians.

  2. It’s worth noting that the Founding Fathers did NOT intend the 2d Amendment to mean every citizen got to own as many guns as they wanted, and it certainly was not so people could overthrow an oppressive government. Hell, Washington himself as President raised a force to put down the Whiskey Rebellion.

    The 2d Amendment was put into place to guarantee armed state militias, which were to take the place of a large, standing military. They didn’t trust leaving the executive branch with a large military under its command even with Congress as a check. By using militias when needed, it left some control in the hands of the state governors, a check on the power of an ambitious president.

    FTM, the popular idea that it was meant as a check on state power by the citizenry isn’t even as old as Roe. It dates to the mid-late 1970s.

Comments are closed.