Alright loyal readers, apparently there have been a lot of shootings recently but, like most of you, I haven’t really paid attention to them because I’m not a woman or a student, so why would I? And I’m sure most of you are in the same boat.
I mean, sure, some of you probably have wives, or girlfriends, or sisters, or friends who are girls. And yeah, some of you probably have kids who are students. But why would you care what happens to them? They’re not you. If anything happens to them, you can replace them (I mean, not them exactly . . . but with someone close enough). The only person you can’t replace is you.
And that’s exactly why I’ve now started paying attention. Not because I became a woman or a student (both of which would be expensive, very painful endeavours), or empathetic (I mean, the root of that word is “pathetic,” which, I’m sure we all know, I am not), but because someone very close to me was recently involved in a shooting . . . me. And, because it happened to me, I was forced to take notice. [Editor’s Note: Please be aware, Natty was two blocks away and four stories up when the shooting occurred.] [Journalist’s Note: Bullets ricochet.]
Did you know people like me can get shot at?! I didn’t. All I ever heard about was students getting shot, or gangsters getting shot. And here I am sitting in my ivory tower [Journalist’s Note: Before you even start, it’s a metaphorical “tower” . . . I was almost shot!] thinking that people like me don’t get shot at. But I was wrong, guys. I’m just like those women, and students, and gangsters.
And so are you.
Now, I know you’re all still probably sitting there thinking: “Well, I don’t really have to care about this, because I’m not Natty. Natty’s an awesome, smart, successful, rich journalist — that’s nothing like me.” And don’t get me wrong, I thought the same thing — identifying with the problems of other people is for idiots (I mean I just wrote four paragraphs about it).
And that’s why I’ve come up with a solution for that problem. A real way for everyone to sympathise with those people in the world who keep getting shot.
Let’s just shoot everyone.
Now, I’m sure you’re going to think I’ve gone crazy, but hear me out.
First of all, I’m not saying we should kill everyone. I’m just saying we carefully shoot everyone in the arm or something. That way they know what it feels like to be shot at. And let me tell you, it’s not great. [Editor’s Note: You weren’t shot.]
You might still think this is a crazy idea, I mean, you don’t want to be shot at, and I get that. I was just shot at. [Editor’s Note: No, you weren’t.] But there just doesn’t seem to be another way to get people to care about all these shootings that are going on.
I’ve done the math. People keep getting shot. And then everyone who is not them just doesn’t give a crap.
Therefore the equation for the solution is quite simple. People getting shot at + shooting everyone else = everyone gives a crap.
Now, I know I’m no mathologist, but that equation is mostly words, and I know words. And that’s the only way people are going to start caring about shootings.
Sure, maybe people could just read a stat like there have been 74 mass shootings since Sandy Hook, see that that’s crazy, and want to do something about it. But come on, we’re humans, we don’t care about other people. We only want to change things that directly affect us.
Which is why we need to shoot everyone. Like I was shot. [Editor’s Note: I need a drink.] [Journalist’s Note: I hear Jim Beam is good.]
Nathaniel Moher is an award-winning TV writer and screenwriter living in Vancouver. This column first appeared in The Flying Shingle.