The BBC began its report on the shooting in San Bernadino, California by saying “Just another day in America…”
The Los Angeles Times described Americans reaction was “numbed acceptance, bordering on disassociation.”
And as politicians block discussion on a bill that would close the “terrorist loop hole” keeping people on the terrorism “no fly” list from buying guns, I find that there is actually a certain perverse logic to it.
Today it is people inspired by ISIS. Last week it was someone inspired by anti-abortion rhetoric. Before that it was racism, then an aggrieved young man who was tired of being rejected by women, then someone who believed aliens were speaking to him through his radio…
If we protect ourselves from people who would plow down American citizens because of one ideology, but do nothing to stop others, it won’t change much.
In the end it doesn’t matter all that much whether it is ISIS or Al Queda or someone who thinks re-enacting Columbine will make him infamous. People who were going about their daily lives are dead, we do not seem to have the power or will to address the thorny problem and have tacitly agreed to cope with these events as if they were natural disasters.
When large numbers of Americans are killed in the course of their daily lives, when they are shot in a mall or at the movies or in church, we say “Oh, it’s one of those.”
So maybe this is all part of a brilliant strategy to win the war on terror by creating a population that is no longer capable of feeling terror. Maybe we need to rename it “numbed-acceptance-bordering-on-disassociation-ism.”