More shootings? Yawn…
I’m not outraged by the recent Aaron Alexis D.C. Navy Yard shootings that took 12 lives. Usually when I hear about a horrific mass shooting, my heart is in my throat. After all, my own brother perpetrated a murder-suicide 23 years ago and usually my blood runs cold when I hear about these incidents.
There’s talk over the shooter’s security clearance. Some say, because of his past incidence of gun violence and a “pattern of misconduct,” that the alleged shooter shouldn’t have had a military clearance or access to weapons. We’ve since found out that the same company contracted to vet the Navy Yard shooter also vetted NSA spy Edward Snowden.
There have been reports talking about the alleged shooter’s mental state. He’s been described as “hearing voices.”
And of course, politicians have predictably called for new gun laws. Senator Dianne Feinstein asked, “When will enough be enough?” CNN’s Piers Morgan quickly brought on gun rights activists and tore into them on air.
But I’m uncomfortably numb about it all. Yes, I feel for the victims who lost their lives and those who were wounded just going to work to earn a living. But we’ve been here before. The Huffington Post has counted 17 mass shootings since Sandy Hook and combed through 57 media reports of shootings in the weekend before the D.C. Naval Yard massacre.
Later in the week, 13 people were injured in a shooting in a Chicago park. Of course, it’s shocking this even made the national news because Chicago has been like “Grand Theft Auto” on steroids most of the year.
But I’m tired of going through the motions. Tired of hearing the same arguments and the same speeches. Tired of giving mass shootings so much attention. Just tired of the general public’s temporary focus on gun violence until Miley Cyrus or some other pop tart twerks us all in a different direction.
No new gun laws are going to come in the wake of this. If none were passed in the wake of children being murdered at Sandy Hook, this isn’t going to change anything.
As for the company involved in the security clearance fiasco, do you expect anything to change? Since when are government contracts based on competence?
And from Seung-Hui Cho’s massacre at Virginia Tech to the Aurora theater shootings, we’ve talked about doing something about mental illness. But it’s all been talk. Mental illness still gets the closet treatment in this country.
Maybe most Americans simply see putting up with gun violence as just a cost of doing business. In 1994, McDonalds lost a lawsuit against an elderly woman who sued after spilling McDonald’s coffee in her lap resulting in third degree burns over six percent of her body. After a $2.86 million judgment, McDonalds settled with the plaintiff for under $600,000. In the aftermath, McDonalds hasn’t lowered the temperature of its coffee and still settles lawsuits today. It’s just a cost of delivering the scalding hot coffee the majority of customers want. And maybe workplace shootings are just the sad price we pay to bear arms.
We fear the NRA, won’t deal with mental illness, won’t address poverty, watch families disintegrate and cut law enforcement budgets coast to coast and then we feign shock at exploding gun violence. Close your mouth. Nothing to see here.
It’s just the price we’re obviously willing to pay.