This weekend, we were reminded that mass shootings are not an anomaly of American life- they are a fixture. With shootings in Gilroy, California, Brownsville, New York, and right here in our own state in West Philadelphia all taking place within a single weekend, these last few days have served as a bloody reminder of our unique distinction as the only country in the world where this is tolerated as normal. In Gilroy, 4 were killed, including a 6-year-old child, when a gunman opened fire on a Garlic Festival with an assault rifle. In New York, 11 were injured and one person was killed in the largest shooting since the Virginia Beach attack two months ago- an honorific significant enough to warrant mention as if it were a significant period of time. And right here in Philadelphia, 7 were wounded by two attackers in the third playgroundshooting this summer.
For all those who believe that more guns in our schools or in our community centers will make us safer, these shootings remind us that mass shootings can take place at our parks or at our playgrounds or even at our food festivals. Rather than locking these public events down too, we ought address the uniquely American problem of excessive gun violence by combating the easy access to firearms.