Sunday, April 21, 2024

The Answer, My Friend, Ain't Spitting In The Wind

Elsewhere on social media I came across an angry and despairing rant from a Columbine High School graduate whose younger sister was there on that day. The sister was unhurt, thanks to hiding in a closet, but it was all day before they learned that, since she was one of the last students to get out of the school and get bused to the rendezvous point at the nearby elementary school to be reunited with her parents.

The woman, in her angry reminiscences, was like "...but thank god that the Columbine shooters didn't have AR-15s, because things would have been worse..." with the implication that they were somehow illegal at the time.

I didn't have the heart to explain that they were plenty legal and the only reason they weren't used is that they were kinda spendy in those days and not as popular.

Nothing I can say to her is going to change her mind, certainly not within a 280 character limit.

There was a time when I would have gleefully waded into that sort of righteous online pissing contest, convinced that I was performing, not to change her mind, but rather to persuade some imaginary throng of bystanders.

Nah. That's not how it works. It took me a while to realize that. Everybody gets mad, walks away still thinking what they thought before the flamewar, and the only people who come out ahead are the advertisers, slurping up the eyeballs and attention and engagement.