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Wince and Repeat: Carnage, Outrage, Call for Action and then We Forget

One thing I can tell you about this latest school shooting is that it isn’t the last. They often, like other mass shootings, inspire copycats. Let me also point out that despite the public crying out to do something, nothing of substantial worth will be done. We live in an era of mass paralysis when it comes to things such as this. Oh, these things can be remedied. So can poverty, unemployment, economic inequality, and getting into senseless wars. It’s that we choose not to.

The single common denominator in nearly all of these mass shooting events is a specific weapon. That being, the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. It would be a relatively easy thing to do to simply put this weapon into what is called a Class 3 category of weapons. These are weapons requiring federal permits, intensive background checks, and a federal tax stamp to own. Two shotguns (SPAS-12 and Striker/Streetsweeper) were placed into this category as “destructive devices” decades ago without a single mass shooting event having happened to justify it.

The weapons were simply seen as having no purpose beyond killing people and that was that. Now, we could do that with the AR-15 and “grandfather” the ones already owned. It might work, it might not work. But it cannot be denied that this weapon is the one chosen to carry out these mass murder events and that alone is sufficient reason to remove it from the equation as much as possible.

This, however, will not be done. There will be too much whining about “freedom” and the other individualisms that justify other crimes such as impoverishing people to increase profits and get into wars with people who have not attacked us. Our society flounders in the horse latitudes of inaction, unwilling to cast the horses overboard to save itself. We are unwilling to ask the hard question and be introspective. Ponder these things. What if it was revealed that the overwhelming amount of violence in television, movies, and computer games was contributing to the stream of carnage we keep witnessing? Imagine the outcry if it was said we should regulate or limit it. People who would be more than happy to ban guns might not be so happy to ban their own guilty pleasures. Click To Tweet

But, see, there’s this thing called making sacrifices for the greater good. We have arrived in a place where individualism has becomes the number one priority over the collective welfare of the entire society. As a result, no one can regulate a weapon that has killed more Americans than ISIS. Everyone sees it, everyone knows it, but so long as one group demands individualism over collective good, that is how things shall remain. Again, if it was also said we need to regulate the violence levels in media and computer games, we would again be stopped by the cries of individual choice over collective good, despite the fact these individual choices are bearing no good fruits for our society as a whole.

I daresay the First Amendment was not written to justify showing violence at a level that glorifies it and pretty much encourages it, as well as suggesting it as a solution. I daresay the Second Amendment was not written to protect the ownership of one type of rifle that is nearly always the one chosen for mass murder of people. We don’t need to understand why the weapon is chosen. We can find that out later. What we need to do right now is see the link, admit it exists, and sever it. And if we ourselves do not at least make the conscious choice to abstain from watching acts of violence and participating in it vicariously through computer games, then we are saying we find violence entertaining.

People are uncomfortable with what I say in this regard. Well, tell me how comfortable it is to turn on the news and see a school full of kids under siege, several dead and wounded, and heavily armed police and armored vehicles having to invade a school like it was D-Day. Is that comfortable? Is that worth owning the rifle that carries out these murders? Is that worth the choice to see a movie where someone mows down several people with the same weapon and giggles about it as if it were a joke? You tell me. You make that choice. But remember, we’re living in a society where we’ve got those choices freely available and look what keeps happening. These things don’t simply occur without a reason. Causes and conditions lead up to them.

Oh, we’ll talk and talk and talk. And another shooting will happen. We’ll weep and light candles, make memorials. And do nothing. Because we have forgotten what the collective good is. We’re so adamant that our rights, our wants, our desires, our conveniences, and our property come first always no matter who it hurts. And this is why we live in a society where children are mowed down in a school with a weapon developed for the military. So I don’t know what to tell you. See, we can stop things like this. But we choose not to. #WinceAndRepeat

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Jack Perry
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Jack Perry

Jack Perry is a writer who lives with his wife in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. When talking about the ambitions and goals of the United States government, Jack warns: "Always Assume It's A Scam." Jack writes, bakes bread, and is a Path pilgrim and wayfarer of this world.
Jack Perry
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