We brace ourselves for the platitudes, the ones that we tolerate and the ones that make us seethe, we hear the politicians pantomiming something that has been calculated to approximate an appropriate response depending on party affiliation and we see the loved ones in the throes of the worst pain imaginable.
We ourselves put together words to try to make sense of the senseless, or we may sign petitions or we may feel a weary numbness about it all, like a full body X-ray suit weighing us down, deflecting all light. We may shuffle through all the emotions like a deck of unruly cards, from grief and fury to horror and despair and back again in a small window of time, depending on what we’ve read, depending on what we thought, depending on any number of factors. We may bristle at strangers who stand too close to us in the checkout line and we may stare dead-eyed out the window. All are reasonable responses to the unfolding horror show, eerily both predictable and chaotic, we are forced to be ticket holders to day-in and day-out.
The most important thing to the industries that profit from bloodshed is that we ultimately settle on something akin to resignation, whether we are for or against the industry. We accept it as an at-risk institution to protect or accept it as something to endlessly, futilely try to curtail. The important thing is that we become inured to it being here, to contorting ourselves to its existence in our lives to the point that it is normal, like a sliver in our foot we can’t quite reach that reminds us of its presence with every step. It hurts but it is always there so we grow used to it.
Our skin eventually grows around it and we hobble on with our lives.
The sliver has won.
Gun violence is the price of freedom.
This is just the way it is.
We have always been this way. Get used to it, cupcake. Boo hoo hoo.
I can’t help but notice the similarity of reactions in tone and cliché to our latest mass shootings that there is to something else that should be intolerable but we accept as just the price of admission: Climate change. Climate…