It’s becoming agonizingly tiresome.
SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Tex. — A gunman clad in all black, with a ballistic vest strapped to his chest and a military-style rifle in his hands, opened fire on parishioners at a Sunday service at a small Baptist church in rural Texas, killing at least 26 people and turning this tiny town east of San Antonio into the scene of the country’s newest mass horror.
The gunman was identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, according to two law enforcement officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing. Mr. Kelley, who lived in New Braunfels, Tex., died shortly after the attack.
He had served in the Air Force at a base in New Mexico but was court-martialed in 2012 on charges of assaulting his wife and child. He was sentenced to 12 months’ confinement and received a “bad conduct” discharge in 2014, according to Ann Stefanek, the chief of Air Force media operations.
The motive for the attack was unclear on Sunday, but the grisly nature of it could not have been clearer: Families gathered in pews, clutching Bibles and praying to the Lord, were murdered in cold blood on the spot.
Yet again we will hear the vulture politicians who are bought and paid for by the NRA offer their “thoughts and prayers” and tut-tut that it’s “too soon” to talk about gun control of the mildest kind, or be reminded that no form of gun control will deter the criminals or the insane and then move on to wait for the next time.
“Thoughts and prayers” never stopped a bullet or someone determined to commit mayhem on their way to their suicide. The only time it is “too soon” to talk about it is never because the next time will be too soon.
Texas has some of the most liberal gun laws in the country; by “liberal,” of course, the irony is clear: guns are allowed everywhere, even in churches, something the conservatives and the gun-whores declare to be their god-given right. They neither deterred Mr. Kelley from his murderous mission nor ended it, so the knee-jerk conclusion we should come to is that all those open-carry laws are just as ineffective as the purveyors of guns claim the gun-control laws would be in keeping innocent people safe.
But there’s no point in trying to make sense of this because it never does. We just accept it and go on, waiting for the next time, and lamentations are all we have. Because as was noted all those years ago after Sandy Hook, once the mass murder of five-year-olds became acceptable, the battle to control this madness was lost.