Commentary

The gun madness continues as American school shootings reach truly obscene levels

Ho hum. Another day, another 17 American children gunned down in what ought to be one of the safest havens in society by a disturbed man-child with a mass killing machine.

As the New York Times explains this morning, the numbers have become certifiably obscene:

“When a gunman killed 20 first graders and six adults with an assault rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, it rattled Newtown, Conn., and reverberated across the world. Since then, there have been at least 273 school shootings nationwide. In those incidents, 439 people were shot, 121 of whom were killed….

The shootings have taken place at sporting events and in parking lots, cafeterias, hallways and classrooms.

A shooting took place Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., about an hour northwest of Miami. As of Wednesday night, 17 people had been killed and the number of people injured was unknown.

Twelve of the 272 shootings shown below can be classified as mass shootings, events in which four or more people are shot.

On average, there have been seven school shootings each month, including episodes that were not mass shootings.”

A few years back, editors of the online humor website known as The Onion featured a darkly funny but painfully on-the-mark headline about gun violence that read as follows: “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.” Sadly and amazingly, this sentence continues to capture the essence of the utterly mad gun violence crisis that plagues America: the only nation in which mass killing machines are afforded the same societal protection as speech, religious belief and the right to due process of law.

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