NEW YORK, April 6 (Xinhua) -- "Not again," perhaps is the most heard printable reaction to reports of another mass shooting in the United States and was heard time and again last week with word on Friday of the shooting deaths of 14 people in a center for immigrants in Binghamton, the U.S. state of New York.
Four others were seriously injured and 37 survived without injury.
Coincidentally, or maybe not in these hard times, it was another massacre in another small town by a man recently laid off work, the second in a little more than three weeks. Some wonder ifit portends things to come elsewhere in the nation.
No matter how often one hears such reports it is always a surprise when it happens but predictable in how it plays out because, sadly, of the repetitiveness of such mind-boggling violence.
Of course, mass killings are nothing new, they have been going on for centuries, it's just they can be carried out faster with firearms.
First after a mass shooting come the questions of how many casualties, how it happened and how could it happen again, who was the assailant and victims, what was their relationship, what was, usually, his problem, the gripe he had that drove him to take such drastic action. Inevitably it seems, someone will say in to the TV camera, "These kind of things don't happen here."
But they do, whether in the East or the far West, or middle America, they happen with increasing frequency, at least in the last month.
After police surround the scene, possibly with sharpshooters, the media swarms in and spectators wait by the iridescent plastic police crime-scene tapes or their televisions in hope of seeing hostages or those being freed from the threats of gunfire, being released or maybe the shooter led away in handcuffs. All too often the triggerman squeezes off one last round into his own body.
But there were no fleeing hostages on Friday under the gray skies of upstate New York. The shooter, police said, began his killing spree almost from the second he walked in the front door of the single-story American Civic Center on sleepy Front Street, a mix of small businesses and private homes. And he began firing at workers and students without saying anything, said survivors who had huddled in hiding or played dead. He then killed himself.
It was only later it was learned the shooter was 41-year-old Jiverly Wong, of nearby Johnson City, NY., an immigrant from Vietnam who recently lost a job and who had been criticized for his poor English. He had been attending English classes at the center.
Most of his victims were immigrants, including four from China, two from Haiti and one each from Brazil, Iraq, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Even though he was jobless and disgraced by his poor English, police have still not said if they have a motive.
While police are investigating Wong's background and Binghamton buries the dead and tends to the wounded, memories are stirred in the other cities, towns and villages that fell victims to mass killings.
In the United States in March alone, 34 people were slain in gun-related mass killings.
A jobless man killed 10 people, including his wife and child, on March 12 in several small towns in the southern state of Alabama. In the state of North Carolina, eight people in a nursing home, including the sick and elderly, were killed by a gunman on March 29. In Santa Clara, California, the following day eight people were killed in an apparent murder-suicide.
In addition, four police officers were killed in Oakland, California, attempting to arrest a suspect.
The day after the Binghamton shootings, three police officers were shot in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which neighbors New York state, while answering a domestic dispute call.
After each of these incidents there is a call to do something about such violence, as did U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden within hours of the Binghamton shooting while attending a meeting in New York City, just 120 miles (some 193 kilometers) to the southeast.
But why hasn't anything been done about the guns in America?
It is a contentious issue and those who support the right to bear arms cite the U.S. Constitution as granting them the right to have guns because of a right to self defense. But they go further, reaching into the document's Second Amendment, which they say specifically grants not only militias but individuals to bear arms.
The Second Amendment issue is debated because of a comma. Opponents of the right to bear arms say it only allows militias to be armed not individuals.
The question arises because of that comma, the one after militia: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
Opponents of attempts to pass laws curbing the use of guns contend the amendment guarantees their right to have guns, or bear arms.
As many of them have said if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.
by William M. Reilly