Because the time is like "tomorrow" in Alice
- it's always coming but it's never here.
An angry right-wing white man who hates women buys a gun in a pawn shop in Alabama and drives to Louisiana. He swaps his car's license plate. He then walks into a movie theater showing a rom-com starring a mouthy woman, a theater with about 25 people in the audience, mostly women, and sits in the back. Once the movie starts, he stands up and starts shooting. He shoots methodically, not crazily, and he tries to leave the theater but apparently spots the cops rolling up. So he walks back inside, fires off a couple more rounds and then shoots himself.
But we shouldn't do anything but pray for the victims and their families. Because doing anything else is politicizing the tragedy.
We shouldn't ask how it's legal for a man with his history to be able to buy that gun
We shouldn't ask why his record of "extreme erratic behavior" didn't trip any alarms.
We shouldn't ask why his behavior was alarming enough that he was denied a concealed-carry permit, yet was allowed to buy a handgun in a pawn shop.
We shouldn't ask why he joins the long list of angry white men who shoot people, because every white man acts as an individual and is in no representative of anything larger than himself.
In fact, we basically shouldn't ask anything at all - except maybe "How long, Lord?"
Because asking - let alone doing
- is "politicizing the tragedy". We just have to wait till things cool down. Except by then, there'll have been another. So far this year there have been as many "mass shootings" (not necessarily multiple deaths) as there have been days and over 40 mass killings, and the average number of "active shootings" (an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area) has gone from just over 6 per year from 2000-2005 to over 16 from 2006-2013). By the time we're "ready" to talk about Lafayette, another big one will have come along to making talking about as heinous as doing it.
And one last note: we're always being told to pray for the victims ("Now it's time to shower the victims with love and prayers," says Bobby Jindal, and "The best thing we can do across Lafayette, across Louisiana, across our
country, is come together in thoughts, in love, in prayer.") and not for a sea-change in our country's attitudes, not for people (men, mostly white men) to stop thinking shooting a bunch of strangers is the answer, not for the government to do something. No, "pray for the victims". So even the praying we do is meaningless by design.
Labels: politics, race