Ho-ho-ho and pop-pop-pop.
We still hope to learn the intentions of the man in camouflage who was screaming and waving a gun around in the crowded Lenexa Costco on a holiday weekend before the off-duty police officer who happened to be there shopping shot and killed him.
There are still so many unanswered questions about what happened before, during and after the shooting.
We do know this much, though: A simple shopping trip or night at the movies can end in a massacre. Can and has, of course.
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Which means that while seated in a dark theater, we are not scanning for the exits in case of fire, but in case of mayhem.
And does anyone see a concert anywhere in the world without thinking at least fleetingly of those fans of Ariana Grande who died in Manchester in May, or those of the Eagles of Death Metal who were killed in the terror attack at the Bataclan in Paris two years ago?
In church, do we keep at least one eye open? In school, hope that the receptionist is tougher to slip past than your average prison guard?
In some parts of the world, and in some urban neighborhoods, this has long been the case, as it has for more than half of the population.
Women have always had to survey the horizon — or at a minimum, the empty parking garage, and any street after dark — this way, and we are sorry to have to say to even the biggest and brawniest men, welcome to Tel Aviv.
After Aurora and Tucson and Newtown and San Bernardino and Orlando and Sutherland Springs, we’re not sure that anyone who had to run for it, or crouch behind a counter for cover in that Costo had a hard time believing that such a thing could happen there.
Which is why, after a 19-year-old was critically injured in a shooting outside a mall in Columbia, Missouri, on Friday, a witness told KSHB that she’d almost been expecting it: “We were literally just talking about how we thought it was pretty lucky that nothing happened tonight,’’ said Brittany Huhn, “and then we come out and this is what we saw.”
But even hyper vigilance can’t guarantee safety from violence, and anxiety isn’t helpful, but paralyzing.
So while the sad reality is that our general sense of where we are in the world as we move through it has changed in recent years, that does not mean we must just accept that gun violence has to be this prevalent.
The challenge meanwhile is to know how the oxygen masks work and where the emergency exits are located without forgetting to look out the window once in a while.