Another mass shooting — our nation suffers nearly 20 per year — and a tragic cycle repeats. In these cycles, anguish for victims is followed by editorials claiming the futility of more gun laws; politicians then speak but do nothing; the tragedy is muted until the next cycle.
Two causes cry out for attention. Decades ago, asylums were closed because emerging drugs controlled violent paranoia; however, absent imminent threats, society found itself unable to compel mental patients to take these drugs. The gun lobby, also defending “individual rights,” terminated careers of politicians advocating control or monitoring of dangerous weapons.
Couple “rights” to remain psychotic with legal access to excessive firepower, add diminishing and misspent public funding for mental health and a witch’s brew for recurring catastrophe is inevitable.
All shooting tragedies cannot be prevented; but many can. Prevention requires, however, a society where politicians are not bought as freely as deadly weaponry.