The Onion blanketed its homepage today with the same article it has posted in response to many other past mass shootings, skewering the idea that such atrocities cannot be stopped.
“‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says the Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens,” reads the headline on the article, which was posted 21 times on the satirical site’s home page. Each story corresponds to a different mass shooting but with the same headline and quotes. The Onion had posted the same article earlier this month following the mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, NY, and it has run the article numerous times since 2014. That was after there was a mass shooting in the Isla Vista community near UC Santa Barbara.
Jason Roeder, former senior writer and editor at The Onion, posted on Twitter in 2018 that he wrote the headline. At that time, there had just been a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. “When I wrote this headline, I had no idea it would be applied to the high school a mile from my house,” Roeder wrote at the time.
Authorities said a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers when he opened fire Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX.
The Onion article reads: “In the hours following a violent rampage in Texas in which a lone attacker killed at least 21 individuals and injured several others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Tuesday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place. “‘This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,’ said Idaho resident Kathy Miller, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations.”
Real-life reaction to the most recent mass shooting has focused on the inaction. On the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said, “What are we doing? What are we doing?”
He chided senators who “go through all the hassle of getting this job, of putting yourself in a position of authority” but then respond by doing nothing.
Beto O’Rourke, who is running for governor, crashed a press conference being given by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, pointing at him at one point and saying, “This was totally predictable.” Abbott has signed legislation loosening the state’s gun laws.
Matthew McConaughey, who weighed a gubernatorial bid, wrote on Tuesday that “this is an epidemic we can control, and whichever side of the aisle we may stand on, we all know we can do better. We must do better.”