The two reactions that always pop up after a tragic incident like the recent theater shooting in Colorado are very interesting in how divergent they are. Some people say, “This is exactly why guns should be banned. If people couldn’t get guns, this kind of thing would never happen.” The other crowd says, “This is exactly why more people should be allowed to carry guns. If more people were armed, it would be a deterrent to lunatics like this, and victims could defend themselves and save lives by ending the incident quicker.”
And, as always, the one group rolls their eyes at the other’s proclamation and cringes at the feeble-mindedness of the argument, the person setting it forth, and the entire political philosophy of that stupid, stupid person.
In other words, incidents like this do nothing but drive us further apart.
Instead of coming together to grieve over a tragic incident, we argue about how to ensure it never happens again. This is the exact argument I found myself in last night. The discussion started with grief and sickness over what happened, but it quickly turned to anger and frustration over how to solve the problem.
The truth is, we cannot do anything to stop incidents like these. We live in a world where guns and lunatics exist. Short of chaining every human to a wall for the duration of their lives – or just killing them all, – people will find ways to acquire and use weapons. Tragedies will happen from time to time. And that really sucks.
In fact, it sucks so much that people will not accept it. I fully expect politicians to jump in (or citizens to pull politicians in) to “fix” the problem.
Legislation will be passed saying that costumes cannot be worn in public, at which point the government will have the final say in what constitutes a costume and, therefore, what people can and cannot wear. Or perhaps going to a movie will become more like getting on an airplane. Think of all the new jobs that will open up when the MTSA (Movie Theater Security Administration) sets up metal detectors and scanning machines in theaters across the nation. “I’m sorry, sir, you can only bring 3 ounces of soda into the theater.”
We’re in a catch 22 here. As decent Americans, we have to do something. We can’t just look at the families of the victims and say, “Dude, that sucks, but shit happens.” And yet, the “doing something” will do nothing but further divide us, take away freedoms and conveniences, and leave us more scared than ever.
And you know what, shit will still happen. At some point, we have to just deal with it as it comes up and then move on with our lives.