UNITED STATES OF AMERICA — Millions of Americans are sleeping soundly again this week, lulled by more familiar news stories after the chaos, carnage and catharsis that defined the week prior.
“Pressure-cooker bombs, ricin letters, exploding fertilizer plants…I was frantically googling threat after threat, and it was terrifying,” said Jason Weidman of New York. “I’ve never been so comforted by reading about semi-automatic rifles in my life.”
“’Relief’ is the only word I can use to describe it,” said Marcia Hanley of Stamford, CT, referring to the moment she learned of the Washington state shooting that left five people, including the gunman, his ex-girlfriend and three others dead in an apartment near Seattle on Sunday. “It brought a tear to my eye,” she said. “It meant things were finally back to normal.”
“I was so relieved to report on the shooting at the Colorado pot rally [that sent three innocent people to the hospital],” said Ernie Anastos, New York Fox News anchor. “I mean, hell, we’re at the point where that’s a fun story.”
“It’s sort of like a necessary numbness coming back, after the terrible exposure that was last week,” remarked Ed Norcross, a Baltimore Police officer. “Every shooting brings us a little closer to normalcy, to healing. I think that’s what the nation needs right now.”
Sunday saw a fatal shooting at a Tennessee nuclear plant, even before the Seattle area mass shooting. Throughout the week the nation was assuaged by gunshot fatalities in most major cities, with publicized murders in LA, Baltimore, Oakland, and just outside Wrigley Field in Chicago.
“The thing about traditional shootings is that there’s no symbolism attached to them,” said Norcross. “It isn’t marathons and Patriot’s Day and disturbing ideologies – this is just humanity being vicious, stupid and armed. It’s what we are. Am I a bad person if I find it soothing?”