Life does go on, through Columbine in 1999, through Virginia Tech in 2007, through Sandy Hook in 2012. Each atrocity provides a jolt to the nation and then recedes with little effect, until the next unimaginable event occurs, except each time a little more imaginable. Everything was supposed to change after a man with a semiautomatic weapon mowed down 20 elementary school children in their classrooms last December. But for the politicians, nothing changed. Now, another massacre, another roster of funerals. Again, again, again.Robin Abcarian at The Los Angeles Times:
There is no mass shooting devastating enough, disgusting enough or shocking enough that the U.S. Congress would be moved to enact reasonable gun legislation like the measures proposed in April by President Obama after 20 first-graders were mowed down last year in Newtown, Conn. [...]David Frum:
And, as it turns out, when you are the NRA or in its pocket, there is never a "right time" to talk about rational gun measures.
So here we are again, another mass shooting in the news, another moment when gun control advocates must once again lean into the fray and not allow themselves be intimidated by people who would rather offer a prayer for the dead than do anything to prevent more killing.
I write on the day of the killing. Gun enthusiasts say it is inappropriate to talk about gun violence at the time it occurs. Better to wait … and wait … and wait … until time has passed, and the weeping next of kin have vanished from TV, and it’s safe to return to business as usual. The idea of the gun enthusiasts is that the way to show respect for the victims of gun violence is to do everything possible to multiply their number.Head below the fold for more analysis on this tragedy.
Yet the gun enthusiasts do have one point on their side: for all the horror of these massacres, they are only a small part of the story of gun violence in America. Most casualties of gun violence will not die at the hands of a mentally disturbed killer seeking random victims. Most gun casualties occur in the course of quarrels and accidents between people who would be described as “law-abiding, responsible gun owners” up until the moment that they lost their temper or left a weapon where a four-year-old could find it and kill himself or his sister.
Subtract the military setting and the backdrop of the nation's capital, and you have a tragically common event: workplace homicide. Nobody shows up for work anticipating a spray of gunfire into the employee cafeteria. But homicides account for 1 out of 10 fatal on-the-job injuries, according to a 2010 study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. [...]The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson:
Eighty percent of those homicides involved guns. The shooters included robbers, estranged partners and angry clients; co-workers or former co-workers accounted for only 12 percent. [...]
Police in Washington haven't volunteered a motive in the Navy Yard carnage. There's no evidence of terrorism, they say, but they haven't ruled it out. In the end, like so many workplace attacks, it could well be attributed to two things: A lethal grudge. And a gun.
Opponents of gun control argue that, instead of infringing Second Amendment rights, we should focus on the fact that most, if not all, of these mass shooters are psychologically disturbed. But many of the officials who take this view are simultaneously trying their best to repeal Obamacare, which will provide access to mental health services to millions of Americans who are now uninsured.The Hartford Courant:
So what difference did it really make what motivated Monday’s shooting? Beyond tightening security at military bases, what is our sclerotic political system capable of doing to prevent the next slaughter of innocents?
Just five months ago, a mile and a half away at the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Senate defeated a compromise proposal to expand background checks on gun purchases, despite vast public support for the proposal.
The gun control proposals had followed the horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in December, where a deranged gunman killed 20 children and six educators before taking his own life. The Senate proposal would have required background checks for sales at gun shows and the Internet, closing glaring loopholes in current law.
Is there a place in America that hasn't been touched by a mass shooting? Has it become part of life in this country? About 3,000 people, military and civilian, work in the building where the shooting took place. We ask for senators who voted against the gun control bill to go down there tomorrow and look them in the eye.