POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE NEW YORK TIMES
It does seem to me that all the "our thoughts go out" and "our prayers are with" and other trite expressions serve only to say nothing in a polite way.
They remind me of plastic wreaths on graves.
H. Rapp Brown had it right decades ago: "Violence is as American as cherry pie."
It's why the murder rate is highest in the advanced world.
It's why America spends as much on the military as the entire rest of the planet.
It's why America is the world's largest arms merchant.
And, of course, it's why there are so many pointless, bloody wars like Iraq.
It's why Hate Radio is such an important part of popular culture.
The nation is so steeped in violence that all discussions of steps like meaningful gun control seem hopelessly dreamy.
I reckon it will take the best part of a century for America to become a fully civilized member of the community of nations.