Twelve people died in a mass shooting Wednesday night.
Okay, that’s unfair. The other people in the bar certainly noticed. Friends and family of the victims certainly noticed. Everyone around Los Angeles certainly noticed, which is how we noticed Thursday morning, the occasional LA-based tweet amongst a slew of other tweets not noticing.
The slaughter of twelve people in a bar Wednesday night was only a local story.
We were fifteen in 1974. It was, in retrospect, maybe not the beat time to be growing up in America. Our political memory began with a pair of assassinations six years earlier. Drastic measures were taken to stabilize the economy three years after that. The first of several gas crises struck a couple years later. And, oh, a President resigned that August.
A month later, we started high school. We were fifteen, after all.
High school was, well, high school. Nothing special about that. We went to class, we participated in band and drama, we did what kids do.
Funny thing about that: Not once, not then, not before, not later, did it ever cross our mind that some idiot might walk in and shoot up the place.
And never could we imagine the people running our country not giving a shit if someone did.
So, we’re still talking about it.
It’s been a couple weeks, a couple weeks since lives were taken, a couple weeks since lives were taken because of our collective inability to prevent lives from being taken, and we’re still talking about it.
As we should be.
That we’re still talking about it, about lives being taken that we could have prevented, that it’s notable we’re still talking about it, that we’re amazed to still be talking about it, is such a condemnation of what once was God’s Country that we should be trembling at the depth of our fall from grace. We should be ashamed, forever ashamed, at how much we have desecrated the values we once held dear, these self-evident truths, the first of which was life.
But at least we’re still talking about it.
So let’s talk about it.
Seventeen people were gunned down in cold blood at a high school last week.
This is a preventable tragedy. We know it’s preventable because nations around the world prevent it. In cases like Australia and the UK, it took a tragedy to spur action. But action followed, and the tragedy was not repeated.
In America, action does not follow. America allows the slaughter of innocents. If anything, America makes the next slaughter easier than the last.
This is not news.
“Millions of NRA members and not one has shot up a school,” we were actuallied on Facebook today. “That’s a fact.”
About five million, more or less. They pay their forty bucks a year to “help us defend your Second Amendment freedom whenever and wherever it comes under attack.”
Their money, along with that of weapons manufacturers, is funneled into politicians who work tirelessly to do nothing — or worse — to solve a problem that has killed 1.5 million Americans since 1968.
They are all accessories to murder.