Monday, December 07, 2015

i open up the news every day wondering where the next mass shooting or school shooting will be. the end of the school semester is near, so it could be that we make it to the break without any more big ones, but i doubt it. it's become a thing in this country, a way to get on the news cycle, the way to go. i study the geography of all the mass shootings too, but i'm not the only one; whole websites are devoted to where they were, what happened, how many were killed randomly, etc. it's assumed that if someone killed more than three, at least one or two were random, killed just because they were in that spot. but it's not necessarily true; sometimes they kill half a dozen, and know all six.

guns are like pain medicine, if you can't get them in one state, you just go over to the other. if they'll sell you one, they'll sell you several, and they'll sell you the big ones, and pretty soon you have an arsenal, and it doesn't matter if you live in some state like california that makes arsenals specifically illegal. people feel like you have the natural god-given right to take your ak-47 to the local elementary school, and in most cases you do, who's going to stop you? anyone who's made up their mind to shoot up the school, or the state health department, or whatever, is pretty much free to do it, there are guns everywhere. all you have to do is reach out and touch some of them.

i think the whole thing depends more on the inner workings of some very sick minds, and i blame the whole thing on television. of course britain has television too, and the worst they have is a few tube-stabbings, so i can't really explain the whole theory clearly. but the theory is this: the american obsession with television, and the fact that everyone is watching it, and the fact that television is drawn naturally to guns and violence, has made the average sick mind drawn to guns and violence, and drawn to the possibility of being the news cycle, if only for a single day. it could be that britain is not big enough to have a steady diet of guns and violence on television all day, but what my theory is saying is that the mere fact that gun violence is on television every single day in this country is what makes gun violence the immediate avenue to fame, the way that one chooses to get one's fifteen minutes of fame. the gun violence that's on the television is itself part of the cause of the problem.

now my theory would absolutely be testable, if we were to simply remove all gun violence from television. i'm not sure i totally believe in this solution, but it is a solution. you might say that that's censorship of the news. but instead i'd say that it could be just a necessary step in keeping the most offensive things away from the average person's perceptual screen. there are already plenty of things that we don't tell everyone, or show everyone, because they're too offensive. we already have quite the line; it covers lots of activities and events that are real, that are graphic, that are visual, and that are provocative, but we just feel the average person doesn't need to see this on the daily news. well, i say, could be the same for gun violence. if it's part of the cause, let's just remove it, or at least change the degree to which we feel compelled to show everyone everything. one of my favorite solutions is just to change the nature of what the average person sees on television day in, day out. present it differently, it's the law.

now of course, making guns as hard to get as cars are, that's a possibility too. and we also have the capability, by the way, of knowing when someone's gathered up an arsenal. technology gives us the ability to track guns the same way we track phones; if we can put a chip in a phone, we can put one in a gun too. that way, the minute you give yours to your sociopathic roommate, they'll know. especially if he collects a half-dozen.

there are lots of solutions. we can mull them over while we wait for the next mass shooting. i myself am staying out of state-sponsored christmas parties, and all public places, for the indefinite future. but i'm also not watching television, because it makes me mad to watch the process, and know how many sick minds are capable of falling into the inevitable chute.


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