It’s been weeks since the pair of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, and I have yet to see a single person be constructive on the situation.
People are screaming ad hominems at each other, doxxing the supporters of their ideological opponents and are generally discussing “solutions” with the same level-headedness of two starving dogs fighting over a t-bone. Well, I suppose I shouldn’t say “are.”
“Were” is much more apt. Our societal short-term memory has already blinked, and we’ve moved past the twin tragedies of El Paso and Dayton and onto other things. Most of the news cycles from the last two weeks have been solely focused on the President’s Twitter account again, which is just lovely.
Now the topic of mass shootings will settle back to sleep until another tragedy reminds the 24-hour news machine and political talking heads about one of their favorite chew toys, and the fun non-discussion can start all over again.
People say “the internet never forgets anything” – and it’s a funny statement to me. The immediacy of information and the fallout from the mass acceptance of the world-wide web have absolutely ruined our short term memories.
I know, I know, tha saying refers to the fact that nothing can every really be deleted online, but the fact remains that while there is a high degree of permanence to materials published in the digital age, the longevity of those things in our own memories is extremely short. It becomes frustrating, because when an actual issue appears (and by actual issue, I don’t mean anything that happens on Twitter) it pops in and out of the public consciousness just long enough for people to be indignant about it, but it’s gone before any solutions can be achieved or even discussed. With mass shootings for example, there are so many levels to the problem.
It was on air just long enough for politicians and pundits to wage a verbal pro and con war regarding gun control, when there are other issues at play in these tragedies.
No prominent discussion was had on the division and radicalization of people through the internet. The gross ideology of the El Paso shooter was widely discussed, but we know basically nothing about the motivations from the Dayton shooter – which seems like something that the people in charge should have figured out.
Even with the racist nonsense the El Paso guy spouted, I never saw any wide-spread digging into actually what pushed him over the edge. What was the defining moment that made him murder so many people? There are plenty of terrible racists out there that don’t shoot up stores – so I want to know what the final straw was, and how it could have been prevented.
The discussion we got instead was empty calories. It may have filled up the bellies of the people talking on TV for a while, but no nutritional substance trickled out to the general public. What we are left with is 31 dead from these shootings, and no way to prevent the next one.