Here’s 1 thing WE can do in the wake of mass murder

(other than thoughts & prayers or gun control pleas)

A decade ago I might have said “another year and ANOTHER mass shooting …” But I can’t say that anymore, can I? Is it another month now, or a week? Another day? Mass shootings, like a deadly cancer, are only worsening with each incident, rapidly multiplying until no city is safe from worry. Will it happen again? Will it be us next?

When a massacre like the one in Las Vegas happens, two things will invariably happen:

  1. Conservatives will call for “thoughts and prayers” (unless it’s a Muslim terrorist of course, in which case: BAN BAN BAN!!!) and
  2. Liberals will offer thoughts and prayers to make themselves look good before jumping on gun laws like a kid on a Snickers bar. Are thoughts and prayers nice? Sure. Do we need to change our gun laws and regulations? Um, YEAH. But these nice, neat reactions have yet to yield even incremental movements towards actual change.

If we could at least start the process, that would be nice. Right now, what I mostly see about gun control is empty promises and over-simplified memes. I would like to see a real conversation about what we can realistically do to start regulating gun and ammunition sales in a responsible way. I’m not naive enough to think assault rifles will disappear overnight, but some increased regulations, even if it’s gradual, would be a start. Unfortunately, since the NRA has us all by the balls, and they’re basically Gollum crouching over their guns hissing “My preciousssss. The left, they wants to STEAL it!” nothing will happen yet again.

Why?

Because if dead kindergartners don’t bother America, this won’t either.

But I’ll stop my dyed-in-the-wool leftist snowflake rant now. Wait: I just realized I forgot to offer my thoughts and prayers first. Damnit — bad liberal!

Here’s something we can do while the gridlock between the left and the right on gun regulations continues: Stop reading articles that are solely about the perpetrator. Read articles about the victims, amplify and celebrate their lives and stories. Don’t give the perpetrators the fame so many of them seek.

I’ve seen countless pleas from American citizens and media outlets themselves to stop glorifying the shooter in cases like this, but the truth is that the media will continue to write and cover stories that we will read. They may get the lion’s share of the blame, but the fact is we carry that fault too.

I winced when I saw the headlines on Monday morning, not just because of the incredible sadness I felt for the victims and their families, but because of the blaring words: DEADLIEST SHOOTING. You know what using those words, reading them, and sharing them does? It gives birth to another loon who wants it to be them. They want to be the name associated with America’s deadliest shooting. In using and repeating those words, we’ve given future murderers a bar to reach.

The shooting of Alison Parker and Adam Ward in Virginia in 2015 was solely to gain fame and attention. The shooter, who I will not name, even told followers to “check Facebook” so that his crime could be viewed by millions. The Sandy Hook shooter meticulously collected clippings of articles on mass murderers, including the Columbine shooters. One serial killer murdered ten in Kansas over 17 years, and wrote poems to newspapers during this time, claiming later that the reports gave him the fuel to continue as he enjoyed the attention. Yet another serial killer from the 1970s seemed addicted to the fame, sending codes and blood-soaked clothing to the San Francisco Chronicle and keeping the San Francisco Bay Area in a perpetual state of fear for years.

Full disclosure: I love reading about serial killers. It was actually physically difficult for me not to include those serial killers’ names above. It’s something that my father and I shared, this sick fascination with the mind of a murderer. But in this era of rapidly shared viral information, I have to wonder: are we just giving sociopaths not only a gun, but a path to immortality?

So, continue to offer kind thoughts and prayers to those you know are in pain. Continue to hold our politicians to a higher standard and push them to move at least somewhere on gun regulation. Those things are great. But, in the meantime, don’t give these pitiless assholes the time of day. They don’t deserve it.