Retired FBI agent Clint Van Zandt is NBC's go-to analyst for these tragically recurring events.
What words are left? If we as a nation are willing to allow mass causality gun crimes to go unanswered with legislation that could make a meaningful difference in the lives of our people, what words are left to share with those killed at the social services center in San Bernardino, CA today? Do we share with them the same words of comfort and promises of action that were promised to the children massacred at Sandy Hook or the young college students murdered in Roseburg, Ore. earlier this fall? That fact that people are still able to purchase weapons of war, some of which were appropriately banned under the now-expired Assault Weapons Ban, is a moral failure on the part of our nation.
In this quickly moving world, where what is news one day is history the next, it can be fairly easy to stay frozen in our grief and remain numbed out to these injustices and horrors in the world.
I remember going to school in the days and weeks immediately following Columbine. I was in high school in Beech Grove, Indiana. The shooting came as a shock, a wake up call for the nation and we thought, a way for my generation to begin to make it right.
Investigators say Harper-Mercer's mother has told them the son was struggling with some mental health issues.
Jeb Bush's recent use of "stuff happens" perfectly encapsulates the attitude about gun violence that is now prevalent in the Republican Party. The fact that this "stuff" happens more in America than anywhere else in the developed world doesn't seem to change their mind that mass shootings are an inevitable act of nature.
The president will travel to Roseburg Friday.
"A broken heart really isn’t enough, is it?"
"The president rightfully asked what he could do to prevent gun violence tragedies - our recommendations answer that call."
This accelerating cycle of gun violence must end, and we must use every means at our disposal to do so. This means both improving mental health care and adjusting gun laws while still honoring the text of the Second Amendment to our Constitution. We must progress beyond this impasse. Innocent lives are at stake.
Who speaks for Americans? To whom must Congress respond? Is it their constituents or their donors and lobbyists? It's time for that debate RFK tried to start in 1968. It's time for Americans to decide what kind of society they want. It's what the framers intended.
While the pro-death lobby likes to quibble over what constitutes a school shooting or argues that gun violence was even worse a generation ago, it does not change the documented fact that these measures will save lives.