How Not To Talk About Mass Murder.

Welcome to the chalk outline. Mind the blood stains.

I’ve fed my inner right-winger pretty thoroughly with all this death penalty stuff, but along comes this month’s regularly scheduled mass shooting spree.  America averages a mass killing every two weeks which are different from shooting sprees.  By now, you already know more than you wanted to about the latest one as details about the killer (if not his victims) continue to flood out.

Here’s what I’m not going to do.  I’m not going to mention the shooter’s name.  I’m not going to watch his creepy video or read his even creepier “manifesto.”   I will the skip the armchair sleuthing for motives and amateur psychoanalysis for possible motives.  That’s the territory of the cable TV “experts” and I don’t want to horn in on their act.
This is the Internet.  You don’t need a blog to tell you more of what you already know.

This murderer was unknown to me a few days ago.  I will deny recognizing his existence a while longer.

I am confident the Bill of Rights is resilient enough to survive this latest “gutting” of it the NRA and gun fanatics fret over in much the same way it has every previous mass shooting in America. The organized stalwarts of the Second Amendment have been quite efficient in controlling the sort of conversations we the people have about mass murder and the use of firearms in these tragic, but all too common, events.

We seem to have fallen into an automatic response to these sort of things. First things first: let’s name the shooter, speculate on what his motives might be, (because it nearly always is a male).

Later we can get to the mundane little details like who our shooter killed in his rampage and much later we just might get around to what the efficacy and effectiveness is of using a gun when you absolutely positively want to kill a lot of human beings in as little time as possible.

This is how Americans deal with mass shooting events.

1. Speculate and theorize in the absence of facts.
2. Emphasize how terrible this is and how sympathetic we are to the wounded and the slain.
3. Do NOT bring up guns. It’s too soon.

Remember Columbine? Or would you rather forget?

If those three fast and easy rules to discussing mass shooting events are too much to remember, then remember this:

BLAME THE SHOOTER. DON’T BLAME THE GUNS HE SHOT PEOPLE WITH!
BLAME THE SHOOTER. DON’T BLAME THE GUNS HE SHOT PEOPLE WITH!
BLAME THE SHOOTER. DON’T BLAME THE GUNS HE SHOT PEOPLE WITH!
BLAME THE SHOOTER. DON’T BLAME THE GUNS HE SHOT PEOPLE WITH!
BLAME THE SHOOTER. DON’T BLAME THE GUNS HE SHOT PEOPLE WITH!
BLAME THE SHOOTER. DON’T BLAME THE GUNS HE SHOT PEOPLE WITH!
BLAME THE SHOOTER. DON’T BLAME THE GUNS HE SHOT PEOPLE WITH!

If you’re in some undemocratic country without a Bill of Rights like China reading this please translate this to read “Blame the stabber. Don’t blame the knives he stabbed people with!”

Me? I multitask. I BLAME THE SHOOTER. AND THE GUNS HE SHOT PEOPLE WITH TOO!

When it comes right down to it, I don’t care why these guys go off.   Their backgrounds and motives and reasons are only interesting as far as understanding their crimes.  But understanding why mass murderers commit murder doesn’t seem to be preventing or stopping them from murdering.  There are a lot of dudes just like this one who have poor self-image issues who can’t attract the ladies who don’t go out and slaughter innocents.  ALL and I do mean ALL of the attention is given over to the killer and his issues, motives sad feelings and staggering narcissism and days later we get a blurb or two about the victims.

It’s no wonder so many of these loners/losers lash out this way. At long last the world is finally paying attention to them. It shouldn’t.

We learn a lot about these killers. less about their victims and nothing about how to prevent the next mass killing.   We’ll be back here again and sooner, rather than later.

jaredloughner
Different names. Same kind of crazy.

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According to the FBI, mass murder is described as “a number of murders (four or more) occurring during the same incident, with no distinctive time period between the murders. These events typically involved a single location, where the killer murdered a number of victims in an ongoing incident.”

The week started with the shooting rampage in a suburban Portland, Oregon mall with Jacob Tyler Roberts using a stolen AR-15 semi-automatic to kill two people and wound a third seriously.

Roberts would not qualify as a mass murderer. His is a shooting spree. The families of his victims could hardly care less.

Mass murder in America seemed to culminate with the Columbine killings in 1999 which left 12 dead.  Then came the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre where Seung-Ho Choi gunned down 32 and wounded 15 others and reset the body count meter until today’s gruesome events.    The timeline of death since Columbine to Newtown is a long and bloody one.

The United States averages 20 mass murder events a year but surprisingly though this is a violent country, it is not as violent as it once was. This is a fact worth noting.

But oh, when we do kill, we kill with purpose, we kill with passion and we kill in big numbers.

We will search for the meaning in the midst of madness. We will say we must delay a debate on guns until the dead have been counted and buried and a respectful interval has passed, but in truth, there is no debate and the issue has largely been settled in this country. Guns are popular. Restrictions on guns are not.

The Columbine victims: We’ve been here before.

We’ve had a debate about guns in America.  Guns won.   Everyone else lost.

The defenders of guns will trot out their time-tested lines about how guns aren’t the problem; people misusing guns are.   They will point to another act of school violence that occurred the same day in China where a madman with a knife wounded 22 children and one adult.   The difference is none of those children died as opposed to the 20 children, six adults, plus the gunman who perished in Newton, Connecticut.

The NRA would sooner see a shooting spree every day before they would support legislation limiting the right to own any damn guy you want.

Something must be done. This is insane. We’re gunning down little boys and girls and their teachers as they try to defend them.  If our youngest and most innocent are not safe from mindless violence none of us are. What that something is, nobody seems to know.    Or if they do, nobody has the courage or the will to take on the gun lobby.

The spark of the holiday spirit was not burning brightly in me before the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Now it has been extinguished entirely.

The world is a beautiful place. The people on it? Not so much.