BACKGROUND RADIATION

Here's a screenshot I grabbed from CNN early last week. See if you notice anything odd.

cnn

Take a look at the secondary stories in the column on the left. You know, the "Kinda important but not too important" list. Halfway down, beneath the story about a zookeeper who got eaten by a tiger, we have two separate incidents with a total of 13 people shot dead.

What can you say anymore about a country in which eight and five people being shot to death almost simultaneously is barely news. We're so used to it, it is the background radiation of living in the U.S. We long ago passed the point of caring; now we're not even noticing.

16 thoughts on “BACKGROUND RADIATION”

  • Wayne LaPierre would like to remind you that if not for guns making everyone safe, that number would be a lot higher.

    And then he goes to bed in a big house where the walls bleed and he can't sleep because of the cries of children that emanate from an empty basement.

  • HoosierPoli says:

    This is the reason why "strategic bombing" didn't do jack in WWII: If people aren't directly affected by mass murder (and statistically, most people aren't) they begin to develop a sense of immunity to it, to the point where you have little old ladies walking around bombed out houses with a look of boredom on their faces. "Oh, another three houses blown to smithereens? What else is new?"

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Yup, Major Kong,
    'Murka!

    Long may she rain (sic) – bullets on the home of the free and the brave!

    And we wonder why tourists's don't come here – or if they do, they come wearing Kevlar vests…?

    The "TEH STOOOOOOOOOOOOOPID," it burns with the heat of a billion suns!

  • terraformer says:

    Unfortunately, there is a small window within which to muster enough support so that change happens. This window has become even smaller in the new normal of constantly changing headlines and associated attention grabbing that has rendered short term memory the most exercised faculty.

    I was personally convinced that Newtown would finally bring the comeuppance to the NRA and would result in real gun control, but if the deaths of little schoolchildren won't move people to do something, then I just don't know what will. We have convinced ourselves that such things are mundane.

  • I'm not sure which is more disquieting, that the 13 dead are just sprinkled in there with a story about Costco or that "North Korea actively defying international law to pursue nuclear first-strike capability" wasn't the main headline.

  • Why should I be concerned about 13 more people dead by guns? There is no cure that we are willing to take, so the disease just goes on ravaging the body of US society.

    Newtown didn't change it.
    Tayvon Martin didn't change it
    Charleston didn't change it

    NOTHING will change it, because the NRA and its member make giant bank from selling guns and ammo to loonies.

    It's like living in an area where lighting strikes really often; we as a society are unwilling to use the rubber insulating boots because someone makes huge stacks selling iron shoes, so we go on hoping that lighting doesn't strike us or someone dear to us.

    We don't change it, so it won't change. So we get used to it, and it goes on like the weather. So be it. We don't deserve to have it change.

  • @Nate: true, but weren't the big drops a long time ago, and weren't those drops from dizzying, ridiculously high rates? Looks like they've plateaued for the last few years. Still pretty high, too. And spree killings really are exploding, no hiding that. There were more mass shootings in the US than days in the year 2015. But yeah, the overall and gun-specific rates did drop quite fast *in the nineties*.

    Remind me, when did Clinton pass Brady and the Assault Weapon Ban? Was it just before those drops occurred? What happened just after that? Did the NRA and GOP respond responsibly to the success of gun control? Because the plateau begins just about the end of the Clinton presidency, when the GOP controlled senate started unwinding and watering-down these policies. Maybe we should all research that particular period, and let that inform our opinions going forward.

  • Skepticalist says:

    "OTOH, the murder rate is less than half what it was 25 years ago."

    This doesn't alter the fact that more people here are killed by bullets than in any other country.

  • Eau: Good points all. I think the lead working it's way out of ubiquity also helped – maybe as much or more than gun laws???

  • Procopius says:

    Eau: Brady and the assault rifle ban and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act and welfare reform all came after the crime rate had been declining for a few years.

  • @Procopius: Really? I'm pretty sure the decline started 1995/6. Brady and the Assault Weapon Ban were both 1994.

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