The Massacre Ritual

Another shooting, another spate of deaths. I don’t have much to add to what I said after the shooting at The Dark Knight Rises. Nobody seems to. We’ve become very good at our rote reactions: thoughts and prayers, don’t politicize it, don’t politicize it but if you insist on doing so mention something about God being removed from the classroom/culture/government/movies, forget gun control because it wouldn’t have stopped him anyway, nothing we can do, this is about the victims, this is not about (whatever it’s not about), I don’t understand how this could happen in America, this tragedy is inconceivable, this is something we will never get past…

But we do get past it, in exactly the same way, every time. We’ve seen bullets speed through the brains of presidents and civil rights leaders, members of congress, children, teenagers, adults, shoppers, teachers, students. Still, the ritual goes unbroken. We all play our assigned roles. We intone the correct and expected sentiments and rehash our favorite talking points like lines from a Missal. That’s our way of getting past it. We’re geniuses at getting past it.

Stopping it is what we suck at.

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