There are so many aspects of the most recent school massacre that are emotionally unsettling to me, it's hard to even process them all.
- I watch the interview with the mom who had to escape handcuffs, breach a police perimeter, and evade capture by law enforcement in order to enter the school to get her own children out of harm's way, and I'm dumbfounded. That's not how this is designed to work – everything about it seems backwards.
- I observe the emerging information that depicts a madman outside an elementary school building for over 10 minutes and am bewildered at how he could make his way into the facility unimpeded.
- I read the gut-wrenching transcripts of 911 calls placed by children in the very room of the slaughter that are spaced 30 minutes apart and am almost physically enraged at how none of those adult officers or school officials busted into the room to stop it.
None of it makes sense. And yet, if it's even possible, it seems the response from most corners of our culture to the horror is equally disorienting.
- I witnessed those whose initial reaction was to take to social media to defend the NRA. What? Why? First of all, 19 fourth graders, 10-year-old babies, lay in a pool of innocent blood – why is the NRA or the 2nd Amendment even on your mind? Secondly, this incident doesn't even involve the NRA – what makes it even remotely appropriate to bring them into the conversation at all?
- On the opposite end of the spectrum, groups like Everytown start espousing gratuitously misleading statistics that list things like an adult robbery attempt in a school parking lot at midnight (with no students or school related individuals anywhere around) that resulted in a gunshot wound as a "school shooting." You can read more of their unhelpful, intentionally dishonest data manipulation here.
- Then there are those who immediately start demanding we "do something" to stop the carnage. To a certain degree, I get the sentiment. It's rational to want to do something. But pay attention and you'll see that 100 times out of 100, that "something" involves a nondescript legislative plan to prevent these tragedies from unfolding.
Just think through for a second what such an honestly held conviction reveals about our civilization. Are we really dealing with a society so polarized, one where we despise our neighbor so much, that we truly believe there is some act of Congress that could stop these school massacres if that group would just stop preventing it from passing? Pray tell, what law would that be?
After the Uvalde massacre, Hillary Clinton joined the progressive tribalists who routinely express disgust over anyone offering their "thoughts and prayers" to victims and their families. To them, such sentiments are platitudes and anything but sincere. Fair enough; but are we all to pretend that these same progressives don't offer their own meaningless platitudes when they call for gun bans and waiting periods?
To date there is not a single piece of legislation currently crafted at the federal level or the state level that would have prevented that violent, deranged teenager from doing what he did. Not one. So demanding that Congress "do something to finally end this bloodbath" – when you know there is no legislation that has been written or can be written to do so – is just as unproductive as offering insincere "thoughts and prayers."
Unless your suggestion is mandatory gun confiscation, no currently unenforced and no theoretical future law, could have stopped this horror.
And let's not pretend that gun confiscation is even a remote possibility at this point in time. To the degree that it would even be attempted is a recipe for far more bloodshed than anything we've seen to this point, save perhaps the Civil War.
None of this means we have to passively accept the carnage. It means that we have to understand there's nothing to gain by reflexively turning on each other when it does occur. Any society that lacks the maturity and good faith to recognize that we all want this evil to end even if we don't agree on precisely how to end it, lacks the unity and fortitude it will need to make any headway.
I fear that's where we find ourselves.
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