Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Help me understand your shock and amazement America

I woke up this morning to the news that another psycho with a gun had gone mad and killed ten people (and wounded many others) on a college campus in America. I get most of my news in 140 characters on ¬†Twitter, and this time I didn’t even go to an article to find out the details of what had happened. Even on Twitter there were pics of crying, shocked and grieving people, who had either been on the scene or had lost someone they loved. The responses were identical to the ones before; just different people having them. Even Obama looked and sounded like a broken record. I feel for him. He keeps saying that the only way to lessen or prevent these terrible crimes is for there to be stricter gun control. And yet, there aren’t. And yet, people claim that this is not the case, and yet, people are utterly surprised when the lunatic takes out the semi-automatic that he managed to get hold of and shoot a whole bunch of people dead.

Now, this does come in the week that the crime stats were released here, in South Africa, and we have more murders a day than hours in a day. Just think about that slowly. It is almost beyond comprehension. And it is obviously really easy to get a stolen gun here, to do the crimes. So, I am not for a moment suggesting we don’t have huge gun problems of our own here. And maybe the reason why we aren’t surprised at the crime and violence anymore is because it is so terribly, numbingly commonplace. My friend was at a coffee shop that was robbed in Jozi yesterday. A few blocks away from my house there was a hijacking at gunpoint today. So, we have similar problems, no doubt, but, America, what I don’t understand in your case, is how surprised everyone is that this happens. It feels like you have become better and better at being at tragedies; doing the vigils, and flowers and candles and TV interviews, and talk shows, and on scene reporting and psychological breakdowns with experts, and commentary and breaking news, and rustling up of mothers and fathers and best friends and witnesses and witnesses of witnesses. It feels like you are getting good at having them, and that no evidence or proof will convince you that gun control laws are what you need.

Watching this from the outside makes me feel schizophrenic. How can you not get this? How is it that I get those ‘not again’ feelings, when you seem, as an entire nation, to not believe it has happened again. Honestly, I am curious, in that watching an accident kind of way. What will it take for you to see? Or don’t you want to?

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for these words, Megan. It is beyond tragic. And yet, every time like you say there is more surprise – i think the stats are 42 school shootings this year which is pretty much one per week. Mind blown. And like you say we don’t have it any better here except it seems different when it is school and with the ease at which people get guns. And how short it is before someone suggests that if all the teachers had been armed this could have been prevented because the solution to gun violence is clearly to have more guns out there…

    Tragic.

  2. sandi

    that there have been so many mass shootings with no change in the laws makes one thing that killing of school children has been acceptable.

  3. sandi

    become acceptable is what I meant.

  4. sandi

    not quite done. at the same time, our murder rate is totally out of control and yet most of these killings don’t even make the news.

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