49 people died in my city last month, all at once and all in the same place (as compared to the 50 people killed by American police so far this month, or any other measure of death you care to use). I'm over the shock, I've mourned the loss, and I'm now disgusted at the hypocrisy of it all. If I were writing a description of America for a story, hypocrisy would be the defining aspect of our culture at this point.

As a group, Americans feel that we should be allowed to kill anybody who scares us. I don't know why we're surprised when our fellow Americans act on that "right." It's naïve realism writ large. Homophobia, transphobia, racism, and xenophobia continue to exist, and as long as our culture condones it, the violence will continue.

People tell you that "__ matters" because you are behaving as if __ is unimportant and/or __ is not under threat. Please draw some conclusions.

Here's how we could act rationally about all of this violence: Admit that everybody wants to kill somebody sometime. Acknowledge that killing is so easy a toddler can do it. Recognize that at least a few hundred people would like to murder us right now for some peaceful, harmless thing we are doing (such as existing while QUILTBAG).

Then decide in what situations we'd be okay with somebody murdering us. Apply that standard while we work toward a national compromise.

And quit waiting for your imaginary friend and some old dead white slave owners to tell you what to do in a way that's universally interpreted. We're all responsible for making up our own damned minds and explaining our conclusions clearly, in our own words.

This seems like a basic part of creating and maintaining a civilization.

R. E. Stearns