After every bloody crisis, we tend to not talk about it. Sadly, us staying mute merely emboldens more reptition of the same mistakes.
Another horrible tragedy has struck our American cousins. They are feelings from so much after three hurricanes, and now their deadliest ever mass shooting, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, has just spoken to the press about this not being the “right time” to talk about gun control.
And she’s right, now is not the time to talk about gun control. How could we even begin to think about such a dry, political thing as policy when there are people mourning the deaths of their loved ones after they were mown down in a senseless act of “pure evil”? We must examine every excruciating detail of the life of this awful lone-wolf and how a normal man could execute 59 people and injure more than 500 others. Policy is boring, whereas the details of a crime are fascinating and emotional. Discussing how to prevent this from ever happening again is a discussion for clearer heads, for less emotional people.
We must show the world the exact face of this monster, Stephen Paddock – a singular monster, who supposedly holds no associations or allegiances other than to himself. We must plaster his face everywhere, learn his name, his age, find out what went wrong and who wronged him. Let’s scrutinise, criticise and examine his entire family, his friends, his relationships, trying to find out who he was, so they can tell us how they didn’t see this coming. Because who could?
Is he a Republican? Make it about Trump! Is he a Democrat? Make it about Bernie or Hillary or Obama. At no point must this be about gun availability, background checks, mental health services or white privilege. No, these are political topics with too much bad press attached, and besides, they would take away from coverage of the victims. You don’t want that, do you? What are you, a monster? Have you no sympathy?
It’s the exact same as how this is not the time to talk about Puerto Rico and the damage it has sustained from Hurricane Irma, nor is it appropriate to criticise President Trump’s response to the disaster. No, there are people mourning the loss of their homes, their loved ones, and their communities in this senseless “act of God”.
These people have no power! No clean water! Have we got more photos of that? Look at them suffering! Those are American citizens, you know? Not white ones, I know, but they are similar – but not the same – to those in Texas and Florida. They just have more debt. It is the right time to talk about their debt, because how can we afford to send them help if they haven’t paid back their debt? Sorry, but them’s the breaks!
Their communities must be held responsible, and people with the same faith or skin colour must be forced – online, on the street, or on television – to justify their religion, their heritage, their existence.
The wake of something terrible is never the time to talk about policy. Nor, really, is any other time because then you’re still only politicising the issue. No, when bad things happen we must exclusively mourn the fallen, pray for the injured, donate money and blood, and then do nothing to fix the problem except move on. Bringing up any policy change is merely a platform to get votes or likes or political brownie points. How dare you stomp on Second Amendment rights which were enshrined when guns could only fire a single bullet and had a reload time of about 30 seconds to a minute? How dare you bring up healthcare when this is a free market, designed to help businesses flourish? What do you think this is, Canada? How dare you make us think about supporting a disaster zone in Puerto Rico and treating them like the American citizens they are – don’t you understand that they’re on an island in the ocean and that things are hard?
That is, of course, unless those doing the damage are “radical Islamic terrorists”. If that’s the case, then we must crack down on them with the fire and vengeance of a furious god! We must restrict the movements of people even tangentially related – or simply similar to – those who committed the acts. Their communities must be held responsible, whether overseas or at home, and people with the same faith or skin colour must be forced – online, on the street, or on television – to justify their religion, their heritage, their existence. That’s the only way they’ll learn! We cannot appear weak in the eyes of these monsters!
We must turn those refugees away because one poisoned Skittle is enough to cause a huge recall of all the bags throughout the country. If we can’t send them home, put them in camps – that seems to work well! One of those Rohingya, or Syrians, or any other refugee could be an ISIS agent in waiting. Never mind that most of the Islamic-associated attacks on American soil have been from American citizens, mostly born in America; their parents were immigrants, right?
If one of them wrongs us, we will vilify them, attack their family, show their community no mercy. How could they have not seen this coming in someone they knew so well, held so close? Don’t they know that everything they say and do is a constant litmus test of validation for their very existence? The fact that they didn’t see it means that they’re either in on it, or they’re just ignorant, negligent fools. Or both.
No, if there’s anything to be taken from this, it’s that everything must remain the same until everything calms right down again and people are cool and collected. We must wait for a day in America that holds no mass shootings at all, where no one is affected by gun violence, where no one takes their own lives by firearm. Then and only then can we discuss gun violence. Just as we must wait for a day when Puerto Rico is unaffected by a hurricane to discuss sending relief aid for the damage caused by the hurricane. Otherwise, how can we know it isn’t all knee-jerk reactions? Even if they are in the right direction.