Credit: Brennan Linsley / Colorado Public Radio

When does a crisis become a catastrophe? Last month, after a mass shooting in Maine left 18 dead, author Stephen King penned an essay as notable for its brevity as the bleakness of the message. “There is no solution to the gun problem and little more to write,” he began, “because Americans are addicted to firearms.” Americans love their guns, he said, and no suffering, no slaughter can loosen their grip.

Soon afterwards, we learned that Lane Murdock, the student who led the national school walkout after the Parkland mass shooting of 2018, has left the country. Burned out and disillusioned, Murdock now lives in Scotland, where freedom is a reality and nobody lives in fear of guns. 

I appreciate the sentiment. But the picture looks different when you discover that almost everything we now live with, from assault rifles to stand-your-ground laws, is new. This crushing pattern of domestic armament is not the American heritage or the will of the people. It’s […]

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