I don’t like Mondays

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There was a school shooting in Ohio today. One seventeen-year-old kid is dead. Four students are in the hospital with gunshot wounds. One kid is in custody for the shooting. And about 1,100 more Americans now know that sick feeling of being trapped in a building with an armed crazy person bent on murder. That’s just the kids who were at the school. I’m not even talking about the helpless, nauseated feeling their parents must have endured.

I know a little something about how the uninjured kids at that school felt today. Many years ago, an angry nut case walked into an office building where I was working and opened fire, killing three and wounding two more. I know what it’s like to hunker down in your “safe place,” the minutes crawling by while police conduct a room-to-room search for a madman. You whisper nervously with your scared-shitless colleagues about who is missing, who might be dead.  You contemplate pissing in a trashcan because you’re afraid to leave the locked room you’re in. You watch that locked door with your heart in your throat, hoping you don’t see the handle turning or, worse yet, bullets flying through the flimsy wooden barrier.

And you know what? That kind of experience is just not so rare anymore. I bet at least a couple of you could recount similar incidents.

Tonight on the news, the usual talking heads will say the usual things, but there will be less coverage about the shooting in Ohio today since the body count must be in the double digits now to dominate a news cycle. The usual assholes will make the usual boneheaded argument about arming teachers, and the truly, deeply stupid may even suggest arming students. And we’ll forget until the next time, even those who have been there and seen that.

But the kids who were at that school today won’t forget, not for awhile anyway. I used to get angry about it. I used to wonder what kind of national psychosis could lead us to believe it’s perfectly okay to be ass-deep in unsecured weaponry and tolerate gun homicide rates that are 15-20 times higher than those of the rest of the so-called civilized world.

Oh sure, every now and then some European dude goes off his nut and commits mass murder. Pam Geller’s Norwegian fan-boy, Anders Behring Breivik, pulled off mass murder on a scale that no-doubt made our homegrown white supremacists pea-green with envy (with a little assist from US ammo clip mail order outfits).

But I don’t get angry about it anymore. Gun don’t kill people; assholes with guns kill people. The NRA won a long time ago, and this is just how it has to be. So welcome to the club, kids. It’s not so exclusive anymore.

[X-POSTED at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 02/27/12 at 06:56 PM • Permalink

Categories: NewsPoliticsOur Stupid Media

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The worst thing about these horrible events is that the latest one is never the last one. There will always be another, and another. Students will always be bullied and pushed, and some of them go beyond the breaking point.

And the tragedies keep happening, because no one knows how to predict when a kid is going to break. No matter how they’re profiled, there is just no way to know for sure.

My heart goes out to you, Betty, because I imagine that you will never forget those horrible moments. I’m sad that the kids who got away will join hundreds of other people who escaped shootings and will also never forget. And worst of all is the loss of the students who were shot.

Yes, it will be big news here in Ohio and nationally for a few days and there will be discussions about how it could have maybe been prevented.

But we haven’t been able to do that.

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Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words, Anabolic Steroids.  You’re OK in my book, regardless of what others may say about you.

I was talking with a friend I only see occassionally yesterday; we both had gunshot suicide stories to tell of people we knew peripherally.  I noted that suicide attempts tend to be more successful in the US because there are so many guns around.  Pills can be countered if the person gets medical help in time, and attempted suicide is often a cry for help, but a gun pretty much makes the decision final.

Speaking as someone who has NRA members in the family—these people are beyond delusional.  I am reguarly told that Britain is a dystopic hellhole, for example.  The NRA feeds people these lies—based on rather twisted misreadings of statistics—because I think in their hearts these guys know that they’re wrong.  And that they are making the country quite a bit worse because they can’t let go of their toys.  And so the idea that everywhere gun control goes into place turns into something out of a Mad Max movie gets thrown around a lot.

Yep.  I doubt there is too much convergence between “NRA members” and “holders of well-used passports”. 

My folks are seriously too afraid to travel to (1) big cities, and (2) foreign countries because all they watch is shoot-em-up TV crime dramas.  That’s what the real world is like, right?

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