Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Enough and Done

Yesterday morning I woke up to the news of what is now being called the largest mass shooting in our nation's history.  The story was on the radio as I made breakfast.  It was on my Facebook feed as I checked on it at work.  It was on the radio again as I cooked dinner.  Discussion of it was absent at my evening rehearsal, but then I was confronted with it again from multiple sources when I went back to work to finish a few things before finally returning home to crawl in bed.

I was not surprised this shooting happened.  In all the coverage I heard in and around Las Vegas, nobody sounded surprised.

You know what did surprise me a little?  I had no tears for this event.  None.  I am fatigued.  I was distressed in the abstract.  I was sad for the victims and their families in a general way.

I'm sure I would feel more upset if I looked into details, but I don't want to.  It's borrowed suffering at that point.  That's not helping anyone and I don't even know if it's respectful because most of the coverage yesterday was starting to feel like tragedy porn.  Since we know there is zero legislative will to address any of it, all the passion worked up by strangers like me at a distance is worthless and self-destructive.

I am so hopeless about our nation's inability to do something about this uniquely American problem that I'm beyond even being properly angry.  I'm angry now in the same way I'm sad--on principle, and out of decency.  But I am beyond thinking anything will be done.

And yet, I have this space.  This space to try and say something, and to say nothing at this time is wrong.

But I've said things here already:

I wrote something when the mass shootings started to hit closer to home.

I wrote something after Sandy Hook.

I wrote what I learned while trying to be more active after Sandy Hook.

I laid out where I thought the middle ground might be.

I have even written about how tired I am of writing about this.

I don't know what more I can say.  I can voice disgust that stocks went up for gun companies yesterday.  Just when I think nothing can shock me, that someone is delighting in profiting from this tragedy does.  I'm tired of people who throw up their hands and come up with every excuse they can muster about why gun control will never work here.  How would we know?  Can we try?  Something?  Anything?

I knew after Sandy Hook.  If that didn't move anyone who needed to be moved to change, nothing will.  I've had enough, but I don't know what more can be done.  Once we have literally accepted human sacrifice as a defensible offering to the second amendment I don't know where we go from here, because that is irrational and inhumane to a degree there is no reasoning with.

I will call my legislators again.  Maybe this time will be different.  I doubt it.  At the very least I can know I used my voice to speak up for what I believe is right, even if on a practical level it's no better than screaming at a wall.  At least I will be able to live with myself a little better, even if the wall continues not to care.


  1. Yes to all of that. That is exactly how I feel. And double or triple yes on the coverage-is-tragedy-porn. That's what it feels like.
    This plus all the natural disasters come right on the heels of a local school shooting that didn't make national news because it was small and these things are common these days. But I'm just done. If Sandy Hook couldn't save us, nothing can.

  2. Exactly how I feel, too. My hopelessness extends even beyond the possibility that one day, maybe, we will manage to pass some practical gun control legislation -- because it will invoke such fury on the part of hard-core 2nd amendment defendants that it might spark more violence. Continuing to call my legislators about this feels like a sort of blind, foolish faith. But I guess it's all we've got at this point.