N. R. Lambert’s story “Business as Usual” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 13 January 2017.
I started writing “Business As Usual” in 2015. I wish I could remember exactly which of the many horrific gun-related incidents that year first planted the seed of this story in my mind. It would mean that these events occurred rarely enough to stand out from each other. Unfortunately, each day in America, an average of 93 people are killed with guns; and, last year alone, we had 384 mass shootings–more than one per day.
In the wake of all this violence…nothing changed. Many people have discussed this issue far more thoroughly and expertly than I can here. But in short, “Business As Usual,” was born from a blazing infuriation with my country’s preposterous pattern of being surprised! shocked! outraged! saddened! sending thoughts and prayers! after these events. And then, refusing to even consider changing our laws.
With “Business As Usual,” I wanted to depict an American future with even more normalized gun lust. I wanted it to point a spotlight on our current lack of legislature, imagine where the continued apathy from our politicians might lead, and reflect how hopeless and powerless many Americans feel in regard to the ongoing and escalating violence. I also tried to touch on all the people who benefit financially from gun violence–the manufacturers for sure, but also the politicians, the lobbyists, and the media–to show how greed perpetuates the cycle.
If we don’t change something, the scope and quantity of incidents of gun violence in America will only continue to increase. I’m not so naive as to think there is an easy solution and I don’t have an answer myself. Just endless questions, deep frustration, and a lot of anxiety, which is what I hoped to convey with “Business As Usual.” Thank you for reading.
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