A number of facts have been lost in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, so I’m going to list them here.
- We all have unfortunate or unworthy thoughts after horrific crimes like this, but people with the kind of ethics that normal Americans would want their children to emulate never voice them in the public square. Social media has, unfortunately, provided us with a loudspeaker that is tailor-made to broadcast these unworthy thoughts, and the least decent of us have taken the opportunity to do just that. If you view mass murders through a pre-determined political lens, whether it’s gun control, anti-NRA sentiment, or race/ideology-based animus toward the victims, there’s something desperately, deeply wrong with you. Your insistence on politicizing a massacre absent facts displays de facto indifference to the suffering of the victims and their families.
- While you may have license to express your opinion, your ignorance of gun handling, gun laws, gun culture, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the particulars of this case don’t guarantee that you or your opinion will be taken seriously by people of substance. Emotionalism doesn’t equal credibility, no matter how strongly you feel.
- You can’t counter emotion with facts, no matter how hard you try. It’s stupid to make the attempt. To paraphrase one of my favorite expressions, “You can’t reason someone out of a position he hasn’t reasoned himself into.” Ridicule is the only answer to politically-motivated emotional appeals, and it must be applied without mercy.
- Your blistering hot take, tweeted at 140 characters (more or less) is unbelievably stupid, unnecessary, and without the slightest value whatsoever. Most of the time you don’t know what you’re talking about, and even if you do in this case, you’re the noise in the signal-to-noise ratio. Your snark is only welcomed by your fans. Everyone else thinks you’re disgusting.
- More talking to each other won’t heal America’s internal division. Fueled by a hostile media culture and exacerbated by the easy anonymity of social media, we’re as divided as we can get absent a real-live civil war. Hell is, unfortunately, other people. We’ve talked to each other enough, and we’ve found that we just don’t get along. It wasn’t long ago that we could disagree without one side trying to destroy the other, but those times have faded into memory.
Donate blood. Donate money. Reach out to a friend. Hug your kids. Pray. Volunteer.