You are going to be killed this afternoon.
In one of two ways — hypothetically, I rush to point out. This is a thought experiment, not a warning.
The first potential manner of your death: You are walking along Wacker Drive, smiling at the sky, when a truck driven by a religious fanatic veers onto the sidewalk and kills you.
The second: You are at work, calling up a spreadsheet, when a disgruntled former employee bursts in and shoots you.
Both deaths are instantaneous. Which do you prefer?
As the victim, it hardly matters. Either way, you're just as dead. Your family misses you just as much.
Had you foreknowledge, you would try to spare yourself from either attack with equal vigor. In both cases, you would no doubt avoid the fatal spot — Wacker Drive or the office. You would notify authorities of the peril.
Yet that is not how society approaches such killings. We do not view them with equal attention, equal seriousness. Nor do we try to avoid both situations equally. Attacks such as the one Saturday on the London Bridge that killed seven are acts of terrorism that demand international attention, global grief and brisk action. We demand something be done.
While the shooting Monday at an awning factory in Florida is generally ignored. Five dead, but nothing to be done, or even contemplated. We hardly care what the motive was. Something work-related.
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