Over 13,000 people (not including suicide victims) died in America from gun violence last year. Thirty thousand more were injured.
Five brave police officers and two innocent black men added to that total these past weeks in Dallas, Minnesota and Louisiana. It has become a similar refrain week after week.
We have since learned that the Dallas assassin we will not name had plans for an even bigger massacre, and had quantities of bombs and explosives in his home. The protest march last Thursday evening just happened to give him the opportunity to get white police officers in his sights.
All together, 43,000 people were killed or wounded by guns last year. That’s a lot of families and neighborhoods grieving; a lot of wasting of young lives.
Ninety percent of blacks are shot by blacks, while 82 percent of whites are shot by whites, not quite the statistics that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani would have you believe.
In Dallas, the open carry gun law meant that several of the demonstrators had rifles on their shoulders. Police reported great difficulty in distinguishing them from the real shooter.
Mayor of Dallas Mike Rawlings spoke about that. He is a gun owner, but he has appealed for common sense laws that would ban open carry.
Dublin-born Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas also appealed for a ban on semi-automatic rifles, arguing they were for use in war, not in cities against civilians.
Like every attempt to slow the dangerous growth in gun freedoms, their pleas were quickly ignored.
It seems more and more the Second Amendment has taken on the inviolability of one of the Ten Commandments. Thou shalt have your guns, your semi-automatic rifles, your explosives -- no matter the cost in lives and the highest murder rates from guns in the world.
Playing God for so many Americans is the National Rifle Association, which has careened way out of control on this issue and brought the entire country with it. They are as powerful as the tobacco lobby of old.
They say all is fine and good to have access to guns in any way at any venue (except at the GOP convention next week, by the way) and there is no obligation whatever to curb their usage.
That is truly nonsense. The First Amendment gives rights to newspapers and editors to print free speech, but if they maliciously damage someone they can be sued for libel. There is no absolute right.
There are natural limits. There are an estimated 360 million guns in America, one for everyone in the country, with 60 million left over.
It is a hugely lucrative business, the selling of guns, and no wonder the NRA is ensuring the politicians have their snout in every gravy plate that passes their way courtesy of the NRA.
In generations to come people will ask the question we now ask about slavery. What were they thinking?
Our generation has turned America into an armed camp, each killing more numbing until the next one, and ridiculous but successful efforts to ensure that even terrorists who are on the watch list can freely buy guns here.
If we look crazy to the rest of the world it is because we are, and there seems no way back.
But they said the same about slavery until the election of Abraham Lincoln who ended the disgusting practice. Someone needs to step up now to do the same.
No shot with the GOP. Donald Trump is on record to expand gun rights, while Hillary Clinton wants to regulate them.
If she is elected she must make gun control her top priority. America has suffered enough from the gun blight.
The dead bodies in Minnesota, Louisiana and Texas are stark reminders yet again of a powerful evil.