Every time there’s a major shooting incident involving someone straight up murdering a ton of people in a public space, the definition police show up on line to educate us.
Every time someone uses the convenient short hand of “assault weapon”, we get treated to a long lecture on all the minute differences between various types of automatic and semi-automatic rifles, the correct nomenclature of each of these, and the apparently enormous chasm between a military weapon and something made for general commercial sales.
(Those are “military-style” firearms, in case you were confused. NOT THE SAME THING AS A MILITARY WEAPON! NOT EVEN CLOSE! MORON! YOU CAN CLEARLY SEE THAT THE FIRING PIN CURVES AN ENTIRE 0.05% DEGREES LESS!)
Close behind them are the statistics-police, who inform us that we aren’t defining “mass shooting” properly, and that if we were, we would clearly see that not only have the number of shootings in the USA declined by (insert arbitrary percentage point here, because they NEVER have a direct source for this), but if you use their definition of one or more people killed by gunfire in any and all circumstances, it is plain that Italy (or Easter Island, or Greenland, or some other place) clearly leads the pack.
And then, like some eerie Greek chorus, the “Nothing can be done” singers show up to tell the world that the citizens of the USA are so extremely lawless, violent, and nefarious that it would be impossible to limit how and where they can access any type of gun they wish for, let alone take any of the existing guns away from anyone, no matter how troubled and/or criminally insane their past might show them to be.
And we’re all back to thoughts and prayers, too, because, clearly, this is not the time for politics. When that time might be is not ever mentioned.
None of this would matter to me – as a Canadian, I have shopped for my entire life without once worrying that some mad lumberjack from Nelson, BC would open fire on the people cruising through Roots looking for a new sweatshirt – except that I don’t live in a “me and mine only” mindset.
I care about all of us.
And I need all of you to care, too.