David Sirota

calls this Steve Almond essay the best take he’s seen on the Giffords shooting and it’s hard to disagree. “What happens when a large and well-armed portion of our citizenry can no longer apologize?” Almond asks. “When humility becomes another form of humiliation? Their heroes exhort them: Never retreat. Reload.”

We won’t ruin the essay by summarizing it. Just go read the damned thing.

Steve Almond on The Rumpus:

The more hysterical reactions will come from those who feel themselves implicated, who fear the great con of their professions exposed. They will react with absurd rituals of denial, as if, after all their violent agitation, they are the ones being fired upon, the victims of some vast and unending conspiracy.

This operatic indignation is what I meant when I spoke, a few months ago, about the American descent into a shame culture.

It has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with the capacity for moral self-reflection. What happens when a large and well-armed portion of our citizenry can no longer apologize? When humility becomes another form of humiliation? Their heroes exhort them: Never retreat. Reload.

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