45th School Shooting This Year (This One Will Be Different!)

The first school shooting happened, as the year had just begun;
I considered getting angry, but, you know, it’s only one.

The second shooting happened (it was only one day later!)
And I would have made a fuss, but I have never been a hater.

The third and fourth “events” took place a week after the first
Five shootings in one month, we saw… but January’s cursed.

Well, February’s shorter, so I thought I’d find relief—
But seven shootings later, and I nearly spoke my grief,

But in March I felt quite chastened, cos the crime wave wasn’t true
Instead of seven shootings, why, this March had only two!

So I thanked my lord and savior for my fortune and my fate
And it took me by surprise, of course, when April gave us eight!

Then six in May, and two in June, and three more in July—
I didn’t write my senator; I really don’t know why.

Five shootings came in August, and then six more graced September
I think that totals forty-four; I really can’t remember.

And now, October First, it seems another shooting’s come
And the citizens are frightened… or they’re angry… or they’re numb

But I’m told this time is different! There’s a buzz you can’t deny;
Yes, indeed, this time is different! But they cannot tell me why.

And the president will comfort us, and sound a sad alarm…
Maybe this time will be different… forty-fifth time is a charm.

I wrote the words “and the president will comfort us” just as president Obama’s presser began. The script of this entire thing is entirely too predictable. Too familiar. Too well-rehearsed–literally, because it has happened too many times. (oh, and the “45” number is limited to school shootings. If you want multiple or mass shootings, the number this year is bigger.)

I’m looking for the original source on twitter (if you find it, please help!), but someone there pointed out that gun control lost as of Sandy Hook. If shooting that many kids isn’t enough to push for gun control, then why on earth should something like today? (Cuttlecap tip to Jo Brodie for the following:)

As of this writing, the president has stopped talking. He sounded, understandably, worn down with this issue. And I am too. The networks are immediately railing about mental illness and background checks (wanna bet the shooter is white?), claiming that “only a gun can stop a gun” (hey, it’s been nearly a month and a half since the shooter on the French train was taken down by 3-4 good guys without guns–who has that sort of memory?). And maybe a lame-duck president, a lame-duck speaker, and more people who have run out of fucks to give, can maybe get something done.

45th time (this year) is a charm.


  1. lorn says

    The NRA, and their fan club, keep asserting that only guns can stop gun violence. But, as of this date, and the last forty years, guns have repeatedly and consistently failed to stop these mass shooting events.

    It is like they expect that some day, somewhere, a mass shooting will be under way and someone with a gun will whip it out and neatly and effectively thwart the plan before it all goes south, and then … then … it will all be worth it. Guns as tools routinely carried by untrained persons will be validated as a concept, and vindicated as what the new normal should look like.

    This is cargo-cult behavior. If we all just believe in the power of guns to save us all deeply enough, and wait long enough, and sacrifice enough people on the alter of the holy handgun, this blessed event will occur and Hallelujah … all Americans will have the scales fall from their eyes and everyone will clearly see handguns for the universal unalloyed good that they are. Everyone will joins the NRA, and everyone six and up will pack heat everywhere they go, will be good, and nobody will ever dare to use a gun illegally … ever again.

  2. Richard Simons says

    My understanding is that the NRA does not allow guns in its buildings or meetings. Is this correct?

  3. mesh says

    Not much different from the conservative position on torture, lorn. Sure, overwhelming evidence suggests supports the weapons-grade irony of “enhanced interrogation” given that the quality of the intel spirals downwards in the effort to placate interrogators to make the pain stop, but just you wait — one day the mythical ticking time bomb scenario they can’t stop talking about will occur, and this alone will absolve their twisted ideology.

    When it comes to conservatives, it’s hero worship all the way down. Whether it’s God, robber barons, torturers, or a modern day Jesse James, justice and order can only be laid down by an extraordinary few, and the least us ungrateful plebs can do is stay out of their way as they rescue us out of sheer love for the good ol’ Red, White, and Blue!

    The scary part is this hero fetishism is part of what makes guns so dangerous. After all, the purchase of his handgun marked Elliot Rodger’s ascent to godhood, turning a victim of society into a divine being with the power to correct all worldly injustice on the Day of Retribution. But don’t worry, I’m sure there will be a window to discuss this on the 46th school shooting once all of the usual non-personalities are done blaming it all on mental illness, atheism, and violent television.

  4. Trebuchet says

    The local sheriff in Roseburg is, or has been, a Sandy Hook Truther. Based, of course, on his love of all things gun.

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