This blog post is offensive. I debated whether or not I should publish it. After all, you’ve already made up your mind about mass shootings, and my words won’t sway you. But I posted it anyway.
What we don’t know about mass-shootings is when. Or where. Or how many victims there will be.
But that part really doesn’t matter, does it? Places everyone! It’s time to act out the latest mass shooting drama!
Act One: We open with reporters positioning so that first responders are seen in the background swarming around the crime scene as they offer Breaking News. The audience listens closely to the language used to describe the perpetrator. He’s mentally ill! means he’s white. We need tougher laws against criminal behavior! means he’s African-American. Build a Wall! indicates a Hispanic shooter. Terrorism! He’s Middle Eastern. We never wonder about gender though; he’s always a man.
Politicians and celebrities tweet their thoughts and prayers. A Democrat brings up the issue of gun control, followed quickly by a Republican response that it’s too soon to talk about legislation before we let the victims’ families grieve.
Act Two: News media outlets milk the story for all it’s worth by replaying any video they can get their hands on over and over again. They’ll focus on determining the motive, as though knowing a motive changes the number of people dead or injured or the number of police officers and medical professionals traumatized by the crime.
Meanwhile politicians and pundits jockey for air time to voice their party’s talking points on the subject. As an interactive audience, we’ll sit glued to our TVs or laptops to soak in the latest.
Act Three: The audience posts comments on Facebook or Twitter, and argues with each other whether stricter gun laws could have prevented this tragedy, or if there simply weren’t enough good guys with guns available to stop this bad guy with a bunch of guns. While we duke it out on social media, the gun industry will make a killing (pun intended) on increased gun sales. The NRA will poo-poo off any talk of gun regulation, as will elected officials. Others may grandstand but do little more than that.
Act Four: After a day or two of argument and fundraising, a fickle audience will move on to the next major news story, taking no action to end the senseless killings. We leave the families of the dead and those who were injured to mourn and heal on their own.
As the final curtain descends, we anxiously await the next mass shooting so we can act out the drama all over again.
You can rest assured there will be another one. We will do nothing to stop it.