Today, in a high school in Oregon, a shooter killed a fellow student in a locker room while the rest of the school took final exams.
This isn’t to be confused with yesterday’s chaotic firearm situation, where a man fled a domestic violence dispute and wound up on the roof of someone else’s home in North Hollywood, Calif. with an AK-47.
These are now, in every real way, everyday occurrences—galling, bombastic spectacles in televisual violence.
We have done nothing to stop it. And both sides of the traditional American political dichotomy have only taken steps to exacerbate it for gains in political capital or, worse, simple readership and viewership.
Fox News, it was revealed today, is the most trusted news source among Americans. Their answer to gun violence? Arm everyone.
Today, before Reynolds High School in Oregon had been evacuated, a guest on Fox had already began speaking about “anti-gun nuts.”
Of course, a good guy with a gun—the NRA’s solution to the gun death epidemic—tried to stop last Friday’s Las Vegas Wal-Mart shooting that left two police officers dead. He was instead killed by the other far-right extremist flanking the man whom he mistakenly believed to be a lone gunman.
The Washington Post tried to provide answers to the first part of yesterday’s alleged domestic-violence-charge-turned-hot-pursuit-turned-standoff in North Hollywood.
Their solution to domestic violence? Get married!
“The bottom line is this: Married women are notably safer than their unmarried peers, and girls raised in a home with their married father are markedly less likely to be abused or assaulted than children living without their own father,” W. Bradford Wilcox and Robin Fretwell Wilson wrote.
They then finished off the story with this tone-deaf kicker.
“So, women: if you’re the product of a good marriage, and feel safer as a consequence, lift a glass to dear old dad this Sunday.”
That’s right: The implication is that if you feel safe as a woman, some badly applied science says it’s because your dad allowed for it.
This is not a science experiment.
Women don’t want a solution on how to be hit less. They don’t want men hitting them to begin with, no matter who they are.
People don’t want a solution on how to not be shot at. They don’t want to be shot at to begin with, no matter who they are.
Compounding the problem with bad solutions only takes us further away from the real thing: Violence is too easy to commit in America right now, and it’s even easier to explain away.
The way to stop violence is to stop violence. It is not to stop offending potential wifebeaters and dogmatic mass murderers by being someone else. The way to stop violence is to create a climate where violence for a cause is the most vile and shameful thing, and to disarm abusers and killers before any event takes place.
This disarmament includes taking away weapons so people cannot commit violence, yes. That is common sense, lost on too many.
It also includes taking away excuses for committing atrocities, major and minor. And it means viewing people as living things who wish to remain safe and alive and themselves, no matter who they are—not as lab rats or numbers or people who can be fixed with a better attitude and a gun.