Losing someone in a mass killing is certainly one of the most painful things that someone can endure. To exhibit the kind of apathy that Fox News has about the Isla Vista shootings adds immense insult to an even larger injury.
With every American mass shooting from Columbine to Virginia Tech to now, media personalities and talking heads ask the same questions: “How did this happen?” “Why did this happen?” “What could have prevented this?” For 15 years now (using Columbine as the metric, but others have occurred before 1999) all anyone ever does is ask questions and talk.
Politicians on both sides are not doing anything to help stop problems like this. Most Democrats are useless cowards and Republicans are obstructionist nutcases. Democrats aren’t aggressive enough and, even worse, Republicans have become apathetic to these shootings. “Welp, what can you do? These things just happen.” Is that what we are supposed to tell the parents of these murdered kids?
No, these things don’t “just happen.” It’s funny that the federal government will act quickly and punish someone for something as harmless as marijuana because of the perceived danger that it might cause society. But when someone wants to place improved regulations on gun purchases and ownership, and Fox News is all over it claiming a violation of constitutional rights.
So, what’s their defense when it comes to mass shootings? That’s right, they throw their hands in the air and chalk it up to another freak accident that no one could do anything about. What’s even more insane about that argument is that they insist that if someone really wants to kill another person, they’ll do it anyway, take away their guns and they’ll just use a knife instead. But I haven’t heard of anyone busting into a classroom and washing hellfire on 30 kids in one swoop with a knife.
What’s sad is that of all the media outlets and supposedly smart, intune people there are in the media, it’s our satirists that are noticing the real problem, assertively and candidly.
The Onion, yes, the Onion, posted what’s probably the most honest piece about the self-defeatist attitude that inhabits many in America when confronted with the tragedy of a mass shooting. The headline should say it all: “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.” Jon Stewart addressed mass shooting apathy as well and destroyed Fox News pundits that seemed to praise and preach apathy.
Mass shootings are not freak accidents that happen on a whim. They are events that have lots of moving parts. Randomly getting struck by lightning is a freak accident, but a mass shooting in a gun-happy culture where the culprit usually exhibits signs and behaviors to that of a mass murderer is something that can be addressed and prevented.
But, of all the ingredients to the mass shooting culture in America, apathy is by far the most bitter and dangerous one.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.