Monday, September 16, 2013

Mass Killings in the United States Are Not Unexpected

There was a mass shooting in Washington Navy Yard today. Thirteen people, including one suspect, are dead. The president of the United States said about deceased: "They know the dangers of serving abroad, but today they faced the unimaginable violence that we wouldn't have expected here at home."

Seriously, Mr. President? Unimaginable and unexpected? I am not going to get into the pro-gun, anti-gun laws argument here. I don't have a solution that would be realistic enough in the given setting, and as much as I would love to be a dreamer and imagine the world living in peace, I am mostly a realist.

It's the terminology, and what it implies, that angers me. The United States of America has a problem. The problem is that certain people decide to take a weapon and start randomly killing others. To call mass killings "unimaginable" and "unexpected" is burying your head in the sand. Mass killings -- defined by the FBI as four or more victims, not including the killer -- have occurred across the U.S. at the rate of about one every two weeks since 2006.

I understand that the president can't say: "Oh shit, another one, huh?" in a press release, but maybe it's time to start calling things what they are. Mass shootings have become a part of our lives. Americans are split on what the best course of action to prevent them should be. I get all that. But please, stop implying that this is just a fluke that will pass on its own. It's time to admit that the emperor has no clothes.


  1. It sickens and saddens me that we must now admit our truth about these mass killings. They have become a part of our American life. Just like baseball and apple pie. I just don't understand Americas love affair with guns. Until we as a nation change our mind set, it will keep happening again and again. I think we are very close to saying "Oh shit, another one." Thanks for writing this, it takes courage to say what you are saying. I appreciate that.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Karen! It's a very sad and tragic state of affairs, and to accept this as a new way of life is in my opinion a dangerous path to go.