Australia, don’t be that person.
Don’t be that person who shrugs while saying, “Americans and their gun violence, when will they learn”. Yes, statistics have illustrated an undeniable link between tighter gun control and gun related violence. We only need look to Canada, or indeed in our own backyard to see evidence of this. But Australia, don’t be that person.
Don’t rattle off statistics. Don’t say “only in America”. Don’t shake your head lamenting a life gone wrong. Don’t vilify all men for this man’s actions; Or all Americans for that matter. Our hands are not clean. We are not so superior; that, with a snort of derision, we can dismiss 12 deaths. No one is, don’t be that person.
Going to school, a club, the movies, an airport, a restaurant, should not and never be part of a calculating the risk for enduring violence. Victim blaming is endemic in our society. It spreads itself lasciviously, masking the true issues, while both denying and making light of one’s pain and suffering, all under the guise of “they should have known better”. If you say this is the world we live in, I say you’re part of the problem. While you may never feel the cold trigger give under the pressure of your own hand, you will always have the blood stain of innocents etched into your palms. You can’t wash this away with your dismissals, as surely as you can’t hide behind your malformed opinions.
If you dare say, “everyone is entitled to their opinion”, I may never be able to stop screaming. If your ‘opinion’ of 12 senseless murders is to critique America’s domestic policy, you are wrong. You missed the point. You didn’t see it. I don’t know how, the world media didn’t exactly bury the lead on this one. Twelve people were murdered; fifty people were attempted to be murdered. Why? Because they had the gall, the nerve, the cheek to think they could see a movie in a country with lax gun control? That is what you are saying when you ruminate on politics instead of people’s lives.
Don’t be that person.
Causes come later. There will be time for postulating and questioning. Gun control will be addressed; mental health safety nets will be looked at; online presence will be examined all in a bid for this to be the last time. You and I both know it won’t be. There are too many of us, too close together, for there not to exist murderous infighting. All the laws, policies and standard for social conduct won’t change that. Where there’s a will there’s a way. For now, though, remember the victims, hug your loved ones, and stand in defiance of violence saying “this is not okay!” Don’t sweep these people under the rug, to the annals of Wikipedia lists on public massacres.
Don’t be that person.
Because right now Australia, you are being that person, and it makes me fucking sick.