A deadly weekend

Another deadly weekend for the United States thanks to two more mass shootings that — at this writing — took a combined 31 lives and left dozens more injured.

Two more people died in El Paso, Texas, Monday from wounds suffered Saturday at a Walmart as parents shopped for back-to-school supplies for their children. That brought the death toll there to 22. Another nine died in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, early Sunday morning.

The El Paso shootings have been labeled acts of “domestic terrorism” since the gunman apparently had a political motive and had published a “manifesto” online shortly before the rampage. Police are still seeking the reasons for the Dayton shootings.

Gun control advocates are again calling for universal background checks and a reinstatement of the ban on assault-style weapons. The 1994 ban on those weapons was allowed to “sunset” in 2004.

Frankly, we have never understood why anyone thinks civilians should have weapons capable of firing dozens of rounds per minute. However, the gun lobby has been able to successfully fend off any efforts to curb the sale of these semiautomatic weapons despite a steady drumbeat of mass shootings in our country:

Las Vegas — 58 killed in 2017; Orlando — 49 killed in 2016; Virginia Tech — 32 killed in 2007; Sutherland Springs, Texas — 25 killed in 2017; and on and on.

We thought surely there would be some action taken in 2012 when 20 elementary school children and six adults were massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

We were wrong.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill this year requiring universal background checks. The Senate has ignored it.

Until Congress and the president work up the nerve to act, the shameful list of slaughters of the innocent will continue to grow.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.


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