After a mass shooting in San Bernardino left 14 dead and 21 more injured, The Onion once again reposted an article called, “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.” It was first used after the shooting at UCSB last May, and again after the shootings in Charleston and Oregon earlier this year. Below are the four instances of the post (though there were many more times it could have been posted this year), in which the story is the same, though the details are slightly altered. The article begins, “In the hours following a violent rampage in [name of town] in which a lone attacker killed [number of victims], citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded [on this day] that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place.”
The brilliance of the satire here is that it makes a point without making a point. Instead of declaring a stance on the tragic occurrence, it places the onus on the American people to realize their declaration of inevitability while putting the inevitable in the context of a world where this is not at all inevitable. Yet, the article does not rub the problem in the reader’s face by suggesting a solution or even pondering the possibility of a solution. Instead of saying, “What can we do?” it throws up its arms as if to say “What can ya do?!” while reminding the reader that America has tried to do “nothing to prevent this,” throwing the responses declaring inevitability and apathy back on the American people. It doesn’t address the gun problem or the tragedy. It addresses the tragic lack of response from a society too used to seeing this sort of thing, thus the need to repost it until that society is reminded of its apathy.
You will find I posted this same article two months ago.