Responding to the stunning shooting that took place in Virginia today, Rachel Maddow explained that, despite the “internationally unparalleled” level of gun violence in America, today’s incident in Alexandria, Virginia – during which a handful of Republican congressmen, aides and police became the target of a gunman – should still shock the public.
— Sean Colarossi (@SeanColarossi) June 15, 2017
We are a country that has a huge amount of gun violence, an internationally unparalleled level of gun violence and an internationally unparalleled frequency of multiple victim, mass shooting events. But even with that peculiar and bloody American history, even frankly with another mass shooting happening within hours of this one today in California … Even with the mind-numbing frequency of mass gun violence in our country and our inability to muster any constructive policy solutions to try to stop it. A mass shooting specifically targeting elected officials? Targeting and hitting members of Congress? That is a form of American violence that is a different kind of a shock to us as a country.
Wednesday might have just been another day in America’s dark and ongoing pattern of gun violence, but there is something particularly jarring about seeing members of Congress become shooting targets in broad daylight.
As Maddow said, today was a “different kind of kick to us as a country.”
But it still remains to be seen whether it will be enough to rally Americans and lawmakers of all political persuasions to offer more than empty thoughts and prayers, and to instead show the victims of gun violence – including members of Congress – that their lives matter enough to act.
After all, if 20 school children being gunned down in a classroom didn’t shock the nation into action, the events of Wednesday morning – as stunning as they were – likely won’t have an impact either.
As a result, America’s “internationally unparalleled” level of gun violence will continue, with no end in sight.