All the World’s a Stage… Mass Shooter Edition

This blog post is offensive. I debated whether or not I should publish it. After all, you’ve already made up your mind about mass shootings, and my words won’t sway you. But I  posted it anyway.


What we don’t know about mass-shootings is when. Or where. Or how many victims there will be. 

But that part really doesn’t matter, does it? Places everyone! It’s time to act out the latest mass shooting drama! 

Act One: We open with reporters positioning so that first responders are seen in the background swarming around the crime scene as they offer Breaking News. The audience listens closely to the language used to describe the perpetrator. He’s mentally ill! means he’s white. We need tougher laws against criminal behavior! means he’s African-American. Build a Wall! indicates a Hispanic shooter. Terrorism! He’s Middle Eastern. We never wonder about gender though; he’s always a man.

Politicians and celebrities tweet their thoughts and prayers. A Democrat brings up the issue of gun control, followed quickly by a Republican response that it’s too soon to talk about legislation before we let the victims’ families grieve.

Act Two: News media outlets milk the story for all it’s worth by replaying any video they can get their hands on over and over again. They’ll focus on determining the motive, as though knowing a motive changes the number of people dead or injured or the number of police officers and medical professionals traumatized by the crime.

Meanwhile politicians and pundits jockey for air time to voice their party’s talking points on the subject. As an interactive audience, we’ll sit glued to our TVs or laptops to soak in the latest.

Act Three: The audience posts comments on Facebook or Twitter, and argues with each other whether stricter gun laws could have prevented this tragedy, or if there simply weren’t enough good guys with guns available to stop this bad guy with a bunch of guns. While we duke it out on social media, the gun industry will make a killing (pun intended) on increased gun sales. The NRA will poo-poo off any talk of gun regulation, as will elected officials. Others may grandstand but do little more than that.

Act Four: After a day or two of argument and fundraising, a fickle audience will move on to the next major news story, taking no action to end the senseless killings. We leave the families of the dead and those who were injured to mourn and heal on their own.

As the final curtain descends, we anxiously await the next mass shooting so we can act out the drama all over again.

You can rest assured there will be another one. We will do nothing to stop it.


34 thoughts on “All the World’s a Stage… Mass Shooter Edition

  1. It’s depressing. The NRA are so powerful. I see Trump has already said that it isn’t a gun issue, but a mental health issue.

    1. This keeps happening and yet we do NOTHING about it. Trump could say it’s the tooth fairy causing it for all the action our elected officials will take. But the American people are to blame, because this is the government we have chosen for ourselves.

      Yesterday when I saw the news, I couldn’t even cry. I feel so helpless. And so damned angry.

  2. Well, not offensive. Just well-timed. Sadly, it’s hart wrenching every time and even worse that it keeps happening. And there is no answers and no quick fix. Respectfully, H

  3. This can not be how a civilised society operates. In 1996 Australia reformed gun laws & it made a huge difference, but we don’t learn, politicians always want to loosen them again. Guns kill people!!!

  4. Not offensive to me. All too true. I have no arguments anymore because it’s pointless. According to the known facts of this person’s background he should never have had a gun at all, yet he did, which means the system of laws that people insist are atrong enough are not strong enough after all, but once again we will make no move to change them and another mass shooting will happen within a week.

  5. Guns don’t kill people…people kill people or animals so with that in mind the gun laws you have in place aren’t strict enough….People with Mental health issues,People with a history of any kind of violence or animal cruelty shouldn’t have access to guns in any shape of form….it doesn’t matter if they have never been prosecuted.If the police get called to a house for violent behaviour even if no charges are pressed then that person shouldn’t have a gun.if a person is taking medication for mental health issues then they shouldn’t have a gun.Then we come to assault type riffles no person should have those in their possession full stop. You don’t even use them for hunting,hunting riffles are completely different…..its just common sense but then when it comes to guns in the US your government has no common sense. Obama tried to change those laws but the the 2 houses wouldn’t do it….no common sense.xx Rachel

    1. Actually we know quite a bit about shooters, namely they almost always have prior arrests for domestic violence or animal cruelty, or both. But here in the US we poo-poo that crime as well, and tend to blame the victim for staying instead of holding the perpetrator accountable. Even the language we use around domestic violence is ridiculous.

      Also on Sunday a man went to a church and shot and killed his ex-wife and her new boyfriend. He shot them both in the head in the parking lot after services. But that wasn’t domestic violence; it was a crime of passion.

      1. There are always exceptions that you can’t predict,but the majority can so that instead of these shootings being every week it becomes a rare occurrence,it’s just sad that it is the way it is in the US,xx

  6. Well written blog post Jenn! I totally agree with what you wrote; no offence taken here. We in Canada are very distraught seeing what our American neighbors are going thru!

  7. well said. Nothing will be done about guns this time either. The people in both houses don’t have the cojones to do anything.

    1. They won’t do anything about mass shootings. At this point I’d be happy if they looked at ANY solution. But they won’t, because we always say it’s guns. Then others say it’s not. And we move on.

      There was an editorial in the Washington Post that said it was time for folks to say out loud what their actions indicate: mass shootings are simply a by-product of the 2nd Amendment and the losses are acceptable. It stung to read, but it’s true.

  8. Jen, never apologize for stating your personal opinion on something, especially if it’s in line with factual evidence. I completely agree with you. I’m nauseated by the conservative refrain of “thoughts and prayers” and “let the families grieve” before we talk politics.

    Yep! Same play; different stage.

  9. I think you nailed it. You sure you aren’t a screenwriter in your spare time? I’m so sick of “our thoughts and prayers are with the good people of [____].” Give me a break. Of course the NRA counts on our collective news fatigue about the latest carnage (usually about 8-9 days) before they signal absolutely no legislation shall be enacted…or else to elected officials. So unbelievably predictable and yet, we fall for it every time. Because of the sheer number of weapons in this country, I suspect any meaningful gun legislation won’t happen any time soon. That genie left the bottle long ago. *sigh*

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