Today I was going to promote our next episode Chattanooga on Twitter. Then I read about the mass shooting resulting in six deaths there over the weekend. During my obligatory “thoughts and prayers” moment, I thought of all the times over the last few years I’ve had to pivot external communication on a dime because of some preventable tragedy caused by guns in some U.S. destination we either were preparing to film, had just filmed, or were, as in case of Chattanooga, getting ready to promote the airing of an upcoming episode. Because of guns, lots and lots of guns.
The funny thing is I’ve never owned one or desired one. Maybe because I’ve never felt threatened or vulnerable without one… even on the streets of bad old NYC. But here’s the kicker any statistician or researcher would appreciate – U.S. Destinations make up maybe 20% of the show, and the rest, around 80%, are international. Yet, never ever, not even once have I had this issue internationally. NOT ONCE. Only in the USA.
So the USA is way over-representing when I have to bob and weave around the multitude of mass shootings to do my job. This is one reason I sadly chuckle when friends in the U.S. gasp when I tell them I once lived in Colombia. “Isn’t it dangerous?” – they ask, referencing the previous civil war and today’s narco-trafficking. And I reply that Colombians would often ask the same thing about the USA, referencing our infamous mass shootings and violent movies and sports (NFL, MMA, etc.). You get the point. Traveling almost anywhere abroad is safer than staying or traveling right here. Or so it seems. Because of guns. The next time you go abroad, and someone wishes you a “safe trip,” be sure and “wish them a “safe stay at home.” Unless, of course, if you’re heading to Chechnya, then yes, have a safe trip.
P.S. – Sorry, there are no answers here… just lame questions, observations, sadness, resignation, and exhaustion.