Another mass shooting. You know the drill.

Reprinted from October 1, 2015.

Earlier today, someone took a killing machine and loads of ammunition into a heavily-trafficked area and opened fire, killing some and wounding more. The shooter may have a history of mental health problems; they may be a militant racist; they may be a Men’s Rights Activist; they may be a religious extremist; they may have just gotten laid off from work. Whatever their motive, they will almost certainly have obtained their killing machine legally.

You’ve probably read the details elsewhere by now, but at the end of the day, they don’t matter. This story isn’t all that different from the many that came before and are sure to come after. America averages one shooting of at least four fatalities per day, with one shooting per week at schools. These shootings are happening faster than we can meme them. The routine is familiar, and we already know how the next few days are going to play out:

First, we will be reminded that this is definitely not the time to discuss ways that we could have prevented this shooting, along with tomorrow’s and next week’s and the ones to follow. At times like these, a bad reading of the Second Amendment is more important than a basic understanding of the First:

Instead, it would be much more productive for all of us to quietly appeal to a higher power — one that has pretty clearly signaled to us that they’re agnostic when it comes to American gun policy:

Second, we will be reminded that although America’s homicide rates are practically off the charts compared to other countries, now is definitely not the time to second-guess our borderline religious commitment to the killing machines that make it way easier to kill a bunch of people at once:


After all, don’t you know we might need to revolt against the government some day?

Third, someone from the NRA will say that the real solution that would have prevented all of this is more guns. Most of America will find this ridiculous. Congress will find this reasonable. President Obama will scold them.

Fourth, there will be a new round of public opinion polling showing broad support for public policies that could have prevented the shooting, ranging from universal background checks to a ban on high-capacity magazines. We will flash a momentary glance at Congress to see if they will pass any of these policies, and then remember how unbothered they were by what that guy from the NRA said.

Fifth, gun sales will go through the god damn roof.

Sixth, this video will go viral:

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Seventh, another mass shooting will take place. We will go back to step one.

See you next week.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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15 Responses to “Another mass shooting. You know the drill.”

  1. Houndentenor says:

    Thanks for the reposts of these two blog posts from 2 and 4 years ago. What is left to say. We have about one of these a day in the US and nothing is going to happen this time either to make the next one less likely. I hear reports now that members of Congress are deeply upset about some of their own being shot and shot at like this, but where was this concern from the thousands of other people who experienced the same thing?

  2. Bill_Perdue says:

    Rage against the US ruling parties and politicians of the capitalists, including Sanders, Trump and the Clintons and their predatory crimes against humanity are producing a widespread radicalization that has no end in sight because the the rich are constantly escalating their predatory war against workers, women, immigrants, retirees, youth, people of color and the elderly.

    We have to channel that growing radicalized consciousness into building workers parties and a workers state and away from individual attacks on rightists. There are lots of reactionaries lined up waiting to replace them and they’ll be happy to vote for the mass murder of millions in endless wars of aggression or the slow murders produced by gutting health care or safety regulations to protect workers or by ignoring the massive violence of cops and ICE against people of color.

    This kind of violence is like calling for the impeachment of Trump – that means Pence.

    On the other hand building mass movements for change that can compel change will lead to the kind of struggles that will require a workers state to accomplish them and once scores of millions of workers, led by a revolutionary party, figure that out the battle is all but won.

  3. Lather, rinse, repeat. Sadly.

  4. chrislib says:

    At least it’s not terism. The shooter is a *white
    male, kind of chubby.* Good thing the wounded republiCONs have all that
    socialist free healthcare, and want everyone else to have it, too. Now,
    if only they could have armed themselves instead of depending on a
    gubmnt security detail. #Takers

  5. Rebecca Jones says:

    The facts stand that countries in which guns are legal experience more shootings with 30,000 shootings in America alone last year this is issue that can not be ignored. The majority of crimes, are crimes of passion, unplanned. If someone gets angry and has access to a gun in which they can easily pull the trigger they are much more likely to hurt someone and kill someone with a gun rather than a knife.
    I fully support the arguments in this blog and yes the argument “guns don’t kill people, people do” Is understandable however, illogical it is a lot easier to pull a trigger then murder someone any other way.

  6. Don Chandler says:

    If only the mass shooters would be honorable and shoot themselves–ofc, it’s much easier to shoot unarmed people.

  7. BeccaM says:

    I wrote this previous comment two months ago. It remains cogent… sadly.

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  9. BeccaM says:

    It’s understandable though. The Sandy Hook-style Truther (sic) strategy is a relatively recent development among the ammosexuals.

    Not that many years ago, such conspiracy theories were relegated to the dustiest, skankiest and more depraved corners of the Internet. Now? Fox News reports them as if fact and invites massacre deniers on the air to spout their lunacy.

  10. 2karmanot says:

    Guns don’t kill people, Republicans do #snark.

  11. Jon Green says:

    I knew I missed one.

  12. BeccaM says:

    There’s one more step now which can happen at just about any point along the usual timeline: The wingnuts float a conspiracy theory that includes one or more of the following:
    (1) It was a ‘false flag’ operation by Obama’s seekrit po-leese or the NSA or whothefuckknows.
    (2) Whoever did it is always labeled a liberal or Muslim or communist or all of the above, even if they leave behind a pro-Christian, pro-white, radical conservative manifesto.
    (3) It never actually happened at all and nobody really died, it’s all been faked.

    This last one is particularly baffling and weird — and deeply, deeply sick — in that we have crazies insisting that people whose loved ones were slaughtered in a mass murder or assassination or whatever didn’t actually lose anybody.

  13. Quilla says:

    Well said, sadly…

  14. Indigo says:

    Remain calm, shootings will continue until morale improves.

  15. MoonDragon says:

    Regarding point 4, congress (at least a significant fraction of the Rs) are too busy proving government doesn’t work by not governing, to be able to devote any time to considering legislation to deal with this. Besides, that would be governing, and we can’t have that, can we?

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