Thoughts on life after the PhD
1. Messages about shock and heartbreak, confusion about who did it and why.
2. Overall sense of familiar dread and helplessness, messages of disbelief from people who live in other countries.
3. White male shooter: media depiction of him as a loner and an anomaly, a person suffering from mental health issues, and (occasionally) a domestic abuser.
4. Non-white male shooter: media depiction of him as part of a violent race / cultural group / religious group, calls for tougher immigration laws (even if he was born in the U.S.), depiction of him as representative of an entire group.
5. Thoughts and prayers messages from politicians.
6. People calling out the hypocrisy / meaninglessness of those thoughts and prayers messages, especially if the politicians voicing them took money from the NRA.
7. Excessive use of the word “fuck” by people who don’t use it that often.
8. Talk of having reached a breaking point, expressions of fed up-ness and helplessness.
1. Endless posting of that Onion “No Way to Prevent This” article.
2. Politicians saying it’s premature / insensitive to talk about gun control right now.
3. More people saying please, please can we talk about gun control right now.
4. Famous people making awkward and occasionally elegant statements.
5. Calls for famous people to stay in the actor / athlete / musician lane and stay out of politics.
6. Heartfelt testimony from someone who had a change of heart about gun control after witnessing this mass shooting firsthand.
7. Variations on the “If it had happened this way / in this other country, this is how we would’ve reacted” theme.
8. Mournful speech from the President, with varying levels of sincerity.
9. “What, are you gonna ban knives and baseball bats now?”
10. “When you can kill 50 people in two minutes with a knife or a bat, sure, you fucking idiot.” 11. Accusations that someone is doing grief wrong on social media.
1. Endless stream of logical arguments (we don’t let people bring liquids on planes, we regulate car seats, surely we can have a rational conversation about regulating guns). 2. Endless reposting of articles about how Australia and the UK actually did something after a mass shooting and have now drastically reduced the number of gun-related deaths in their countries. 3. Article about how Japan doesn’t have a gun problem. 4. Calls for politicians to actually do something, questions about what everyday people can actually do.
1. Conspiracy theories and attacks on victims’ family members who speak out about gun control and politicians’ hypocrisy.
2. In some cases, drafting of actual bills meant to limit gun ownership by domestic abusers or people with violent criminal records, or to limit the sale of automatic weapons. 3. Fierce backlash, intense lobbying by the NRA. 4. Inevitable disappointment and outrage when politicians capitulate and the bills die.
5. Gradual loss of interest and momentum until next mass shooting.
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