Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
I awoke yesterday morning to an AP alert on my phone about the shooting in Aurora, Colorado. By the time I read the two sentence alert to my wife, I was over the shock. I shrugged my shoulders, shook my head and we went about our morning. I mean, really, how can we continue to be surprised at the constant repetition of tragedies like this, when the collective "we" don't or won't do a goddamn thing about it?
My cynical side started asking questions. What pundit would be the first idiot to politicize this event? How soon before someone blamed Hollywood violence? What right winger would be the first to either blame Obama or spew some backwards conspiracy that it's another attempt to take away your guns? What politician would make a complete ass of him/herself? (The answer to that last question is Rep. Louis Gohmert, by the way, who has vaulted into first place in the Dumbest Congressional Fuckwad Race. Michelle Bachmann has some competition.)
Here's a list of mass shootings since, and including, Columbine (via Newsmax):
April 1999 - two teenage schoolboys shot and killed 12 schoolmates and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, before killing themselves.
July 1999 - a stock exchange trader in Atlanta, Georgia, killed 12 people including his wife and two children before taking his own life.
September 1999 - a gunman opened fire at a prayer service in Fort Worth, Texas, killing six people before committing suicide.
October 2002 - a series of sniper-style shootings occurred in Washington DC, leaving 10 dead.
August 2003 - in Chicago, a laid-off worker shot and killed six of his former workmates.
November 2004 - in Birchwood, Wisconsin, a hunter killed six other hunters and wounded two others after an argument with them.
March 2005 - a man opened fire at a church service in Brookfield, Wisconsin, killing seven people.
October 2006 - a truck driver killed five schoolgirls and seriously wounded six others in a school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania before taking his own life.
April 2007 - student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people and wounded 15 others at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, before shooting himself, making it the deadliest mass shooting in the United States after 2000.
August 2007 - Three Delaware State University students were shot and killed in “execution style” by a 28-year-old and two 15-year-old boys. A fourth student was shot and stabbed.
December 2007 - a 20-year-old man killed nine people and injured five others in a shopping center in Omaha, Nebraska.
December 2007 - a woman and her boyfriend shot dead six members of her family on Christmas Eve in Carnation, Washington.
February 2008 - a shooter who is still at large tied up and shot six women at a suburban clothing store in Chicago, leaving five of them dead and the remaining one injured.
February 2008 - a man opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, killing five students and wounding 16 others before laying down his weapon and surrendering.
September 2008 - a mentally ill man who was released from jail one month earlier shot eight people in Alger, Washington, leaving six of them dead and the rest two wounded.
December 2008 - a man dressed in a Santa Claus suit opened fire at a family Christmas party in Covina, California, then set fire on the house and killed himself. Police later found nine people dead in the debris of the house.
March 2009 - a 28-year-old laid-off worker opened fire while driving a car through several towns in Alabama, killing 10 people.
March 2009 - a heavily armed gunman shot dead eight people, many of them elderly and sick people, in a private-owned nursing home in North Carolina.
March 2009 - six people were shot dead in a high-grade apartment building in Santa Clara, California.
April 2009 - a man shot dead 13 people at a civic center in Binghamton, New York.
July 2009 - Six people, including one student, were shot in a drive-by shooting at a community rally on the campus of Texas Southern University, Houston.
November 2009 - U.S. army psychologist Major Nidal Hasan opened fire at a military base in Fort Hood, Texas, leaving 13 dead and 42 others wounded.
February 2010 – A professor opened fire 50 minutes into at a Biological Sciences Department faculty meeting at the University of Alabama, killing three colleagues and wounding three others.
January 2011 - a gunman opened fire at a public gathering outside a grocery in Tucson, Arizona, killing six people including a 9-year-old girl and wounding at least 12 others. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was severely injured with a gunshot to the head.Slaughter after slaughter and yet, what is the response? We can't possibly be callous enough to talk about something political like gun control laws so soon after the tragedy. We really shouldn't legislate something in a desperate attempt to prevent another heinous act while she should still be in mourning. Besides, deer hunters really need access to semi-automatic rifles. And armor-piercing bullets. And pistols with 30 round clips.
So we wait just long enough until the event seeps out of the public consciousness, which these days is about 12 seconds - who's on Dancing with the Stars this season? - and the N.R. Fucking A. has enough time to circle the wagons and threaten some bullshit scoring on a bill which has nothing to do with actual gun legislation. And we forget about the shooting du jour until the next time when the whole cycle starts all over again.
Until we stop sucking NRA cock, nothing will happen. And I won't be surprised the next time either.
(Cross-posted at ABLC)