adam ward

Guns and forks

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Another shooting happened in America today. Stifle your yawns, please.

This one was particularly interesting, as far as American gun violence goes. A. Because it happened on live television; B. Because the shooter recorded the destruction of two former TV station colleagues on his GoPro, then Tweeted, “I filmed the shooting see Facebook.”

It seems Bryce Williams, a one-time reporter for the WDBJ news team, was angry about having been fired from the station, and sought revenge. So he showed up at Bridgewater Plaza, a shopping and recreational sports facility in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, as a reporter, Alison Parker, was interviewing Vicki Gardner, a Chamber of Commerce Official. He then fired off a bunch of shots, killing Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, a 27-year-old cameraman. Gardner was shot in the back, but is alive.

I can write the same old crap, about the NRA and the inane interpretations of the Second Amendment; about how we are a ludicrously violent nation; about how our president and representatives are pure cowards when it comes to this issue; about how money trumps safety; about how I’ve heard enough bluster on the importance of a commitment to “mental health issues”; how nothing will ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever change.

Instead, I want to talk about Facebook. Namely, something a friend of mine wrote today. This …

He could have stabbed them to death too Jeff. With a fork. In the neck. Should we ban forks? How would people eat. When someone wants to kill they will find a way. Fact is, if someone there had a gun, he probably would have been stopped after the first shot or 2. Gun control will not stop gun violence. I know its a hot/heated political issue but some on man.

•••

The man who scribed the above passage is a nice guy. A good guy. A smart guy. And his comment got five likes, from Facebook folks of various genres. Which, truly, makes me want to surrender on this issue; to throw up my hands and say, “OK, y’all win. Let’s all have guns.”

Why? Because I no longer know what to say. Every argument I can think have has been uttered. Every available statistic has been cited. Nations with great gun access have greater gun violence. That’s a fact. Keeping a gun in a home with children is a more likely recipe for disaster than safety. Also a statistical fact. But, still, we’re talking forks. If people genuinely think there’s an equivalency between a utensil as a deadly device and a gun as a deadly device, what chances are there of change? If that particular argument can be digested and regurgitated, with a straight face and true intentions, how can we do anything widespread to decrease gun violence?

It’s a hopeless day in America. It has been for a long time.

Pass the fork.

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