I come home from France to find the Stars and Stripes at half-mast. I am disappointed.
The Center for Disease Control says that we murder 16,800 people in America each year. 11,500 of those victims die by firearm. That's an average of 31 of us shot to death every day. By year-end, Friday's death toll in Aurora will be a mere 0.1% drop in America's bloody bucket.
I suggest two proper responses to this half-staff nonsense. Use the moment to make a political statement (everyone else is) by defying the President and the Governor and, to some extent, the killer by flying your flag at full mast.
Or lower your flag to mourning position and leave it there, always, to acknowledge the utter unexceptionality of the Aurora shootings in the midst of America's ongoing gun violence.
Related Reading: Messrs. Wiken, Kallis, Ehrisman, and Newquist find little hope for positive problem-solving discourse to arise from the ritualized show-grief we practice to assuage our consciences over the violence we teach our children to embrace. Mr. White falls into an original-sin despair that absolves conservatives of seeking policy solutions. And Gordon and Ed are just Gordon and Ed, compensating for their failed worldview.