I was flying home from Germany as all this transpired, the murders of 26 people, including 20 children at the Sandy Point grammar school in Connecticut this morning. First I heard of the news was as I climbed into a cab from the airport. There is an arc to these stories, these mass shootings, which happens in this country far too frequently. Of course the perspective is that in a country of 320 million people, running 3000 miles by 1800 miles wide, your chances of encountering this situation are far lower than your chances of winning the lottery. But, some people win the lottery.
The arc is that we’ll be over-saturated by inanely detailed coverage. Information will be repeated again and ag ain, until the anchors and a few opportunistic politicians feel the need to politicize the tragedy. They’ll amp up the rhetoric; guns good-guns bad. Gradually the filters and respect for the dead and grieving will come off and the victims transition to pawns. Both the Left and the Right will use the issue, which is never really about guns, to assail each other. They’ll drag out the victims and puppet their tragedy for the game of politics. It will be bitter and cruel and filthy. Most of us will be disgusted, some of us will realize that this sort of arc only damages substantive debate and discourse of some of the very serious issues surrounding events like this. There is no intention among the politicos to actually solve this issue, or even to move closer to a resolution. To do so would rob them of their vaudeville show and the wealth they derive from that theater.
I have strong beliefs about a host of issues regarding the tragedy today at that school. Fans to this page can find those views easily enough in the archive. I will not air them here. Not today. No one should tolerate the puppet dance to victim porn of the corporate and partisan media. Turn them off. In such a moment the country should take time to mourn, or to take stock, and it should do so in quiet. The reason they shout and pound the table, or tease trauma is to rob the nation of the introspection inherent in silence. They do not want you to think deeply, to reach into your soul for truths and perspectives stymied by their noise which wants you to react blindly and instantly-knee jerk. They understand only too well how easily shock can be manipulated, and exploit it at every opportunity.
But turn off the media for a while and listen to those truths. They are there. There will be time enough for outrage and even politics, but not now. For now it is more than enough to grieve. we will discuss this. We will argue and fight this. We may vehemently disagree, but those will be tools for the future. Until then, and to insure the tools we employ in this issue are the best and clearest possible, a little perspective is critical.
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