A cruel and vicious thing happens, something monstrous, something that radiates horror and pain, and people tell me nothing could have been done about its root cause. Nor can anything be done. They marshal a host of arguments – one involved the “ghetto” and “teachers are raping our children,” another involved a spork, a third just said it’s our culture. It’s our way of life.
The philosopher Parmenides thought change was impossible. Life at any given moment must be identical to the moment immediately before, because there was no intervening moment in which anything could have altered. Ex hypothesi, change cannot happen.
Is that the case for us? Because it seems to me there was a time when this was not our culture. Once upon a time, not that long ago, mass firearms murders were not an everyday part of the American lifestyle.