Why We Will Never Avoid Shooting Tragedies

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson argues that the combination of rampant guns and unhinged young men makes mass shootings inevitable.

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Easy gun access and inadequate mental-health resources work together to create a recipe for tragedies such as the Aurora, Colo., mass shooting on July 20, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson argues.

Will we even pretend to do anything to prevent the next mass shooting by a crazed loner? I doubt it. We'll just add Aurora to the growing list -- Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tucson -- and wait for the inevitable.

When that next atrocity comes, we'll tell each other we're shocked and stunned, knowing full well we should be neither. We'll probe the assailant's life in search of a motive, knowing full well we won't find one that makes any sense. We'll comfort the survivors and the victims' families and assure them their suffering will not be in vain.

Meanwhile, somewhere out there, another disturbed young man will be purchasing an assault rifle and making unspeakable plans.

I can only conclude that we, as a society, have decided this state of affairs is acceptable, that the occasional murderous rampage is the price we pay for . . . for what? For freedom? For the Second Amendment? For campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association? ...

Almost before the last shell casing clatters to the ground, the fruitless debate begins: Do we focus on the man or the gun?

Clearly, there are two issues involved in these mass killings. The more difficult one has to do with mental health.

Read the rest of Eugene Robinson's piece at the Washington Post.

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