Don't Call It Evil. That's Too Easy.
Maybe it's our society and this sweet, addictive anger that we've fostered for far too long
It’s the only word that fits anymore.
You see the latest mass shooting headline jump across your screen or you’re on social media or a friend texts “WTF?”
And “no” is the word your mouth forms and somehow you feel it your body, too.
You ache with loss for people you don’t even know.
But here we are. Welcome to the America we have made.
And then the usual words arrive on our screens: Evil. Thoughts and prayers. Senseless tragedy.
Nothing Changes But the Names
In the United States, we live in a Mad Lib for gun violence. Fill in the adjectives and the location and the number of dead. Then:
Stack the bodies.
Do it again next week.
Swap out the mourners.
Buy guns and ammo.
Stoke, feed, and indulge in more sweet, addictive anger.
What’s the Answer?
I’ll admit I don’t have all the answers, just like when I wrote about:
Sandy Hook in 2012 (“Good People Must Act”)
and Orlando in 2016 (“Crying on Sunday”)
Mostly, like everyone else, I feel sad and useless. My meetings about digital marketing seem trivial while school children are dying.
When the Las Vegas shootings occurred in 2017, I wrote these posts on Facebook …. and I got vehemently attacked by men who claimed I was sexist and wrong.
But I was not sexist or wrong.
A fresh five years of data from mass shootings very sadly proves me right. (And to the good guys, I’ve always seen you and I appreciate you. But you’re not the issue here.)
What Is the Issue?
We have a problem with guns and male violence … and it’s a contagion, spreading in our society, accelerating and terrifying everyone. It’s literally killing us.
And we do nothing about it.
Perhaps we could start by (again) banning assault weapons. And then advancing other gun safety issues. That won’t fix everything but it might buy us some time and some relief from mass slaughter while we try to fix our society.
Otherwise, no is the word we’ll keep saying and saying and saying as Americans keep dying and dying and dying.
I hope we finally do something.
I agree that re-instituting the ban on assault weapons is a good place to start. The rest of the piece is going to take a long time to figure out. If someone is an arsonist, first you take away their matches.
Boys and men in our society are conditioned to not have feelings such as empathy and pain. I believe this is a huge factor in all of this.