But nobody cared.
And that seems to be the MO for the United States these days. A fire starts and everyone runs to the fire and everyone YELLS at it and YELLS at each other and stand around and don't really do anything about the actually raging inferno until it dies down to some burning embers and everyone kind of forgets it was there and they leave. The embers ever-so-slowly burn their way along the dry grass of the American Heartland to the next pile of fuel soaked rags and OH FUCK ANOTHER INFERNO and everyone runs to it and look at each other and says "I TOLD YOU THIS WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU DIDN'T DO SOMETHING!!!" and then they blame everything from dry grass to gasoline to piles of rags but not the fact they never decided to put out the original fires to begin with.
Because nobody cares to. It's too hard, or they don't know how.
And that's how it is with every American tragedy, most recently a mass shooting at a gay night club in Orlando, FL. And I've seen memes and news reports and tweets and retweets aplenty. But none of them seem to be addressing probably the biggest problem: Why?
Why does it keep happening?
It's not because of gun control, it's not because of Islam, it's not because of gays... it's because of people.
For so long, we've raised people to believe that problems can be solved with murder, whether it's the death penalty or war or killing someone you don't like. The fact is that it's just not true.
Let me pause and say, that for a long, long time, I was a supporter of capital punishment. To a certain extent, I still am. But it's a fact: the death penalty does nothing, NOTHING, to deter future capital crimes, or any crimes at all (PS - Rape, sexual abuse, and child molestation are not capital crimes. PPS - Why the fuck not?).
Murders, and indeed all crime, is caused because of three reasons: Profit, Passion, or Compulsion. A person who commits a crime for profit has weighed the positives against the negatives and acts judiciously, as to not get caught. In their mind, they know they have taken all the steps to avoid the law. A person who commits a crime of passion is so caught up in their emotion, there is no deterrent strong enough to make them think logically about the outcomes. A person who commits a crime of compulsion is just that, compelled to the thing, whatever that is, and nothing can stop them. Not the threat of jail or death or even God.
I'm sure there are many variables and combinations in these three, though. I'm sure Omar Mateen, with his professed allegiance to both Al Quieda and ISIS, committed a crime of compulsion mixed with a little bit of profit and passion on the side.
But this one guy isn't the problem. There's been mass shootings, like, every fucking week for two years, it seems like.
And guns aren't the problem, either. He got his guns legally and I've heard the 2nd Amendment argument and I've even heard that "the right to bear arms" could mean any arms such as swords and pitchforks and the government could easily take away our guns because we could still "arm" ourselves.
It's not even a mental health problem, despite the fact that these people... these shooters... are sociopaths, and think it's okay to do away with what they don't like through violence.
It's the problem of the rest of society. Of you and me. Because we let it happen. Because we never stopped it and now we don't know how, and if we think we do, it's not something everyone can agree on anymore, so no parts of government can agree with us or get us to agree with them, and they certainly can't agree with each other, because The Government and The Media aren't some mythical beasts out roaming the wilds, they're people, parts of society with opinions and assholes just like the rest of us.
We can't keep blaming the matches. We can't keep blaming the firemen.
We can only hope that somehow, the next fire isn't so big that we can't teach the next generation how to put it out.