Actual Reality

Barry Dredze
4 min readNov 24, 2022
(Photo: David Zalubowski, AP)

Many of our most severe issues and their obstacles to sound public policies for dealing with them are coming together within the story of the recent Club Q mass shooting in Colorado Springs.

From the proliferation of the acting out of toxically masculine second amendment fantasies and the cynical mythologies of Law & Order to the seemingly endless series of cheaply manufactured panics over “political correctness” and “identity politics,” poison narratives infect our communications media, taking on lives of their own, intruding on cultural escape routes, like sports and entertainment, and into the most private lives and intimate relationships of each and every one of us.

Death cultist and US Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene of Georgia has desperately been trying to shoehorn the BorDer CrISis! into any issue that wanders through her Twitter feed. She tried it in the aftermath of the Club Q shooting after the Independent reported her having recently tried it with Ukraine at a November 17 press conference:

“We’re ignoring the dangers happening at our border and the national security crisis that’s happening in our country while we are completely protecting another country’s border and also waging a proxy war with Russia,” she said. She also noted correctly that 56,516 Americans overdosed on fentanyl in 2020. “This is a tragedy that’s happening, and it’s practically invisible,” she said.

The Independent went on to cite that “an analysis of US Customs and Border Protection data from Immigration Impact found that 95 per cent of all fentanyl seized came from a port of entry or by a CBP vehicle checkpoint. Similarly, the CATO report cited data showing that according to the US Sentencing Commission, 86.3 per cent of convicted fentanyl traffickers were American citizens.”

The following Monday, less than 48 hours after the Club Q shooting, Greene was using the fentanyl/border narrative in a Twitter thread attacking the Biden administration. “Tragically, 300 Americans die of fentanyl poisoning everyday in America and Biden says and does nothing. Tragically, 5 people were killed in a shooting in Colorado and Biden immediately demands a ban on assault weapons,” she tweeted. “The solutions are this: 1. Secure the border and stop the drugs. 2. Defend our right to keep and bear arms so that people can defend themselves…

Barry Dredze

Just another mortal, tweaking my cognitive map on the fly.