It was a mere five weeks ago that Las Vegas had the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States. And two days ago 26 churchgoers, including children and babies, were murdered by one man with a gun. As Twitter and Facebook pointed out, it is now always “too soon” to talk gun control after a mass shooting because another one is just around the corner.

Of course, no one actually observes a decent mourning period after a mass shooting or any other tragedy, but it’s not because people are too political. It’s because their attention spans are too short. Ideally, we could take a day or two to grieve the dead before we started talking about possible measures to prevent future tragedies. For one thing, it usually takes at least a couple of days to get all of the relevant facts. For another thing, decisions made in the heat of the moment tend toward foolishness. (Think of the anti-terrorism measures taken in the wake of 9/11 and ask yourself how many of them seem like great ideas sixteen years later.) However, Twitter and Facebook are quite right that no one can afford to wait a day or two before putting in their two cents on gun control or whatever because in a day or two we’ll all be talking about something else.

Just by way of illustration–yesterday I saw a bunch of tweets about how useless praying is when it’s gun control we need…along with a bunch of other tweets about how Donald Trump is such an uncultured swine that he doesn’t know how to feed koi properly. Obviously, humans are capable of keeping more than one news story in their consciousness at the same time. Lots of important stuff happens every day. However, Donald Trump dumping a bunch of fish food in a koi pond is not one of them. Even on a slow news day, this story probably should not take up any of our consciousness. For one thing, it turned out that Trump was only doing what Prime Minister Abe had done moments before. For another thing, so the crap what? Twenty-six Americans have been murdered in their church, and there’s still a civil war in Syria, but I’m supposed to care that Donald Trump fed fish, correctly or incorrectly? Is this really page one material? Isn’t a Kardashian pregnant or something?

Yes, there’s also the whole Mueller investigation, but that’s so last week. We’ve all moved on. Five weeks ago 58 people were murdered and 546 injured in Las Vegas, but by the time the next mass shooting happened, we had all moved on. We’d all moved on weeks ago.

Anger is a legitimate response to grief. I understand why people react to a tragedy by expressing anger and frustration. It’s normal to seek someone or something to blame. It’s instinctive. It helps us feel safe. If something could have been prevented, that means we can prevent it from happening again. Of course, not all terrible things can be prevented. We know this intellectually, but it doesn’t stop us from trying–nor should it, really. I mean, I hope not. But we don’t take enough time to figure out why or how something happened, in order to effect actual change. We take enough time to express our outrage at the lack of action–because there’s no time to waste on mere grief without taking action–and then Trump says something stupid, and oh look, a squirrel. Does anyone know what’s happening with bump stocks these days? Have we banned those yet? We definitely haven’t figured out exactly what happened in Vegas (too soon for “what happens in Vegas” jokes), but we do know bump stocks were involved, so what’s the deal there? Does anyone still care, or are bump stocks so October? It’s all about “domestic violence loopholes” now. Until the next mass shooting, of course.

The sad part is that this terrible thing–twenty-six dead at the hands of a guy who was court-martialed for assaulting his wife and fracturing his infant son’s skull (and did a whopping one-year sentence for it)–actually could have been prevented, and under existing law, too. It was already illegal for him to buy a gun, but the Air Force didn’t enter his domestic violence conviction into the data base. Enforcing existing laws isn’t as sexy as making new laws, of course, but it would be an excellent place to start. The very best place, actually, since we don’t even have to get past the evil NRA lobby to do it. But we’ve been failing to enforce gun laws since before Columbine. I’m not holding my breath that anything will change. Not when it’s so much easier to complain that we’ll never have common-sense gun control because ‘Murica. But we’ll always have Donald Trump’s fish-feeding fiasco, in one form or another.