One Thing We Should All Stop Doing When We Hear About a Mass Shooting
There’s been another tragic loss of life involving a mass shooter. 12 victims are dead after a gunman went on a shooting rampage at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California. I’m not even going to get into the inevitable arguments for and against gun control. There is no simple answer that is going to make everybody happy because, if there was, we’d do it. Nobody’s going to solve this problem with a blog or a social media post. But there is ONE thing we could all stop doing whenever we hear the horrific news of another senseless shooting.
If your first reaction to the news of a fatal mass shooting is to say or post online, “Guarantee you the shooter’s going to turn out to be (fill in the blank of whoever you vilify the most)”. Because, if that IS your first instinct you’re doing the whole “being a decent human” thing wrong.
If you don’t believe me… congratulations on never having logged onto a single social media page ever! I envy you.
If you still need proof, go to any ideologically-slanted website and look at the comments sections. If you go to Breitbart or Fox News, you’ll see plenty of folks whose first gut instinct after a tragedy was to go online and, without evidence, put the blame on the “demonized other” of their choice (usually “Muslims” but increasingly “Illegals” or just “Leftists”).
At this point I’d like to site a source that’s like a “left version of Breitbart”. It’s difficult to do so because either: the left Breitbart-analog is largely inactive (OccupyDemocrats, Patribotics), the analog doesn’t allow reader comments (Mother Jones) or the left “analog” is nowhere near as extreme as Breitbart (Huffpo, CNN). So let’s just say you can find “online posts” that are too quick and too gleeful to hypothesize that the shooter is THEIR “demonized other” (“Right-winger” or “Trump Supporter”) are frequently seen.
The problems of jumping online and “predicting” who the shooter is going to be are A.) there’s a good chance you’ll be wrong and B.) even if you’re right, how is that a “win”? Anytime you have a “rooting interest” in who’s responsible for human death and suffering, you’re already awful at being a person.
I won’t go so far as to say you shouldn’t even THINK it because that just seems to be part of how we humans are retired. If I’m 100% truthful, there WAS a small part of me that was a little relieved that the recent mail bomber DIDN’T turn out to be a Trump-hating agent provocateur as Breitbart and FOX predicted. I wish that wasn’t true about myself . I expect many of us have that same inner frailty. So I’m not saying you’re necessarily a monster for having those feelings. But how about if we all try to keep it to ourselves?