I am unsettled today by yet another mass shooting in my country. It seems like not a day goes by without a New York Times news alert about it. (I plan to turn those alerts off after I finish writing this.) This time, a gunman killed seven people, then himself. This detail about the story jumped out at me: “The shooting likely lasted one or two minutes.”
I think the news media covers mass shootings like they are exciting, like some kind of action movie where bad outcomes only happen to the extras, and the rest of us get to watch. But “one or two minutes” isn’t an action movie. It isn’t something exciting. It’s actually, really, really stupid. That such a thing is even possible, outside a war, is embarrassing and shameful to all of us. I wish it were more widely considered to be.