"Let's not politicize this!" is almost always code for "The reaction to this tragedy is fundamentally challenging to my worldview, and I'm not comfortable with that." But if you can convince enough people that it's impossible to discuss the matter with sensitivity, then you can bury it until it's no longer topical. Then you just rinse and repeat until a solution that doesn't make you question your values somehow presents itself, or until we all become bulletproof cyborgs. You know, whichever comes first.
It's like your doctor telling you that you'll die of liver failure in a few months if you don't cut back on your drinking, and then, when asking you just how much you drink, a stranger butts in and yells, "Whoa, doc! I don't like you taking advantage of the state of this person's liver to push your 'Drink less' agenda! Why don't you wait six months, when this is a less sensitive subject for me, and then we can talk about it? You know, maybe. If I feel like it."
I'm sure there's already someone rushing to the comments to call that analogy baseless because of its obvious flaw -- no one calls a doctor "doc" anymore. But that's kind of the point. There's always a knee-jerk reaction to completely shut down the conversation instead of having it and rationally and politely arguing why the other side is wrong.
Shootings bring out this response the most by far, whether it's a mass shooting or questionable police violence. And there is a fine line, because as we just covered, there are bad ways to react to shootings. But if you notice someone playing the "Let's not politicize this" card whenever a tragedy doesn't fit their worldview ...
... but is then all too happy to get political when a tragedy that does fit their worldview occurs ...
... then they don't actually give a shit about the victims. And regardless of your own opinions, you don't have to express them with the same disingenuousness that's far more insulting to the victims than any supposed "insensitive conversation" could ever possibly be.
Anyway, with all of that in mind, let's hope a national tragedy occurs soon so that we can apply these lessons while they're still fresh.
Mark has a Twitter, a story collection, and got Internet Comment Section Poisoning while researching this column.