Monday, June 13, 2016

Orlando: Yes, it has happened again

There are no words.

Actually, at least for me, there is only one word.

It's the one that dominates today's front page.

Every time there is a huge story, I struggle with how best to deliver that message on the front page of the newspaper.

As the day unfolded yesterday, and the horror of another mass shooting began to sink in, I could only come up with one word.

Again.

Yes, we once again will try to come to grips with the kind of evil that could walk into a crowded nightclub in Orlando, Fla., and open fire, killing 50 and leaving another 53 wounded.

It is now the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

That in itself is horrific enough.

Here's what scares me.

For how long?

This has happened before. My fear is that it is going to happen again. It is who - and what - we are now, always looking over our shoulder for signs of trouble.

There are a lot of elements to his terrible story.

Was the shooter working in the name of some perverted sense of terror? Was he filled with hate against gays and decided to wage his own war in a nightclub packed with gays.

Are we once again going to lament this kind of mindless gun violence.

I know all about the Second Amendment. It's not going away. And no amount of mass shootings is going to change that.

But if someone can offer me a single reason why anyone outside the police and military should be able to so casually buy a semi-automatic rifle capable of delivering this kind of mayhem, I'm all ears.

Would a ban on this kind of weapon prevented this tragedy? Almost assuredly no. But if the gunman did not have that weapon, the death toll no doubt would have been much lower.

None of that is my biggest fear, however.

I fear this.

Yesterday we were outraged. Today we will mourn. Tomorrow we will again debate what can be done to stop such carnage. Wednesday the debate will start to ebb. Nothing will change.

And we will wait for the next time.

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