The most com­mon atroc­ity

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Pa­gain. lay Eleven the tape peo­ple who were go­ing about their lives at a bar in Thou­sand Oaks on Wed­nes­day night are not alive to­day; nei­ther is an of­fi­cer who rushed to help them. The man sus­pected of be­ing re­spon­si­ble for those deaths — a young mil­i­tary vet­eran be­lieved to have suf­fered men­tal trauma — is also dead. Po­lice say he used a gun with an ex­tended mag­a­zine to fire on the un­sus­pect­ing crowd be­fore killing him­self. Th­ese de­tails alone are enough to prompt sad­ness and anger from our let­ter writ­ers. But the real out­rage — ex­pressed mostly in force­ful, pol­ished, com­plex sen­tences, as anger rarely is, be­cause our read­ers have had plenty of prac­tice writ­ing about gun vi­o­lence — is stirred by the knowl­edge that mass shoot­ings in pub­lic places have be­come rou­tine. — Paul Thorn­ton, let­ters ed­i­tor

Tom Mo­ran of Bak­ers­field be­lieves we no longer have the right to be sur­prised:

Fri­day was the 312th day of the year. There have been al­most as many mass shoot­ings, in­ci­dents in which four or more peo­ple have been shot, as there have been days in 2018.

Pro-gun politi­cians and the Na­tional Ri­fle Assn. con­sider this col­lat­eral dam­age — ac­cept­able losses — in their lu­cra­tive in­ter­de­pen­dence. It’s sim­ply the cost of do­ing busi­ness.

Due to our in­ac­tion, we

for­feit the right to be stunned when it hap­pens to us or to some­one we love. How dare we feign sur­prise in the face of such cer­tainty?

Some time in the next weeks peo­ple will die in a mass shoot­ing, as sure as the sun rises and sets.

Bar­bara Mar­cus of Sher­man Oaks puts a twist on “thoughts and prayers”:

I wish to be the first to of­fer my thoughts and prayers to the vic­tims of the next shoot­ing. My thought and prayer at the mo­ment is

that I will not be among the next group of vic­tims. Oh, and my thoughts and prayers ex­tend to all those who be­lieve that their thoughts and prayers ab­solve them from the duty to de­mand real and work­able gun con­trol laws.

Paul Bergman of Pasadena men­tions the pres­i­dent:

There has been yet an­other mass shoot­ing.

The shooter? An Amer­i­can ci­ti­zen, yet again. Armed per­son­nel on site? Yes, yet again.

Gee, is it pos­si­ble that un­doc­u­mented peo­ple are not our great­est threat? Is it pos­si­ble that greater safety re­quires fewer guns rather than more? Is it pos­si­ble that the pres­i­dent will come to his senses?

Hint: The an­swer to two of th­ese ques­tions is yes.

Trent San­ders of La Cañada Flin­tridge points to the me­dia:

With this lat­est shoot­ing in Thou­sand Oaks, there is again the usual knee-jerk “ban all guns” re­ac­tion. And yes, guns are cer­tainly re­spon­si­ble, but the me­dia also bear a large re­spon­si­bil­ity for th­ese tragedies.

The never-end­ing, dayafter-day cov­er­age of th­ese shoot­ings glo­ri­fies the act in the minds of un­sta­ble and de­ranged peo­ple. “Here’s how I can get my 15 min­utes of fame,” they think.

Yes, the me­dia have an ab­so­lute 1st Amend­ment

right to cover mass shoot­ings, but they also have a mo­ral re­spon­si­bil­ity not to help cause a prob­lem.

Al­tadena res­i­dent Michael David­son says the right to bear arms has been abused: This is re­ally sim­ple: Amer­i­cans have the right to own guns. Ev­ery right has re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. When rights are abused, we take them away.

The only re­main­ing

ques­tion is how we take them away.

Carol Mar­shall of Pla­cen­tia parses the 2nd Amend­ment:

The first words of the 2nd Amend­ment are “a well-reg­u­lated mili­tia,” which was the framers’ way of say­ing “mil­i­tary.”

They un­der­stood guns were nec­es­sary in times of war. Doesn’t any­body read the Constitution? Not the NRA, ev­i­dently.

Kent Nishimura Los An­ge­les Times

PEO­PLE GATHER Thurs­day in Thou­sand Oaks to re­mem­ber the 12 vic­tims of Wed­nes­day’s shoot­ing.

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