Is it safe to discuss the school shooting yet?
I’ve been wondering when the appropriate time would be when the thoughts that have been running circles in my head could be put down to paper to jog a discussion about what had happened.
I used a running metaphor above, it’s probably lazy writing, but considering how far everyone seems to run from having an actual discussion on the issue it seems appropriate.
There have been almost one fatality a day as a result of mass shootings since Sandy Hook totalling 1,846 lives as of 2/19/2018. A number that has undoubtedly gone up since then.
However these numbers may be skewed, or they may not paint the total picture, or they may include instances that were not really mass shootings, or they included incidences where the police were involved, or they may include any other number of rationals people continue to use to disregard a phenomena that is actually going on.
Now In some of these shootings the AR-15 was used, which has become a media darling as of late.
The News' “It Girl” has all the makings of a star with her high profile appearances and hip nicknames like “Assault Rifle”.
The AR style of rifle is a fan favorite having been the style of gun used most frequently in these killings. Making it often the topic of discussion following one of these tragedies.
Many would argue that the utility of the gun is no different than many domestic hunting rifles or that the caliber of the round used is substantially less than many other legally manufactured rifles in circulation, like those that use the 30 ot 6 round of ammunition.
A round I will admittedly say, I had to look up on a google search of “Calibers higher than those used in an AR-15”.
Because I am not a gun expert. I’m not even a gun novice. I’m a guy who went hunting once when I was 12 and is using this information to make a point in an article.
Someone admitting they don’t know something...huh, go figure.
These people will say that due to these facts, the AR style of gun is actually much less dangerous and should not be blamed for the severity of casualties when used. Because it could have been a lot worse if used with (Insert Gun model here) or (Insert Automobile here) or a (Easily Manufactured Bomb Composed of legally acquired materials here). So that ends that discussion, because why are we talking about something when it could have been worse?
Now there are gun enthusiast who say that using the term “assault rifle” shows an ignorance of firearms, and thusly nullifies any discussion one may have about that fact that this gun, more than any other gun, is the type of firearm used in these types of mass killings.
End of discussion because we clearly don’t accurately understand the weapons at hand and now lack the credibility to discuss the topic further until we are able to accurately discuss the types of firearms used. No sense in pointing out the deaths if you can’t even get the weapon of death right. It’s intro to effective discussion 101.
On the other side, because this is multi-sided situation, there are those too who point to the disproportionate amount of firearms legally manufactured in the United States each year, which as of 2013 was over 10.9 million. They say that there needs to be further restrictions on gun ownership. Tougher laws, more extensive background checks, harsher penalties for misuse, and in some cases... an all out ban. However any discussion that may even remotely mean that our 2nd amendment will be compromised is a dead issue. American rights are important so the conversation ends here.
Besides there are millions of legal gun owners in the United States who do not kill people.
That we know of...am I right?
But seriously up to 310 million Americans own guns and it is not fair to infringe upon their rights because a couple of crazies. So we can’t discuss that, because as said before American’s rights are important.
However speaking of crazies lets not forget that there is a huge mental health issue at hand as well.
To kill all those innocent people you’d have to be crazy. I mean, you’d have to be so sick in the head to do something like this. But not all mentally ill people are crazy homicidal, in fact referencing them as crazy is disrespectful and devalues who they are as individuals. And if we do not show the type of respect to properly label the mentally ill, then we need to get our priorities straight before we even begin to talk about a bunch of dead civilians.
But let's say we got our labels right and they are in fact mentally ill.
Our government has pulled funding to mental health services to provide for these people so it’s the government's fault. How can we expect to stop a problem when the government is openly creating a void for more issues like this to go unreported and ultimately unresolved? It is now impossible and we should just stop talking about it. Done. Finito. Fin.
And when the government does act, and they arrest people who are suspected of being potential mass killers they are often infringing on a citizen’s rights. I mean it’s tough to arrest someone because they “look like someone who’d shoot up the school”. If that were the case then all the kids playing Yu-gi-oh! cards at my highschool would just be getting out of jail.
Side note: I graduated 15 years ago.
So here we are.
Just another mass killing that kind of just happened.
Kind of sucks.
If you noticed I made a point to address as many of the issues that seem to come up after the shootings because no matter what topic is broached people seem to find reasons to dismiss it, invalidate it, and flat out not talk about it.
It being that there are mass killings in this country happening more than any other place in the civilized world. Oh, that’s right...there are also mass killings happening in countries residing on the African continent. If we really cared so much about mass shootings here we would do something there as well I supposed. So I guess that while they are happening in Africa, our mass shootings are not so bad. End of discussion I clearly misspoke.
Looks like I hit a dead end.
It seems we as a society have an answer for everything. We know it all.
We know so much in fact that there really isn’t much to discuss with each other after a mass killing.
These things just kinda happened.
Now I don’t know much about a lot. I really don’t.
But part of me thinks that some of this has to do with living in an environment where our society continually reinforces the fact that we do not need to listen to each other.
We don’t even need to hear what the other person has to say because we already know that we do not want to hear it.
This is reinforced in our politics, in our media, and in our social networks.
We have hit a point where we can’t even discuss the runnings of our country because we align with a group whose animal is different than your own.
Are you F$%^&ing kidding me?
So it becomes less surprising to see that when people continually show us they will not listen, that more and more people go out and do something so outrageous the world will have no choice but to hear them.
Something as outrageous like shooting up a school perhaps.
But nah, how effective would that really be anyways?