I never wanted to write a post like this. I never wanted the ever-repeating reason. There was a time when a mass shooting was a shock, something unheard of, unimaginable. And there was a time when I believed that our country was composed of people - of enough people - who would demand something be done about it and it all would be stopped.
I was very naive.
After all the mass shootings, where increasing numbers and increasing vulnerability of the victims like six-year-olds keep mounting up, still nothing happens. I begin to fear for us. For our country.
It's not fear for myself personally. My fairly quiet lifestyle makes it difficult to imagine myself on the wrong end of an AR15. But I can imagine it in some distant part of my brain.
That's not the part that scares me. What scares me is the immobility in this country, nobody acting to stop it, everybody pointing fingers in different directions of blame. Scared, greedy and narcissistic people refusing to end gun violence with stupid catch phrases like it not being guns but people killing people, everybody's right to arm themselves to the teeth being somehow sacred, and hey, everybody fear fear fear those Others because they are the ones at fault.
Not us. No, never us.
I can't help wondering if the targets of the hate suddenly became the gun manufacturers and pushers, and all the scared coocoos began taking them out in large numbers, if then anything would change. That's not advocacy, just idle speculation when it seems the only action left to us is idle speculation while we watch the latest incidents unfold on the TV.
Sure, it's not an untouched gun that kills people. But how long does that gun stay untouched? Who gets to pick it up, load it, and start pulling the trigger, and why? The answer seems to be everybody. Blame mental illness, and retroactively define any shooter as mentally ill. Blame bad childhoods, bad economics, relationship problems. Blame the angry, the ignorant, the bully, paste the label "terrorist" retroactively on all of them and add it to the growing pile of so-called reasons to further arm ourselves.
Why don't we blame the greedy, who make money by selling the means to wholesale destruction? Why don't we blame the hate mongers and fear mongers who just can't wait to point fingers at everybody else and define them as the enemy so they can increase their ratings? Why don't we blame the politicians who leave their principles, if any, back on the altar of reelection? How about the press who sensationalize the blood and gore without ever digging into root causes, satisfied to watch us all throw up our hands and report on just how high those hands were raised. And hey, if the camera catches a tear... BONUS!
Why don't we blame ourselves for not doing anything to stop it all?
We want the silver bullet answer, the one simple thing that would put an end to all of it. There isn't one, at least not one we as a nation are willing to accept. The only way to end the mass gun violence is to end the guns. Period.
I fear it will never happen. We are all too busy crawling back into our little caves protecting those like ourselves, fearing and hating anybody different, that reason has fled. It's not them we have to fear.
We have met the enemy, Pogo, and it is us.