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“Our Time Of Loss”

Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Oregon, United States. 2 March 2016. Ian Poellet

This is from a BBC story posted Sunday:

“This is a tragedy that we never, ever would have thought would happen in El Paso,” El Paso Mayor Dee Margo told CNN. “It tears me up.”

‘US President Donald Trump said the reports coming from the area were “very bad, many killed”.

‘In a statement, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said El Paso had been “struck by a heinous and senseless act of violence”.

‘”Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrific shooting and to the entire community in this time of loss,” the governor said.’

By now, stories more or less identical to this have become simple fill-in-the-blank exercises for news people. The formulaic “thoughts and prayers” and “we never thought it would happen here” statements have long since lost all sense of meaning or sincerity.

Gun control was a lost cause in the USA long, long ago. According to the Small Arms Survey, there are 120 guns in private hands for every 100 people in the USA, for a staggering grand total of some 393 million guns, the use of which is left to the discretion, motives, and sanity of individual owners.

It seems clear that there is a considerable copycat element in mass shootings, whether in malls or schools or other gathering places. It seems a way that people find suitable in order to “make a statement”. I leave that for psychologists and psychiatrists to sort out.

But the ultimate responsibility for the senseless murders must be laid at the feet of state and federal legislators, governors and presidents, and the NRA.  Murder profiteers are doing well in the USA, financially and politically. People — that’s you and I — are expendable.

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