Other View: Mass shootings keep happening ... and Congress keeps ducking

Gun control reforms are supported by overwhelming majorities of Americans.

Jane Harman of Takoma Park, Maryland holds up a sign during a rally against gun violence outside the U.S. Capitol on June 6, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Organized by several anti-gun violence groups, the activists were at the Capitol to urge lawmakers to take action on gun safety in the wake of multiple recent mass shootings.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images/TNS

“Innocent people are dead, shot by a young man with a potent firearm, who died after an exchange of gunfire with police.” That was, word-for-word, the opening sentence of our editorial less than a month ago about another mass shooting in another community by another young man with another assault rifle and our prediction on the next editorial.

What changes are the names of the murdered and the location of the massacre and the mourning. What is the same is the blood and the AR-15 or similar weapon.

Then it was a bank in Louisville, now it’s a mall in Allen, Texas.

President Biden ordered flags to be flown at half-staff for five days in a proclamation yesterday, that begins: “As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on...”

We are not the only ones who repeat; the same word-for-word proclamation was also issued on March 27 for Nashville and on Jan. 21 for Monterey Park, Calif. Last year, it was July 4 for Highland Park, Ill. and May 24 for Uvalde, Texas. In 2021, there were four times: May 26 for San Jose, April 15 for Indianapolis, March 22 for Boulder and March 16 for Atlanta.


What also repeats are the solutions that never happen. A Fox News poll published 10 days ago shows 61% of Americans want to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The survey also found that universal background checks were favored by 87% and raising the age for gun purchases to 21 was at 81%.

Former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, in a Forbes op-ed last week, backs all of those measures, as well as laws requiring safe storage of firearms and ending legal immunity for gun manufacturers. Biden yesterday listed all the same reforms but for raising the age to 21 and said he would sign them immediately, but the Congress, still in the clutches of the NRA, does nothing.

The flags will stay lowered until Thursday evening. And then they’re back up, until the next proclamation.

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