The Desk of Magnus Greel

I’m sitting here trying to be funny and clever and so forth. Then I see the breaking news that some crazy fuck went and shot up a kindergarten in Connecticut. Kind of puts all my cutesy bullshit into perspective I guess. As a parent myself I am both horrified and outraged. And as a parent who has lost a child I am only too familiar with what many of those parents are about to go through. And as an American I’ve become so accustomed to these types of incidents that I can already tell you what is going to happen over the next few hours, days and weeks:

The asshole who did this will be famous. His picture will be everywhere while the names of the dead, injured and traumatized will be forgotten if they’re ever even mentioned to begin with. Hours of media time will be devoted to talking heads trying to analyze and dissect him like he’s fucking Da Vinci or something. Hell, they’ll probably do a goddamn documentary about him and it will probably win all kinds of awards.

Everyone who knew the gunman will claim to be shocked and horrified that he was capable of such a thing. Even though we’ll discover that he routinely ran around naked with swastikas on his body screaming about the United Nations or had a police record a mile long for making terrorist threats or whatever. Oh yeah, dollars to donuts he’s seen at least one court-ordered shrink to whom he confessed that voices were telling him kindergarteners were really the Illuminati. Or whatever.

People on the political left will point to this as proof that we need to ban all guns. As if passing another law will somehow, magically, remove all the weapons and dangerous people from our world. Because that kind of thinking has always served us well.

People on the political right will point to this as proof that every man, woman and child should be armed at all times. And wear body armor. And own a tank. And listen to Sean Hannity. Because, frankly, they ran out of realistic ideas a long time ago.

The process of trying to figure out exactly how this happened and how to realistically prevent it in future will devolve into a series of lawsuits and political attacks. Then, the people we elect and hire to make decisions and protect us will simply blame each other or hide behind lawyers. And nothing will really change. And then it will probably happen again one day.

I will have to spend the weekend talking to my own kindergarten age son about what happened. There won’t be any hiding it from him because it will be everywhere. All of his classmates will be talking about it. And while I should be teaching him how to play soccer or read his Curious George storybook I’ll instead have to try and explain to him why a grown man would do something like this to children his own age. And even though I will assure him that he’s safe and there’s nothing to be afraid of when he goes back to school on Monday he’ll still somehow understand that I don’t know that for certain. And in that moment his childhood will be one step closer to being over.


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