It seems quaint now. When a former Marine ascended the 30-story tower at the University of Texas in 1966 and used his sniper skills to shoot 14 people to death, it was a shocking act. There were no SWAT teams then, no militarized police. Such events were almost unheard of. Two Austin police officers and a civilian, armed with revolvers and a rifle, made it out on the roof of the tower and killed the sniper.
That's a sick society.
After the latest, at a community college in a small town in Oregon, I struggled to write something beyond my earlier column "Empire of Violence." Vast terrain of the Internet was taken with predictable outrage and horror, but ultimately pretty empty stuff. The most intelligent prescriptive writing came from the New York Times' Nick Kristof, urging us to treat gun violence as a public health issue.