Also, it seems I was wrong in assuming the meaning of this song was readily apparent to anyone who's heard it before. Not a single guest on the podcast caught the various references to freakishly gifted children outrunning guns and being faster than bullets and such, nor did the person who wrote this review of Torches, the album that spawned the hit single, and the site he's writing for literally has the word "psychiatrist" in its name. Sure, it's not a psychiatry-related website in any way and it recently went out of business, but still, the comments section was right for a change, a lot of people missed the meaning of this song.
It's easy to see how that happened, though. In addition to that peppy melody, the verses are sung in that far-away, muffled sort of tone that bands sometimes use in situations where their actual voice sounds like garbage. I imagine casual listeners spent the chorus mostly wondering if the song was about those ridiculously ugly and needlessly inflatable Reeboks that came out in the '80s.
Finally, a way to make your shoes fit tighter!
On top of all of that, this song was everywhere for the better part of a year. When songs get that huge, people who don't become immediate fans of the band in question (in this case, Foster the People, so everybody) tend to forever hear those songs as background noise. Sure, they know them, but they don't really know them.
I wouldn't be surprised if people said the exact same thing about most of the school shooters of the world after they committed their crimes.