We live in a country where people talk about a mass shooting, and you have to ask “which one?”
We live in a country where you’ve already forgotten about the mass shooting from the previous weekend at the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, Calif.
We live in a country where people are now surviving multiple mass shootings – three survivors of the Las Vegas mass shooting survived the Gilroy Garlic Festival.
We live in a country where you overhear a conversation about mass shootings and someone mentions the one in Virginia Beach, Va., and even though it happened just two months ago and 12 people were killed, you can’t exactly recall it because it’s hard to keep up with all of them.
We live in a country where the shootings in Texas and Ohio were the 21st and 22nd mass shootings of 2019, according to AP/USA Today/Northeastern University mass murder database that tracks homicides where four or more people are killed – not including the offender.
We live in a country where there have been 27 mass shootings in which at least 10 people were killed, and the one in Dayton, Ohio doesn’t make the list because “only” nine were killed.
We live in a country where the governor of that state was drowned out by shouts of “Do something!” by those that had gathered Sunday night to mourn the victims as he took the stage to address the crowd.
We live in a country where mass shootings that have killed at least 10 people have taken place six times in the past 18 months.
We live in a country where there have been 10 mass shootings where at least 15 people were killed.
We live in a country where four of those types of mass shootings have taken place in the last 22 months.
We live in a country where newspaper headlines detailing the weekend of violence included these: Tampa Bay Times: One Nation Under Fire; The Boston Globe: This is what we’ve become; Dallas Morning News: Again? Yes, again; Austin-American Statesmen: We’re better than this. Aren’t we?
We live in a country where the satirical news site The Onion reposts the same story every time there’s another mass shooting with the recurring headline “ ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens” and only changes the place, date and number of victims.
We live in a country where foreign nations are warning their citizens that traveling in the United States could put them at risk of becoming a victim of a mass shooting, including Japan, Uruguay and Venezuela … yes, Venezuela.
We live in a country where recent mass
shootings have targeted the black community (Charleston, S.C.), the Jewish community (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and the Hispanic community (El Paso, Texas).
We live in a country where recent mass shootings have centered on immigration – in addition to El Paso, the shooter at the Pittsburgh synagogue targeted the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.
We live in a country where you plot your exit strategy as you sit in church on Sunday listening to the sermon because you figure a mass shooting is a possibility.
We live in a country where you find yourself late at night reading a twitter thread by a doctor detailing how to control bleeding if you ever find yourself at a mass shooting, because you think there’s a good chance you might one day find yourself at a mass shooting.
We live in a country where “thoughts and prayers” from politicians are going to fall mighty short if someone you love is killed in one of these mass shootings.
We live in a country where a moment of fear strikes you as you drop off your kids at school because you wonder if you’ll ever see them again.
We live in a country where children have to routinely practice active shooter drills at school.
We live in a country where bullet-resistant backpacks are sold in stores.
We live in a country where no congressional action was taken after 26 people, including 20 children between 6 and 7 years old, were victims of a mass shooting.
We live in a country where lawn darts were banned in the late 1980s after three children were killed by the toys, and yet, 1,500 children are shot and killed each year.
We live in a country where a pro soccer player celebrated a goal on Sunday by grabbing a microphone near the field and yelling “Hey Congress, do something, now! End gun violence!”
We live in a country where mass shootings have taken place at preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, bars, offices, airports, hospitals, churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, concerts, nightclubs, newsrooms, movie theaters, yoga studios, bowling alleys, military bases, city buildings, political events, garlic festivals and Walmarts.
We live in a country where a mass shooting hasn’t happened at a sporting event … yet.
(Send comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @jjsmithccnt.)