“Wait, are we supposed to be noticing every time something like this happens?” a distraught nation inquired. “Don’t we live in a country where it barely cracked the news cycle that a gunman murdered four people and was prevented from entering an elementary school by teachers? Don’t we live in a country where the president had to delete his tweet after sending condolences to the wrong shooting victims — Sutherland Springs, Tex., and not Rancho Tehama, Calif. — because there were so many shootings that he got confused? I thought we had tacitly agreed after Sandy Hook to ignore that this was going on in order to be able to get through our days and look ourselves in the mirror, sometimes.”
“I thought we had decided on purpose that if we ignored it, it might stop on its own, unlike every other problem we have had as a nation,” one father said, on the way to lie to his son that he could feel safe at school and the adults in his life were working hard to prevent anything bad from happening to him. “I didn’t realize we thought there was something we could do about it and we just . . . weren’t.”
Trump tried to soothe the nation, addressing its children and promising them that they were “never alone, and you never will be,” as though we had not, as a nation, also tacitly agreed that this was just something that would keep happening, and we would do nothing to stop it.
“It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference,” Trump said, affirming that as a nation, we stand firm in our resolve that, in order to prevent future gun tragedies, we will do our level best to move on by lunch. This will send a strong message to anyone seeking notoriety from committing this sort of atrocity: You picked the wrong country. Something is fundamentally broken in us and this doesn’t faze us anymore!
Then, Americans went back to lunch and tried to act as though they did not realize that this was the 18th incident with a firearm in a school zone since the beginning of 2018 and the 138th death in a school shooting since Sandy Hook in December 2012; or remember that, in spite of the broad national consensus that AR-15s belonged in the hands of NO ONE, nothing had changed. If they had to remember both of these things all the time, they would have been continually paralyzed with horror for the past six years.