Sunday, May 20, 2018

Surprise Free Zone

My thoughts and prayers this week are with Meghan and Harry. I wish them well, and thank them for supplying a great big international distraction from the horror of everyday life here in the Colonies. Speaking of the "thoughts and prayers" meme, most of the talking heads steered clear of that phrase as they attempted to wrestle with yet another school shooting.
Quick aside: Do you know how much it pains me to put the phrases "yet another" and "school shooting" together?
And we're back. Texas this time. Santa Fe. The headline in the New York Times included the phrase, "Many unsurprised."
Sorry. Another quick aside. Many unsurprised?
A seventeen year old student, armed with a shotgun and a pistol killed ten and injured another ten, including an armed security officer who was unable to stop the carnage or detain the suspect. Ironically, considering the New York Times headline, witnesses reported that the killer shouted something before he opened fire: "Surprise!"
Another quick stop here, while I check to see if the meaning of "ironically" can be stretched to include the way it makes my stomach pitch and fists clench.
This was, by reportage, the deadliest school shooting "since Parkland." Way back three months ago. Back when we didn't have any common sense gun legislation being enacted by our government. By contrast, there was a flash of a scandal last week when a mass shooting occurred in Australia. Certain wags pointed their fingers at that incident to say, "See? Australia doesn't allow any guns and still people die. You can't stop the killing."
A friend of mine said this: "Every time politicians say there’s nothing that can be done to stop school shootings, it becomes a little more true."
Which is why we aren't surprised. It's a part of the news cycle: Sports, weather, and this week's tragic mass shooting. News trucks descend on the town, knowing the drill: conduct the interviews, get some shots of the candlelight vigil, capture the shock and pain, wait for the call to pack up and move to the next little town torn apart. Another church. Another school. Another town full of families that will never be whole again.
I think I will continue to pray that I don't have to think and pray so much about this anymore. No surprise there, either.

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