Chicago-based satirical website The Onion made a bold social commentary on Wednesday, headlining its homepage with its both heartbreaking and parodical article titled, ’No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.
The article is notable in that it gets repeated 21 times on the front page, for every major mass shooting that occurred in the United States in the last 20 years, with only the date, location, and number of causalities changed in each story – a striking and horrific statement about how often this tragedy occurs.
In the last twenty years, starting with the Sandy Hook School shooting in 2012 which took the lives of 28, to present time with the Uvalde School Shootings just days ago in 2022 taking the lives of 22, it truly does feel like a twisted Groundhog Day. The Onion article illustrates just that:
“In the hours following a violent rampage in Texas in which a lone attacker killed at least 21 individuals and injured several others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Tuesday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place,” the most recent version of the article begins, pointing to the tragedy that left at least 19 children dead.
The article continues: “’This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,’ said Idaho resident Kathy Miller, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations.”
Revisions of the same article appear 21 times on the homepage, each pointing to a different mass shooting in the United States. ULVALDE, TX. INDIANAPOLIS. BOULDER, CO. ATLANTA. SAN JOSE. MILWAUKEE. DAYTON, OH. EL PASO, TX. VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. THOUSAND OAKS, CA. PITTSPURGH. BAKERSFIELD, CA. SANTE FE, TX. PARKLAND, FL. SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TX. LAS VEGAS. SAN BERNARDINO, CA. ROSEBURG, OR. CHARLESTON, SC. ISLA VISTA, CA.
These stories were followed by more satirical take downs of Washington and the NRA. Scientists Discover 90% Of Earth’s Atmosphere Made From Thoughts, Prayers, and Report: Uvalde Gunman Had Accomplices As Far As Washington, D.C., and Mitch McConnell: ‘Get Your Crying Done Now Because We’re Not Passing Shit’
President Biden addressed the nation on Tuesday evening from the White House with words of comfort that urged for action:
“Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with, and stand up to the lobbies?” Biden stated in his call for action. “It’s time to turn this pain into action, for every parent, for every citizen in this country. We have to make it clear to every elected official in this country that it’s time to act.”
It will always be too soon for satirical issues on something so tragic, but The Onion illustrates the absurdity of the desensitization to such devastating matters and the true insanity of not taking action when clearly there ARE things that can be done to prevent such horrors.