Weekend Update 2/27/2016 – On a hero, and on silence

10 year old hero Kiera Larsen died pushing 2 toddlers out the way of a car.
10 year old hero Kiera Larsen died pushing 2 toddlers out the way of a car.
So, a 10-year-old girl knew what to do when there was danger: Girl, 10, Fatally Struck While Pushing Toddlers Out of Runaway Vehicle’s Way in San Diego County. She’s a hero who didn’t even have time to think about what she was doing. It’s a story that should bring at least a tear to your eye. Hit the link. There’s a GoFundMe page to help her parents with funeral and medical expenses.

And there’s an investigation. Of course there is. A parked car rolled out and someone died. I don’t expect that the investigation will lead to anything particularly revelatory. Parking brake failure, maybe. I suspect I’m going to find myself being even more anal than usual about double-checking the parking brake on my car for a while after reading this.

There was another topic entirely that has been bothering me this week, and it got really bad yesterday when I took a moment at lunch to check a local news site and saw that there had been yet another mass shooting this week… and not that many miles away from me: Mason County coroner’s office released the names of the family members killed in the shooting at a residence in Belfair. The name of the fourth victim, a neighbor, has not been released. They also haven’t identified a 12-year-old girl who was not shot but was found hiding on the property while police were surrounding and negotiating with the gunman.

In a story in which a woman, here two adopted sons, and a neighbor’s child are all killed, another child is left traumatized, and the shooter kills himself before police can take him into custody, you would think there was tragedy enough. But there’s more. This wasn’t the first mass shooting in the U.S. this week. And it wasn’t the first one this week to be virtually ignored by the vast majority of the media: Kansas mass shooting suspect who killed three co-workers and wouded fourteen others had been served domestic violence order, The Kalamazoo rampage was the 42nd mass shooting this year (and that was last Sunday!), ‘Unspeakable violence’: Phoenix police ID family killed after son opens fire, 4 injured in 2 Related Daytona Beach shootings

And that’s not all: 22 People Were Shot in Five Drive-By Multiple Victim Shootings in America This Week.

Not one single question about this was raised at the Republican Presidential Debate (where the candidates took things to the next crazy level: Final Republican presidential debate summed up as ‘unintelligible yelling’).

And I’m not the only one asking what is wrong with us, as a society: Obama: Mass shootings should dominate the news.

And please, don’t tell me that there’s nothing we could do to reduce these. After a 35 people were killed in a single incident in Port Arthur, Australia, that country decided to do something about it: How Australia Eliminated Mass Shootings. It wouldn’t be as easy in the U.S., because the shear number of guns per capita here is much, much worse. That article includes some of the arguments about why the specific measures Australia took won’t work here. But like most other articles and arguments about this, it focuses on only part of the solution. The real solution was that a majority of Australians refused to accept that there was nothing which could be done, and agreed that it was time to do something.

Our refusal to even contemplate that we could change our attitudes is the only thing that’s stopping us from reducing the number of needless deaths.

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