The news of yet another school shooting, this one near Portland, Ore., Tuesday, landed on page A2 of the Observer-Reporter yesterday. It received relatively modest play on some television newscasts, well removed from the main headlines and dispatched with a few words and knitted brows.
It’s an unfortunate reflection of how commonplace school shootings have become that the Oregon tragedy, which left the shooter and another student dead, hardly gained anyone’s notice. According to data provided by the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been 74 school shootings since the carnage unleashed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012.
And what will be done? Nothing, probably.
As President Obama noted Tuesday, America has not cornered the market on crazy people. But we are unique in the ease by which those crazy people can get their hands on guns to carry out their angry, aberrant impulses. Though it has seemed at times in his second term that his much-vaunted communications skills have escaped him, the president spoke for many on Tuesday when the nation “should be ashamed” of its lassitude when it comes to guns.
“We’re the only developed country on Earth where this happens,” he said. “And it happens now once a week. And it’s a one-day story. There’s no place like this … This is becoming the norm, and we take it for granted in ways that, as a parent, are terrifying to me.”
Obama also said that some “soul searching” is in order when it comes to our inability to enact gun control legislation. But that would assume some of our lawmakers have souls.
A good many sold theirs long ago to the National Rifle Association.