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Spree Killer Contradictions

I refuse to write his name because he’s not the point, the is-he-or-isn’t-he faking psychosis mass murderer who destroyed dozens of families last weekend in his quest for selfishness. As much as we want to aim our fingers at him in judgment, this act of violence isn’t about him, just as it wouldn’t be about the lone terrorist who stuffed a bomb into his underwear, or the two disgruntled men who took out the Federal building in Oklahoma City all those Aprils ago. I don’t absolve any of these men of their acts, certainly not, but I can’t abide providing them the public attention they crave and that they receive from so many media outlets.

One wonders where people even get the idea (CSI) to gun down (Call of Duty) large groups of people (The Closer, NCIS) in a twisted sense of justice (Breaking Bad, Dexter) or superhuman power (The X-Men, The Dark Knight). And we could ponder why we see these events as solely the actions of a broken brain (Criminal Minds, Numb3rs, The Silence of the Lambs) are at their core individual episodes and not related in any way to larger systems that have a perverse need to produce violence.

I just don’t know how we get here, where a stream of life-ending bullets descends onto a crowd gathered for a movie, and it takes everyone too long to realize they’re actually under attack. Susanne called this aspect of Friday night’s tragedy particularly sad, and she’s got a good point there. Who are we as a culture that extreme violence is so much of our contemporary entertainment narratives?

Also weird to me is the utter silence around potentially productive conversations we could be having right now but aren’t. The National Rifle Association balked when people were upset about a tweet they posted after the shooting:

NRA tweet

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