Out with the old, in with the new. Buffalo’s got nothing on the latest hit.
How can you hold a candle to more than double the bodycount (offing yourself gives +1, it’s valid) and six times the injured with a paralyzed police force and a media frenzy not seen since 2012?
Top ten mass shootings of all time.
Third place in its category of school shootings, beating out 26 competitors.
Talk about belle of the ball. Future mass shooters take note: this is how it’s done.
Now let’s be fair, a manifesto for us to review in excruciating detail for months to come gives major points. No one ever got famous by just randomly going on a killing spree without some documents left behind. Everyone can remember the name or at least do the Napoleon Dynamite-esque impression of the Virginia Tech shooter. And who could forget the Columbine teens and their admittedly long-winded journals (keep it to the point gentlemen, we want entertainment, not an essay)? But when was the last time you heard about Stephen Paddock? You probably don’t even recognize the name and he’s got the high score for 2017’s Las Vegas shooting.
The Twitch broadcast so we can relive it over and over in real time is also a bonus. It isn’t nearly as clear and complete as the Christchurch shooter’s but it still helps. What was his name again? They didn’t release his name or manifesto or even his video in that part of the world so it’s hard to know who to give credit to. But on that note, big ups to Facebook for letting that Australian guy’s flex run because Twitch cut off our Buffalo feed after, like, two minutes.
Even if Uvalde isn’t the GOAT, it’s definitely the People’s Champ. We have so much to go on this time around after a bit of a dry patch. 2021 only saw one mass shooting worth mentioning and COVID made us lose an entire season in 2020. Then 2022 hits us with a literal bang with not one but two heavy hitters in the same month. Of the two, Uvalde just beats the competition in every category. Experts say that Buffalo would have taken gold for May if we got more of a livestream. Ethno-nationalists make for interesting stars but he was targeting people that don’t really draw a lot of eyes during our local news coverage. He even screwed up and hit a bunch of his teammates which just makes it look sloppy.
No prize for second place in this bloodsport.
Alright now let’s look at fallout versus Uvalde’s real competition. I’m talking Las Vegas, Virginia Tech, Orlando Pulse, and Sandyhook. Some of the all-time best. (Research for this article brought up Sutherland Church which I can’t even remember — must have been a snoozefest). I’d say that Uvalde takes the lead because what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. Orlando and Las Vegas put up the biggest numbers but you have to factor in the targets. A night club and an outdoor hoedown are going to be packed and you can get a lot more bang for your buck per shot. It isn’t a fair comparison. I’ll give the nod in terms of numbers to Orlando Pulse because it was up close and personal. Vegas wins on paper but the guy was way too far away and totally camping. Not much sport to it.
Vegas made us have a deeper conversation about guns and stuff. It really rocked the country when they stopped letting people use bumpers on their guns which probably slowed down the league a little. Do you know what a bump stock is? Me neither, but they are totally banned. Score one for Vegas.
Orlando made us talk about the targets more and it reminded us that there were wars going on in like two other countries. So the political spice is an ingredient we couldn’t find in most of the other contenders. But that was all it was in the end. Spice on a boring meal. Plus a lot of people were totally cool with who got shot that night so that’s where this mass shooting’s fallout ends.
Sandyhook made for some real change. Connecticut passed legislation to limit the state’s Freedom of Information Act to ensure that pictures and videos of horrific tragedies like this could never again upset us in the future. It was a big win for the people who could now sleep soundly knowing that they would be safe from images of these incidents. Made for tougher round the clock coverage though.
Hang on. I’m getting a message here from our breaking news team.
We interrupt this mass shooting analysis for an important news announcement. A new challenger has entered the ring!
Quite literally as I write this, Philadelphia has hosted a mass shooting of its own. Early reports state 3 dead and 11 injured but that doesn’t mean we won’t be able to see those numbers come up if some of those hit succumb to their wounds. There’s still time to make this one a barn burner!
The 2022 season is well underway, folks. What else does it have in store for us? We’ve had mass shootings at public events and schools, but how could a challenger unseat Uvalde? What acts of wanton carnage will grab our attention temporarily and act as a focal point for the nation’s thoughts and prayers?
(If it’s going to be nothing but spectacle without hope for any meaningful change, it may as well get the appropriate coverage. Ed.)