So, every so often, something horrible comes along. There are plenty of reactions to it “” shock, disgust, sorrow.

If you enjoy comedy, however, you sometimes find yourself tempted to try to find something, anything funny about tragedy. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because finding something funny in the midst of the awful is how comedians cope with the world.

Take the Aurora, CO, shooting. There’s nothing funny about some twisted human being methodically killing strangers in a packed theater. But there is something a little funny, and partially related: the lack of such sprees in Louisiana.

[pullquote]Don’t you ever get nervous going to a singles bar, worried you might accidentally take home a second cousin you don’t recognize? Sure would make the next giant family crawfish boil awkward, yeah?[/pullquote]
We’ve got plenty of guns in this state. More than enough. Not to mention lots of people who know how to use them. Having met plenty of those people, I’d even wager a few are mentally unhinged. Angry, even.

Yet, while we have plenty of your garden-variety murder, we don’t get a lot of killing sprees.

I’ve got a theory about that. I think it’s because every damn one of you is related to just about every other one of you.

As a Louisianian, if you were to walk into some packed venue and start shooting, odds are you’d hit a cousin or nephew or great-aunt. Somebody.

So maybe that’s why we get murder, but not mass murder. You have to really know whom you’re killing, so you can ensure you don’t hit someone you’ll regret hitting.

I don’t know about you, but I think that theory rings with some truth to it. It’s possible, at least.

Sure, you can make the gun advocate’s argument “” that we don’t get such things because most of our gun owners are hunters, people trained to be responsible with their firearms.

I grant you: That could contribute. But having gone too many places in Louisiana with natives and watched them seemingly find someone they know everywhere they go, I think the extended family theory holds water. Well, the extended family theory, and the fact that most Louisiana audiences would shoot back.

Again, none of this is meant to diminish the horror of what happened in Aurora “” I’m just glad I live somewhere that doesn’t seem so inclined.

While steering clear of shooting sprees is great, I can see some downside for y’all. Like, don’t you ever get nervous going to a singles bar, worried you might accidentally take home a second cousin you don’t recognize? Sure would make the next giant family crawfish boil awkward, yeah?

Still, the pros outweigh the cons. Like the way Louisianians tend to let anyone do just about anything in traffic, no matter how asinine, out of being courteous. Perhaps it’s not just because it’s a friendly state “” maybe folks figure there’s a decent chance they know that idiot, and wouldn’t want to have to explain why they didn’t stop in the middle of Florida Boulevard to let him pull a U-turn in front of them. Blood, after all, is thicker than water. Even when that blood flows in the veins of someone who is thicker than pig scat.

Having lived here 20 years, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I’ll never be one of you. I might be your friend, I might appreciate what you’ve got, but I won’t ever have it for myself. But that’s OK. At least I’ll never accidentally sleep with my cousin.

About Jared Kendall

Jared Kendall
A freelance data journalist and father of two, Jared Kendall has been using comedy as a coping mechanism his entire life. Born a Yankee, Jared's twenty-year stint in Baton Rouge still leaves him with one question: "Why'd I move here, again?"

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