“But it didn’t happen,” is the chill response I got from some friends (and my mom!) after learning that we may have been tiptoeing along the asymptote of terror. Apparently being on the brink of tragedy doesn’t cut it anymore, and why should it? Our generation found perverse unity in the wholly American constancy of lockdown drills, in the nonchalance of backpack searches and school security cameras. If you were to print the Wikipedia page for “List of School Shootings in the United States,” it would be 172 pages long. (For comparison, “List of awards and nominations received by Meryl Streep” is just 35.)
Gun violence is so routine that it’s easy to forget that we’re living in an international abnormality.