Sadly, the mass shooting earlier this week was not surprising. These horrific events are becoming so commonplace that even The Onion has the narrative down pat.
We’ve seen it all before: A mentally unstable individual whose behavior was just innocuous enough not to trigger alarm bells. A place no one ever expected gun violence to occur. Senseless killing.
As with Columbine, Aurora, Fort Hood, Sandy Hook, and the countless other mass killings resulting from the lethal mix of mental illness and firearms, the question is: Will we do anything about it?
At this point, I’m beginning to think the answer is “probably not.”
A mass killing usually stirs emotions on both sides of the gun control debate, leading people to pledge for stricter regulations, or have rallies at Starbucks.
With the country already preoccupied with Syria, the fifth anniversary of the Great Recession, and the impending implementation of Obamacare/goverment shutdown, the Washington Navy Yard shooting didn’t even get that much attention.
Even if it did, it would probably be stymied by a gun lobby that thinks the people it represents are the center of the universe, and an opposition all too eager to let the gun lobby turn the debate into a marathon of consolation. Then people would lose interest. Until it happened again.
When the random killing of innocent people follows a predictable narrative, what else is there to talk about?