The Hopelessness of Mass Shootings in the Era of Maintaining Status Quo

I haven’t read much today about the events in Las Vegas. I haven’t had much time. As horrific as the shooting was, the number of the dead, the people maimed and wounded, I’ve tried to continue about my day as best as I can.

I imagine most of you have done the same and gone to work or cleaned the kitchen and washed laundry before picking up your children from school. Our lives go on and that is, in and of itself, a statement and a measure of our stoicism.

It’s also somewhat sad. It’s sad that we’ve managed to normalize these events, these shootings, as if they were some sort of natural phenomenon. California and Mexico have earthquakes, tsunamis ravage Indonesia and the Philippines, hurricanes sweep through Florida and Texas, and every so often some asshole in the U.S. kills twenty or thirty or forty or fifty people and wounds hundreds of others.

The members in each party and ideology are already rattling their sabers and circling their wagons. There is, after all, political hay to be made. There is outrage to confront and perhaps even stoke, and in the end, it will all mean nothing.

The status quo will be maintained. There will be no meaningful dialogue, no progress on how to stop this sort of thing from happening again and it will happen again, and again and again and again, because we have decided that this is simply the cost of doing business.

Mass shootings have now become an implicit “acceptable” loss for living in the United States — something akin to paying taxes or dealing with shitty weather in the Midwest.

And that upsets me almost as much as the needless loss of life in Las Vegas, and the next mass killing, and the one that will occur after that.