A few months ago when Civic Skunkworks new podcasts came out, one of the things that struck me most was in the gun episode hearing President Obama list major gun incidents (starting at 11:32 at the link above). Lists like that are such an integral part of how we define a society. At the time, it made me think of the list of ships in the Iliad. But you can also think of the list of who begat whom in the Bible. Or the 10 Commandments. You can think of the bill of rights. You can think of your new year’s resolutions that you’ll often list publicly if you want a more modern one.
These lists tell us about a society. The mass shooting list is one that defines American in the last few decades. It’s one that even if we can’t get our heads around how large it is, even if we don’t know all of them, we know plenty of the particulars. Even as we grow numb to some of it, we can remember where we were when we heard about many of the shootings on the list.
Today we can add Orlando to the list of mass shootings. Another goddamn mass shooting. It goes with Cafe Racer, and Newtown, and Aurora, and Columbine, and Fort Hood, and whatever comes next.