National View: Nowhere is safe when it comes to gun violence
‘This shouldn’t happen in Troutdale. You don’t expect something like that to happen in your hometown.” That was the reaction of one resident of the Oregon town where a 15-year-old high school student armed with an AR-15 rifle killed a 14-year-old boy before shooting himself.
He is right. Such senseless violence shouldn’t happen. Not in Troutdale or Newtown or Columbine or Blacksburg or Seattle or Tucson or Las Vegas or Santa Barbara or the Washington Navy Yard or, for that matter, any place in the United States. But he’s wrong about what to expect: It’s clear from the countless locales that have been scarred by gun violence that no place is really safe.
That’s because Congress refuses – even in the face of increasingly frequent shootings – to even consider, let alone enact, any kind of responsible gun control.
As to suggestions by some opponents of gun control that shortcomings in the country’s mental health system are to blame, President Obama pointed out the United States “does not have a monopoly on crazy people,” only on the unfettered access to weapons it gives people capable of doing unbelievable damage.