Saturday, October 3, 2015

So 4 people is mass murder in the US?

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
What happened in Umpqua in the US, is a tragedy. It follows other places such as Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Charleston and nameless other places. Being a child of war, I know that it is indeed people that kill people, but also guns do so as well - this in discordance with the US National Rifle Association that claims that "guns don't kill people".
This being said, and please read this article with all the satire it is intended with....
... It seems there were 994 mass murders in the US in the last 1004 days.
Scary! Spooky! Headline worthy (beneath the outfit that Kylie Jenner wore today)!
However, when a mass murder is "defined as four or more people shot in one incident – nearly every day" (including the shooter), then allow me to take this a bit more lightly.
Sure, as Prince (the artist formerly known as - and currently known as) said "Albums still matter. Albums, like books and black lives, still matter." - even if this article is not limited to black lives, all lives matter.
But... Four?
As in 1,2,3,4 and you have a "mass murder"?
Four is the number of casualties resulting from stray bullets in weddings in Lebanon.
Then you have the funerals of the people who were shot dead, and four more die at each funeral from different stray bullets - that would be 16 (thank you), add those to the four who died at the wedding, and you have 20.
Four is how many people die daily drunk driving at night (but of course it was the road's fault for not being asphalted as per the driver's family, factors such as the alchohol level in the blood of the driver do not go into the equation).
Four is just how many people die in parking disputes (with the valet parking probably) every weekend.
Four is the number of people who die from asphyxiation from tear gas in peaceful manifestations over services which are already paid via taxes.
In a country that still debates if "Sabra and Chatila" is to be considered a massacre for Palestinians (seriously, a right wing Belgian man asked me to define the number of people who died to be considered a massacre before considering if Sabra and Chatila fits "everything is called massacre these days" he dismissed the figure), in a country that still has debates over Black Saturday, and which puts in question every event which happened and still is happening, I go back to the saying (attributed to Georges Corm) "numbers in Lebanon are just a point of view" (sure, he was speaking of the budget but it applies to people's stastics too!). "There's no truth in Beirut, only versions" to quote the late Bill Farrell, and indeed, there are many different "versions" of seeing what happened and is still happening in Lebanon.
So four people are not exactly "mass murder", if it were, Lebanon would be in crisis - and obviously we are not! #LiveloveLebanon and all that.

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