In an episode from the original Star Trek, “A Taste Of Armageddon”,
the crew of the USS visits a planet whose people fight a computer-simulated war against a neighboring planet. Although the war is fought via computer simulation, the citizens of each planet have to submit to real executions inside "disintegration booths" to meet the casualty counts of the simulated attacks.
Every time another mass shooting occurs the story of this particular episode rises in my mind. Over and over I have heard people saying that these deaths are the price we must pay to maintain the freedom to bear arms. We mustn’t give that up, they warn. All of other other freedoms hang in the balance.
Step into the “disintegration booths”, my friends. Or better yet, send your children. This is the price we must pay. It’s too bad, It’s so sad. We send our thoughts and prayers. It’s too soon to talk about change. Don’t politicize this tragedy by challenging the established order.
We have our rituals, our liturgy of mass shooting responses. There are protocols to follow. They must be followed to the letter and none of them include preventing this from happening again.
And so it happens again.
Armageddon is the place where the final battle between good and evil will be fought. Feeding our children and our loved ones into the insatiable maw of gun violence without giving our all in the battle seems like we have already ceded the fight.
Step into the booth. Your turn may be next.