Reviews | We’ve seen this story before

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Brian Broome’s May 26 op-ed, “Why Nothing Will Change After Uvalde,” makes a chillingly accurate allusion to Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery.”

Mr Broome argues that ‘the place we live in now’ is in a ‘culture where human beings are randomly chosen to die’, so gun lovers ‘need not be afraid’ . Just as the fictional people of the small New England village rationalize their murderous actions by noting, rather factually, that these are “the rules”, politicians, gun owners and lobbyists hide their objections to the legislation. anti-gun violence in a bastard interpretation. of the second amendment. When Mr. Broome observed that “we are all game to be sacrificed”, the reference to Jackson’s story is cemented.

Tessie Hutchinson, the story’s protagonist, eluded a “victory” for many years, and then she didn’t. When senators uphold their perverse interpretation of the Second Amendment, they keep winning and the country keeps losing lives and freedoms. They recommend arming teachers. I am a teacher and I will never go to class “pack my bags”.

Mr. Broome’s comment included two points, one with which I agree and one with which I strongly disagree.

Mr Broome despaired after this latest shooting that ‘no one will do anything’ and ‘nothing happened after innocent children were slaughtered last time around’. These statements are not true. While it’s true that Republicans in Texas did “nothing” after several mass shootings in their state, Democrats in Connecticut made several changes to their gun laws after Sandy Hook. Congressional Democrats introduced common sense gun laws to get them killed by Senate Republican filibusters. Only one political party is responsible for the “nothing” done, and Broome should have pointed to Republican culpability.

Mr. Broome’s other point was well presented and specific. His use of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” to explain Americans’ obsessive fear of going without guns was chilling in its precision. Too many citizens are willing to sacrifice the safety of others so that they have ironclad protection against perceived threats to themselves, collateral damage be damned.

One of the most memorable lines from a short version of “The Lottery” that I saw about 50 years ago in high school was when one of the townspeople said, “There always had a lottery.” The implication of this line was that the townspeople feared change more than they feared being killed if selected.

Mr. Broome’s conclusion was correct. We are ruled by the fearful and trapped, stuck in traditions that no longer serve us. One tradition is the belief that widespread gun ownership makes us all safer. Another tradition is that financial interests should be allowed to have an outsized influence on public policy. We should accept rather than fear changes that would diminish or eliminate these traditions.

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