There’s nothing to say. There’s no bit of insight or ounce of comfort I or anyone else can provide in the wake of the latest act of mindless violence to capture the attention of this nation of ours.
Maybe the smart thing to do is to stick to the facts of the story, since that was the job of WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward. They worked in local news. Surely they had covered shootings, seen bodies, experienced horror and loss secondhand at some point. But even playing this story — this particular story — straight feels like an insult because the details are so exhaustingly familiar.
Another worthless asshole with a grudge. Another lunatic determined to make innocent people suffer for his delusions and to turn it all into a public performance. Another monster seeking immortality at the end of a gun. Another gun. Another gun. Another and another and another. And of course, another couple of lives taken, because why not? What’s their value compared to the chaos that burns inside the mind of a murderer, the confusion and rage that will not be denied and must be released?
Another rambling manifesto that cites previous spectacle killers as inspiration, the final testament from a man who may very well have sought to join their ranks and inspire others in his wake. His words will be turned inside out by people looking for answers but, as usual, there won’t be any — none that are satisfactory or which salve the wounds of the family and friends of those shot down. We can dwell on his specific shout-out to Virginia Tech killer Seung Hui Cho — how he calls Cho “his boy” — and even find irony in the fact that Adam Ward graduated from VT, but in the end it won’t make much difference. One murderer idolizes another and in time someone will idolize today’s killer and try to emulate him, making this unspeakable tragedy another point of interest in the ongoing, never-ending cycle of American insanity. Another and another and another.
Another round of cries that more guns are the answer to this fucking madness, with the only specific this time being that it’s journalists who should supposedly be armed. Journalists need to arm themselves to defend against armed killers. These journalists should have armed themselves to defend against a killer who says he bought a gun to defend himself against racist killers like the one who gunned down nine innocent people in Charleston, South Carolina just a couple of months ago. That killer armed himself because he feared black people.
Everyone armed. Everyone terrified. More guns. That’s always the answer. Another murder always means another victim who should’ve thought to have a gun. In the United States in the year 2015, you’re either a killer or a victim. One nation under the gun.
Another and another and another and another. This shit never stops. We cry and we scream and we come together to demand change and it never comes. We’re a nation that can eventually, with enough distraction and enough obfuscation from those who hold us hostage, look the other way at the violent deaths of 20 children. This won’t faze us. Today means nothing. Two lives — that’s barely a single news cycle. This is who we are now.
Say a prayer for Alison Parker and Adam Ward. Say a prayer for us. As for today’s killer: fuck him. Fuck his “reasons” for doing this. Ignore him. After all, tomorrow there will be another one just like him. There always is.
There’s nothing to say — nothing that will matter anyway.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.