An obstetrician who happened to be at the parade that day described the Highland Park massacre of July 4, 2022:
The people killed were “blown up by that gunfire,” he said, “blown up. The horrific scene of some of the bodies is unspeakable for the average person.”
A battle rifle is a soldier’s rod and staff in the valley of the shadow of combat — a tool to survive and prevail. The soldier doesn’t have to shoot with high accuracy to inflict “unspeakable” injury on the enemy, a crucial advantage in the hell of war.
To carry out a mass shooting, a person in the U.S. will choose a battle rifle over a handgun whenever possible. To a disturbed mind, it’s simply the best tool for the job.
Writing in 2018, a radiologist in Florida described the tracks that bullets leave through a human liver. A typical 9mm handgun’s is a thin gray line roughly the size of the projectile. An AR-15 bullet simply pulps the organ; it “passes through the body like a cigarette boat traveling at maximum speed through a tiny canal… Exit wounds can be the size of an orange.” The handgun victim might reach a trauma center alive and be saved; the rifle victim usually hasn’t a prayer.
It doesn’t seem controversial to say that someone who murders even a single fellow human is not coming from a good place in his head, unless the Devil made us. Solutions that involve improved mental health services for identifying and treating potential perpetrators of mass shootings have not come to the fore yet. Neither have solutions that substantially diminish the likelihood that they will obtain rifles and ammunition.
As Uncle Walter (Cronkite) used to say in signing off the CBS nightly news: “And that’s the way it is, Saturday, July 16, 2022.”
(Charles M. Blow, “Show the Carnage,” NYTimes, 7-6-22)
(Christina Prignano and Ryan Huddle, “There have been at least 314 mass shootings so far in 2022. There have been only 186 days,” bostonglobe.com, 7-5-22)
Still small voice
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