The occasional massacre is okay with us

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better write-up of how America feels about gun control, deciding that the occasional school shooting or neighbourhood shooting spree is a necessary evil to protect the “rights” of ordinary Americans.

Posing with a rifle

Look, we’ve collectively decided, as a country, that the occasional massacre is okay with us. It’s the price we’re willing to pay for our precious Second Amendment freedoms. We’re content to forfeit the lives of a few dozen schoolkids a year as long as we get to keep our guns. The people have spoken, in a cheering civics-class example of democracy in action.

Tim Kreider just wrote a piece for The Week (There is no catastrophe so ghastly that America will reform its gun laws) which caused my insides to sing with acknowledgement and agreement.

America is far too divided (and hyperpolitical) to ever change their gun laws, as the massacre at Sandy Hook so clearly demonstrated. As his byline puts it:

We as a nation don’t care about any number of murdered children, no matter how many, or how young. We want our guns.

There has been massacre after massacre in this country, and the American public and those that speak on their behalf have collectively decided that their response to such tragedies is a temporary mourning, followed swiftly by a Saturday morning at the gun range.

It’s time to stop fighting America and just agree that no one cares enough to actually change this issue, and to acknowledge that the repeated and “senseless” “tragedies” are an unfortunate but acceptable casualty of your precious “rights”.

If we’re not going to do anything again, I’d just like to make one request: given that we’ve all agreed, if only by our passive acquiescence, not to keep this from happening, can we please quit pretending to care? Let’s just skip the histrionics this time: no pro forma shock, condolence photo ops, somber speeches, flags at half-mast, meaningless noises from liberals about legislation, meaningless counter-noises from the NRA about armed guards in elementary schools. Why bother going through the motions of soul-searching when we know very well there’s nothing to search? If we can’t be brave we might at least be honest: when we see the familiar helicopter shots of ambulances outside a school, the clusters of classmates hugging, the sobbing parents being led away, the makeshift shrines of candles and plush toys, instead of looking stricken or covering our mouths or saying “Oh my God” or “How horrible,” let’s just all look each other in the eye and say: “Shit happens.”

Author: Dave

Dave is many things. Most importantly, he’s a husband and a father to Ellie and Jack. Almost as important, he’s British (though he lives in Florida). Following on from there, he’s a WordPress developer and civil engineer, has an unhealthy love of hummus, is vegan, likes cider, wants to travel to Iceland and Japan, loves solving puzzles and is a realist.

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