I just received an email from our local Assemblymember, Marc Levine. He began by saying,
“This week, we saw another senseless act of gun violence.” He went on to pledge his ongoing commitment to the issue of gun control.
These acts of violence are no more “senseless” than paying “essential workers” sub-minimum wages while billionaires blast off into space. Or not having a universal healthcare system like every other “advanced” country. Or subsidizing fossil fuels and industrial farming instead of non-polluting energy and regenerative agriculture. Or building more prisons instead of ending poverty and building more schools. The list goes on and on. And we will never make progress on any of these “senseless problems” until we recognize that all of these social choices, while they may not make “sense,” make plenty of cents for those who gain wealth and power from these policy choices.
We, as a society, have made a choice to prioritize cents over sense. Or, rather, we have allowed this decision to be made and to stand as the basis of our social decision making.
And so, we are in a situation that makes no sense. Until we recognize, say it out-loud and change the basis of our decision making to prioritize sense over cents, all these acts of “senseless violence” will continue, despite the sincere efforts of people like our assemblymember. We cannot solve these problems without a fundamental reorientation of our priorities that will put people ahead of profits.
Abraham Entin is a singer, songwriter and storyteller who dances at every opportunity. He resides in Sonoma County.