Senseless? Yes. Avoidable? Not any longer.

Another senseless and barbaric mass murder in the United States. Dozens of families and hundreds – if not thousands – of individuals directly affected by the sudden deaths and maiming wrought by an insane man. It is, tragically, a familiar story and the timeline will no doubt play out across the TV news channels for the next twenty four hours until another sensational news item pushes the story off the headline podium and the grisly details become yesterday’s story and therefore no longer news..

And when that happens – when the media dust has settled – what will have changed? Will the pertinent questions around gun ownership, licensing and use have been pursued to their logical conclusions? My guess is that the right wing and gun lobbyists will already be at maximum thrust, hungrily seeking out sound bite opportunities and playing down any link between this type of crime and frankly ludicrous levels of gun ownership or ease of access. Blame will be cast away from the gun lobby, away from those who seek to protect the right to own lethal weapons, and away from those who espouse the ‘wild west’ spirit of self governance and self protection.

Nothing will change. There will still be hundreds of millions of firearms in the United States. There will still be huge numbers of murders tonight and this week. People will continue to die at the wrong end of a gun barrel. America will never wake up to the truth.

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