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Not polarized. Twisted. by @BloggersRUs

Not polarized. Twisted.

by Tom Sullivan

We can't talk about it today. We can't do anything about it tomorrow. Because we -- all of us -- are Phil Connors in Groundhog Day. So, rise and shine, campers, and don't forget your body armor 'cause it's hot lead out there today.

That is the twisted reasoning behind American impotency in the face of mass shootings so regular you can enter them into your appointment calendar. When it comes to mass murder, we're Number One! USA! USA!

The overall death toll has risen even as the casualty count from each mass shooting trends upward, as Philip Bump chronicles. We know our mass shootings by the cities where they occurred.

Las Vegas enjoys bragging rights this week. With his 59 dead and over 520 injured, Stephen Paddock has shattered the record set just 16 months ago when Omar Mateen massacred 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Paddock takes the gold with his creative use of an automatic weapon and high ground. When mass shooting becomes an Olympic event, the United States is poised to dominate, if not murder, its competition.

Which is another reason why nothing will happen to stop it.

Steve Israel, the former Democratic congressman from Long Island, provides others reasons why:

First, just like everything else in Washington, the gun lobby has become more polarized. The National Rifle Association, once a supporter of sensible gun-safety measures, is now forced to oppose them because of competing organizations. More moderation means less market share. The gun lobby is in a race to see who can become more brazen, more extreme.

Second, congressional redistricting has pulled Republicans so far to the right that anything less than total subservience to the gun lobby is viewed as supporting gun confiscation. The gun lobby score is a litmus test with zero margin for error.

Third, the problem is you, the reader. You’ve become inoculated. You’ll read this essay and others like it, and turn the page or click another link. You’ll watch or listen to the news and shake your head, then flip to another channel or another app. This horrific event will recede into our collective memory.

In a familiar replay, gun enthusiasts led by the National Rifle Association will respond by urging more gun ownership and more open carry. As if the "American carnage" the sitting president vowed to stop in his inaugural address would have been stopped if only thousands at the concert in Las Vegas had returned fire with handguns against one room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino a quarter of a mile away.

That's not polarized. It's twisted.

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