Yet another mass murder in America; yet another round of the same old rhetoric: variations on: “It was a lone gunman,” and “Our hearts are with the victims.”
Rhetoric that adds up to: “I wasn’t responsible.“
Americans love to talk about personal responsibility. They love to see themselves as the lone cowboy, fending for themselves, independent and free. Look at the world through cowboy eyes, they need take no responsibility for the latest massacre. They didn’t pull the trigger and that’s as far as their view extends. They admit only simple, direct, proximal causes. In their world, there is no such complexities as multiple, distal, or secondary causes. Causality is never shared, so responsibility is never shared.
There is no village in their America. Just a whole lot of one-man islands.
They pretend that the murderer manufactured the gun himself and invented the idea of mass murder completely on his own.
They take no responsibility for the murders because buying guns for themselves may support gun manufacturers but isn’t pulling the trigger. Funding the NRA to the tune of $300,000,000 a year to lobby congress to make guns available to everyone isn’t pulling the trigger. Buying tickets to movies that glorify mass murder isn’t pulling the trigger. Talking to their friends about which politicians should be assassinated or which groups should be driven from America isn’t pulling the trigger. Watching news media that make mass murderers famous isn’t pulling a trigger.
Nothing they do counts. Only pointing the gun and pulling the trigger and they didn’t do that.
Their version of personal responsibility means that they aren’t responsible for any of the consequence of ninety-nine percent of own choices and actions.
Their “personal responsibility” is a code that means “I’m not responsible for most of what I do.”
But when your choices contribute in some way, however small, to the murder of unarmed women and children, don’t be surprised if a lot of other people do consider you responsible to the degree that you supported the murder.