America needs to talk about gun control in the wake of the Colorado shooting

Guardian: The chorus of empathetic responses to the tragic shootings at the Aurora movie theater, near Denver, Colorado early Friday morning marks a stubborn refrain in a perennial American elegy. Different singers mouthing different words, but basically singing the same song.

Psychological profiles of the shooter emerge, along with portraits of the victims, while the political class closes ranks so that the nation can heal. Incanted tones to sooth a permanent scar.

All rituals serve a purpose. And this one is no different.

At least 12 people have died. Their families must be given space to mourn, and that space should be respected. But it does not honour the dead to insist that there must be no room in that space for rational thought and critical appraisal. Indeed, such situations demand both.

For one can only account for so many “isolated” incidents before it becomes necessary to start dealing with a pattern. It is simply not plausible to understand events in Colorado this Friday without having a conversation about guns in a country where more than 84 people a day are killed with guns, and more than twice that number are injured with them.

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