When I saw the headline on the Seattle Times editorial—"Put the Oregon mall shooting in perspective"—I just assumed their thesis probably had something to do with the provenance of the weapon (which turned out to be stolen) and the larger debate over gun control. But no. The editors are offering "perspective" on a much deeper, much more meaningful issue:
THE killing of two shoppers and serious wounding of another at the Clackamas Town Center in suburban Portland was horrible. Our hearts go out to their families and friends. This is not something that should happen during the holiday season, or at any time.
It is not, however, a reason to be intimidated. The shopping malls and business districts of the Pacific Northwest are not dangerous places. The Clackamas Town Center in Oregon has been a front-page story partly because deadly craziness there is so unusual.
Even when the shootings occurred, the odds of being a victim were small. Some 10,000 people were at the Clackamas mall, and all but three came out physically unharmed.
Yup, that's the most important lesson to learn from this tragedy: Keep shopping!
The fact that the weapon—a semi-automatic variant of the AK47—used to be banned under federal assault weapon laws, well, shhhhhh! As I'm constantly reminded in the comment threads, the one time it is most inappropriate to offer perspective on our nation's gun culture is in the immediate aftermath of its tragic and inevitable consequences.
So, yeah. Your chances of being shot at a mall this holiday season are infinitesimally small. Nothing to worry about. And nothing to talk about, apparently, either.