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The Possibility that You Might Get Shot Is a Depressing Fact of American Life

August 27, 2015 in Blogs

By Megan Carpentier, The Guardian

The Virginia shootings are part of a cycle in which innocent people are murdered and politicians get away with doing nothing

The first time I did something about America’s epidemic of mass shootings was not when I looked up and saw on TV that a child had shot up a school full of children – although that’s happened a lot of times here.

It wasn’t when I saw a horrific video playing on a loop on Facebook on Wednesday, like so much of the rest of the world did, after another video of the same killing played in a loop on the the cable networks and across Twitter, even as people called for the Virginia video to disappear.

No, there wasn’t social media or an online death reel of snuff films in the midst ofa sniper’s killing spree in the Washington DC metro area, way back in 2002.

I didn’t write my then-congressman demanding more gun control, of which we have little.

I didn’t email my then-senators demanding that they do something to reduce the number of guns on the streets, because I knew they didn’t really read their emails.

I didn’t even call my state assemblywoman or my state senator in Richmond, Virginia, to demand that they close the state’s well-known and egregious loophole that lets people buy guns easily at gun shows.

Instead, I positioned the back of my car toward a building, and stood, bent over, behind my car door while I pumped gas – in case a teenage sniper was aiming at me, from somewhere I couldn’t see, hunting me.

The blasé acceptance that, yes, you might well get shot some day is as much of a facet of American life in 2015 as it was in 2002. We are as desensitized now as we were were in 1993, when Colin McCarthy shot up a Long Island Railroad train car of commuters and in 1984, when James Huberty shot up a McDonalds in San Ysidro, California. The<a target=_blank href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/alternet/~www.timesunion.com/local/article/Recalling-three-hours-of-terror-in-Lecture-Center-5961566.php" name="in body link" id="in body …read more


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