Mass murder by gunshot has become a great tradition in America. It is beginning to eclipse the stars and stripes and apple pie as the national cliche.
It is the expression of American exceptionalism and what it is to be free, equal, and just. It is a celebration of one of our great freedoms and of the deaths of those who have been sacrificed in the name of that freedom.
We have the ritual and liturgy worked out in detail.
Monica Hesse summarizes it:
The president makes a statement. The leader of the other party makes a statement. The anti-gun Brady Campaign and the NRA make statements. The statements all express sorrow and regret and a desire for justice for this tragedy. It’s always “a tragedy.” The statements all see the horrible deaths as unfortunate arguments for their sides. It wouldn’t have happened if the country had stricter gun-control laws. It wouldn’t have happened if citizens had the right to carry concealed weapons. No one will try to politicize the shooting, but some might accuse others of trying to politicize the shooting. It will be disgusting.The Onion also points out that we have got this routine down pat:
We will get reactions from the man-on-the-street.
We will discuss our perpetual culture of violence.
We’ll feel sorry for the killer’s mother.
According to the nation's citizenry, calls for a mature, thoughtful debate about the role of guns in American society started right on time, and should persist throughout the next week or so. However, the populace noted, the debate will soon spiral out of control and ultimately lead to nothing of any substance, a fact Americans everywhere acknowledged they felt "absolutely horrible" to be aware of.All we need now is for the government to stop intruding on our freedoms and name a day to celebrate them. In fact, this holiday is so huge and significant, a day cannot do it justice. It needs at least a week.
A week-long celebration of fire-arm mayhem and death would speak to America's most cherished values and traditions. It could contribute massively to the American economy and the spirit of competition.
The Aurora theater massacre is, according to the press, the biggest mass shooting in American history. That gives the next competitor a very high bar to shoot over. A national week for mass shooting would give the public a chance to prepare and organize to enjoy it, and it would give the shooters a very attentive, focused audience.
Retail centers could devote 7 or 8 months to stock their stores and promote merchandise to celebrate National Mass Shooting Week with. Maybe we could incorporate it with Christmas and New Years and make it a two-week affair.
Education could be made more relevant and engaging for students. Educators could emphasize our great tradition behind our greatest freedom by exploring the subjugation and massacre of Indians; the joys and jubilation of slavery, segregation, and lynchings; the thrill of gang wars; the thrill of any wars; the potential of firearms and murder in domestic disputes; the art and science of planning a massacre. The teachers who produce the most successful shooters in the national competition could be awarded merit pay. Education would be revolutionized.
The economic benefits go without saying, and the magnitude is hard to imagine.
The benefits to national pride and stature in the world would cement America's number one position in all those areas of power and glory that really count.
We need a national holiday that speaks to our strengths, inspires in our children a new sense of competition and excellence, and provides a joyous occasion for all Americans to demonstrate their pride and mettle.
A national mass shooting holiday could save the world. If we can figure out from what.