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There is nothing left to say

You’ve heard it all before. We’ve said it all before. After the latest school shooting tragedy in Texas, this editorial is composed entirely of past editorials calling for gun control.

A child crossed under caution tape at Robb Elementary School on Wednesday in Uvalde, Texas.Brandon Bell/Getty

The details are different, but the story is the same: A killer with access to military-style weaponry mows down innocent Americans in cold blood. (2017)

Whatever the proximate cause of the anger, despair, or frustration that led to a violent response, it is hard to imagine how anyone could annihilate so many fellow humans, so senselessly. (2007)

There is simply no logical explanation for such an event, and, likewise, no single oversight that, if rectified, would have prevented it. The killer’s motives seem, at a time like this, unfathomable. But that doesn’t mean that everyone in American society, from the president on down, shouldn’t seize this tragedy to commit themselves to finding ways to stopping these types of mass killings. (2012)


However rote gun tragedies may seem now, America cannot go numb. This massacre is every bit the outrage as the last. (2019)

In broad strokes, Congress and President Biden know what they need to do to stop the bleeding — and have known for years: Restore and update the ban on assault weapons. Increase funding for gun-violence research. Close the loophole that allows sales at gun shows without background checks. Allow victims to hold gun manufacturers financially liable for the fatal mayhem caused by their products. Encourage “smart gun” technology so that stolen weapons can’t be used by criminals. Biden, who as a US senator helped pass the first assault weapons ban in 1994, promised during the campaign to back those measures and others. (2021)

Those ideas are not new and have widespread support, but opposition from the gun lobby has repeatedly thwarted them. Still, the outrage is growing, and the dam will have to burst eventually. Even reasonable hunting enthusiasts and Second Amendment advocates agree that every constitutional right has a limit. As more and more Americans suffer the impact of gun violence, the pathetic response of politicians — “thoughts and prayers,” anyone? — cannot endure forever. (2017)


There was Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn., where 20 students and six staff members were shot to death. There was the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting that killed 49 people, the October 2017 Las Vegas concert shooting where 58 people lost their lives, and the November 2017 church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, that killed 26 people. (2019)

As the list grows, the need for a diligent, comprehensive, national response to the rash of mass shootings becomes more apparent. So too does the abdication of responsibility that occurs whenever reasonable initiatives get floated, only to pass quickly from view as the news dies down and attention shifts. (2012)

“Now is not the time to talk about it.”

“Our thoughts and prayers. . .”

“It’s about mental illness.”

Those are some of the nonsensical bromides in America’s debate about gun control, all worn-out lines belonging to a similarly numbing script intended to deflect any sensible federal policy solutions after yet another mass shooting. (2017)

And there is no excuse; at some point, lawmakers have to realize that their inaction costs tens of thousands of Americans their lives every single year. (2021) There is no shortcut: If we want fewer gun victims, we need fewer guns. (2017)

The nation, and its political leaders, can no longer accept mass shootings as simply a routine part of American life. (2012) This awful story will keep repeating itself — until Americans demand a different ending. (2019) Asking “What can we do now?” may prevent the anguish of “Why us?’” (1999)


Editorials represent the views of the Boston Globe Editorial Board. Follow us @GlobeOpinion.