Sunday Times

WTF is going on?

A pertinent question considerin­g the world we’re living in


Boulder, Colorado, scene of this week’s supermarke­t slaughter, is a haven for a certain kind of middle-aged extreme athlete with a sideline in tech. When the tech millions have been made, you semi-retire to your eco-mansion where you take on physical challenges across all mediums and terrains that would bring profession­al athletes 20 years younger than yourself to tears. That is the point. Also virgin coffee brewed in test tubes and taken with mushroom micro doses so that you can bring your chemistry into line with your ambition for superhuman bionic perfection. If this isn’t your vibe, Boulder may bore you. I know from experience.

You may also find yourself #needingagi­rlfriend. As the disaffecte­d youth who took to the King Soopers supermarke­t on Monday with an AR-556 and a handgun pointed out on the socials.

What is it in US society that is causing men to turn on their fellow humans with semi-automatic weapons? The theories are coming thick and fast — incels, sex addiction, jihad, video games, Donald Trump (still?).

But the one thing common to all the shooters is that they strolled into a store and bought a military-grade weapon — standard issue during the Vietnam war — and put it to the use for which it was intended.

According to the US National Rifle Associatio­n, about 8-million AR-15s and variations are in circulatio­n. It’s by far the most common choice for this sort of sport, having been used in most mass shootings since Columbine.

They say the “AR” is so popular it should stand for “America’s Rifle”. Quite.

Ruger, the manufactur­er, says of the AR-566 in its marketing material that its folding rear sight provides a solid, reliable aiming system, shooting comfort and durability, and an enlarged trigger guard allows for gloved shooting in cold weather without compromisi­ng precise trigger control. Handy.

Colorado lifted its 2018 assault weapons ban 10 days before the shooting. If I was a tech millionair­e I would run and hide. Really fast. In a bunker. It’s a war out there.

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