Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mass shootings in America: We're learning to live with it

Jacob Tyler Roberts, the 22 year old kid who went on a killing spree in Clackamas Town Center last night, worked at a gyro shop downtown.  He lived off 82nd Street, south of Flavel.  About five miles from my home.  According to people who knew him he didn't seem the type.  But he killed a hospice nurse and a father and he severely wounded a 15-year-old girl.  More evidence of a troubling truth:  anyone can snap.

Gun violence occurs daily in these United States, so it is difficult to categorize the various forms it takes.  Some things just don't make the national news.  Like the thing that went down in Tulare County two days ago.  But if we use a reasonably restrictive definition --say incidents in which a crazed killer opens fire at anonymous victims in a crowded community gathering place --there have been three such this year.  Besides this thing in Clackamas, there was the thing in Wisconsin back in August when that Nazi shot up a Sikh temple.  And there was that thing at the cinema in Colorado in July. 

As I said back then, random gun killings are a part of our American way of life.  So-called Second Amendment advocates have won the public debate.  In this country, there will be no restrictions on lethal weaponry.

So, unless and until we can find another solution, we're going to have to learn to live with occasional random mass murders.

But we seem to be getting better at it.

(I wish State Senator Ginny Burdick all the luck in the world with her efforts.  But I don't hold out much hope.)
It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge. War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is the way it was and will be....  War is the ultimate game because war is at last a forcing of the unity of existence. War is god. --Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy

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