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Another Horrific Shooting
Tragedy on repeat
Note: At Steady, we often provide our “A Reason to Smile” feature on the weekend. We apologize, but we felt it necessary to postpone this week’s installment in light of the mass shooting in Texas, one of so many mass shootings in recent days.
Another place. Another killer. Another scene of mass death. Another example of the horror in which we live.
Each mass shooting has its own narrative, its own variables, its own arc of devastation. But there is also that common denominator: guns, guns, guns, guns.
Typically these aren’t just any guns, but rather weapons of war loaded with magazines full of bullets designed to kill enemies without remorse. But in America, these weapons are turned on children at a mall or in school, families on the street, concertgoers, parade watchers, grocery shoppers, people dancing, basically anyone just busy living.
And that means it can happen anywhere. At any time. To any of us.
These are not natural disasters. We are powerless to stop earthquakes but not mass carnage from guns. Fatalism is a favorite tool for those who peddle in death under the pretext of the “Second Amendment.”
This is not about guns for hunting or self-defense. It is not about responsible gun ownership. It is about a Wild West mentality in which there are more laws for opening an ice cream stand than carrying a firearm.
As we read the latest reporting, so many emotions tumble forth.
Anger leads the way. A deep anger at all who accept mass death, justify it, normalize it, legalize it, and legislate it.
Sadness, of course. Such sadness, for the families whose lives are torn apart. For the hopes extinguished. For the knowledge that it will happen again.
How many times must we write a version of the same story? It’s a foolish question. We know it will happen again, that the prospects of anything changing feel particularly bleak. We add exasperation to the emotional checklist.
Does it hit us with the same force each time we see these horrific news alerts? Must we add numbness to the sensations we feel, as much as we wish it were otherwise?
Hopelessness is another emotion we may wish we didn’t feel. But it is hard not to tumble toward despair when we reckon with the inability of this nation to confront and try to fix in some meaningful way how we stand alone for this scourge of gun violence.
Not exactly the “American Exceptionalism” one shouts with pride.
We can only hope that the accumulation of bloodshed will eventually lead to a turning point. Polls show that a majority of Americans already want reform in how we regulate guns (or don’t, more accurately), but our toxic politics prevent progress.
However, history has shown that movements of protest can nourish winds of transformation. We need this to happen again.
We weep for all that has been lost. We resolve not to let up. We work for the change we need.