Cameron’s Corner: Between Incidents

There have been two precedent-setting public shootings over the last 35 days. I’m going to reiterate that for effect; there have been two precedent-setting public shootings in the last 35 days. Let this concept soak in your psyche for a moment, I’ll wait.
As a father of two very young children I look at these incidents a little different than I used to. At one point, probably around the same time as Columbine, I obviously knew what a public shooting was but when that happened it was so egregious, so out of the blue, so unusual, I felt the shock like everyone else around me. But then later that same year a stock trader in Atlanta killed 12 people, and another incident at a prayer service in Fort Worth. The trend continues and I realize one of the primary targets for these monstrous terrorists is children.
Don’t get me wrong, when it boils down to it these individuals are eliciting terror from their victims and their peers, they may not be doing it on behalf of Allah like the contemporary 24 hour news cycle suggests but what is the news to tell someone whether or not to feel the panic emotion of terror? These individuals are terrorists. Despite their motives, despite their able will to freely grasp a litany of “hunting tools” (with silencers, high power scopes, bump stocks, pistol grips and extended clips… you know… for hunting deer), despite the lack of a C4 suicide vest on the cobblestone streets in a country so far away… these people are terrorists.
So why kids? Why go after the most vulnerable, well it’s simple, these individuals are cowards. They know that in order to achieve their goals they must accrue the majority of victims, and unarmed children are often easily preyed upon. I will quickly reiterate the fact that they’re cowards first and foremost.
In the wake of these public shootings, and for me my personal tipping point was Newtown, I’ve come to notice an eerie trend that will likely be studied in sociology courses for generations to come, at a certain point my internal narrative turns from a position of “okay, that’s their opinion,” to “this person is a victim of misinformation,” I’ve come to realize however that many of my opposite-minded constituents, and even some who are more on my ethical side of the argument, are coming out, immediately in the wake of one of these terrible acts of terrorism with quick memes and statements that serve to immediately exonerate our ‘oh-so-precious’ second amendment. They’ve completely sidestepped sympathy, empathy and mourning and have immediately moved to focus on how this most recent incident may serve to limit their ability to fill a room full of high powered guns to be used in a home-invasion fantasy.
My peers are parents too, and like a good parent you serve to protect your children against any perceived threat. But it’s hard for me to take someone seriously in a discussion when it’s been less than a week after a terrible shooting at a church in Texas, and only over a month after the Las Vegas country concert massacre, and they’re actively trying to move the argument away from firearm legislation. Its as if they themselves are on the payroll of firearm lobbyist groups, but I know they’re not, I know they’re simply being misinformed. And this notion scares me at night.