Paddy Chayefsky must be spinning in his grave. Because he predicted the collapse of American civilization 40 years ago. Only he underestimated our depravity. Because now we’re shooting people on live TV.
But don’t expect anything to change. If an entire classroom of children being slaughtered didn’t change anything, and a Congresswoman being shot in the face didn’t change anything, this isn’t going to change anything, either.
Because the N.R.A. has our country by the balls.
Because as much as many people are convinced that gun violence is out of control, that’s how much the other side is convinced that we’re trying to take their guns away.
So you better get used to there being a new mass shooting or some similar atrocity happening every week. (And isn’t that precisely what’s happened?)
We’ve already talked about the easy availability of guns and the lack of mental healthcare in this country, and that’s a good start, but I’d like to raise another issue that hasn’t entered the conversation yet. And that’s the collapse of our economy and our social safety net.
Because in many of these cases where already unstable people are pushed over the edge, there’s been some economic cause.
In this latest instance, it was some guy who lost his job at a TV station. But just last week, some guy walked into a federal office building in Soho and shot an innocent security guard because he lost his job twenty years ago.
Who are all these people we’re calling “terrorists” (both foreign and domestic) but people who have been economically disenfranchised?
I’m not condoning their actions. These people are nothing more than common criminals who are trying to elevate their senseless actions by attaching it to a so-called “noble” cause.
But it would be a mistake not to examine the underlying factors so we can perhaps understand them and try to prevent such things from happening.