Ahh, Fort Lauderdale. I was actually just researching Florida earlier this week so I could make a sick Ponce de Leon reference (just waiting on that perfect opportunity).
I believe that Fort Lauderdale is in the news because there was a shooting there today. I don’t feel like writing about that.* We’ll spend a few days re-arguing the same gun control and mental health debate we do every time this happens and then change nothing and wait for the next one. Using the latest available data, the United States accounts for 82 PERCENT of all the gun deaths in the civilized world. THE WORLD (source). Some of these countries make it just as easy to get a gun as we do. Some countries have the death penalty as a deterrent, which means that tougher laws can’t really account for such a drastic difference in violent crime. And yet every other country combined sees only a tiny fraction of the world’s gun violence. So what IS different in the United States than every other country?
DING DING DING! That’s right- it’s the way news media handles violence. No other country glorifies violence to the extent that we do (source). We turn killers into household names and sensationalize every story until bloodshed just seems like the norm. It’s a cultural thing. And we’ve created it by allowing our media outlets to report whatever will get the most views. The media shouldn’t be a profit business. It ought to function as a public service. If the goal was to inform the public of news stories based on merit versus click-bait, we wouldn’t be living under the assumption that gun violence is normal and unavoidable. We should create our reality around actual reality, not higher-ratings “reality”.
Now, I don’t claim to have a solution. But I do think we will get closer to finding one if we are able to accurately identify the cause instead of turning every massacre into a political firestorm. That’s all. I am committed to providing a politics-free blog. There should be a minimum amount of soapboxes in this space. Thank you for indulging my opinion. Now let’s get back to the usual incoherence.
I think the best way to go about this is to tell you the history of Florida as I understand it. A lot of people don’t know this, but Florida was actually first colonized by a highly-evolved pack of feral dogs. It wasn’t until some Spaniards went in search of a best friend that the beginnings of the Florida we know today came to be. Scientists believe that the original dog inhabitants had developed a uniquely advanced society, with a functional government and law enforcement agencies and even a catering service. Had they been left to reside in the Miami-Dade area in peace, it is likely that we would be living in a world where humans are not the dominant life form. It has been further suggested that based on the scientific advancement of the dog race at the time of their extinction, they would have easily already colonized Mars, eliminated dependence on fossil fuels, and wiped out the scourge of glutens currently plaguing the nation.
Unfortunately, the rule of the dog was short-lived. Once the conquistadors got wind of the rumored wealth of Caninida (as it was known), they set out to obliterate the rightful residents of the land. The dogs, mistakenly believing that they were about to be given an answer to the existential question “Who’s a good boy?”, were instead given a tiny bit of genocide. As a cruel joke, the murderers endeavored in a crude reverse-Darwinism experiment where they only bred the dumbest of dogs until they became entirely subservient and dependent on human supervision for even the most basic bodily functions.
What followed is widely regarded as a concerted effort to wait around until someone invented meth and thus become the Florida of today.
See, now wasn’t that more fun than learning about violence? Now I’m going to settle into my fortified bunker along with my extensive arsenal in preparation for what I am told is a certain all-out last-ditch effort by the Obama administration to take all of our guns away.
*which I will prove by promptly devoting the next two paragraphs to the topic. Skip ahead to the second half of this entry if you wish to avoid the bloviating.