World

Gunman in ____ Kills __

The tightknit community of ______ was shaken to its core today when a gunman went on a rampage that lasted __ minutes and killed ____ adults and ____ children.

Police said that an additional ____ people were wounded in the country’s __th mass shooting of the month and ___th of the year.

Authorities have identified the gunman as _________, a __ -year-old from ______. The motivation for the attack, as best the police can determine so far, was ____________. It echoes mass shootings this year in _________ , ________ and ________.

The gun used in the massacre was a ________, the same type of weapon used in mass killings this year in ________ , _________ and, most notoriously, __________.

Authorities said that ________ was able to obtain the weapon legally.

Several survivors of the shooting, still in visible shock, said they never imagined such senseless and horrific violence visiting their quiet community.

_________ called for tighter gun control to stanch the national bloodletting. Republicans shot back that Democrats were politicizing a tragedy, insisting that all that was needed now was thoughts and _______.

No major legislative remedy to the problem of gun violence, which stretches to nearly every American community, stands a chance of passing a perennially deadlocked Congress. Gun-control supporters said that enough Republican lawmakers (and some Democratic ones) think the status quo isn’t just acceptable but also defensible.

“No, even ___ murdered children isn’t really enough to coax our friends across the aisle to move anything out of committee,” said _________, a senator from ________. “The other side blames mental illness. But we’re not an international outlier in mass mental illness — only an outlier in mass death at the barrel of a gun.”


This MadLib idea isn’t totally original. The Washington Post did a version in 2009 (hundreds of mass shootings ago), others followed. Sadly, it will not be the last.

American soil is now salted with weapons. There are now more than 400 million guns in the country, more than any other nation in the world — by far. At least one-third of all civilian-owned guns in the world are in American hands.

That’s not an accident: The Supreme Court, which in 2008 discovered an individual right to own guns in the Constitution rather than one tied only to a militia, apparently thinks that the founders envisioned a nation with enough guns for every man, woman and child to have one, with tens of millions left over. And not just guns — military-style semiautomatic rifles designed primarily to kill humans.

In a few weeks, the court is likely to strike down some of New York’s gun safety regulations. Unbelievable.

No other nation has such stratospheric levels of gun deaths, which is why 88 percent of voters support universal background checks.

The country is such a free-fire zone that active-shooting drills are now ubiquitous in American classrooms. We teach our kindergartners to bar the door, shut off the lights and hide under their desks. But since the current generation of mass-shooting gunmen may have been through those drills themselves as children, perhaps we should drop this terrifying security theater and teach schoolchildren basic first aid instead. Ninety percent of all firearm deaths of children 14 or younger in high-income countries occur in the United States, according to a study released in March. We excel in the preventable-tragedy business.

We can hope that our children and grandchildren will be able to muster the will necessary to cauterize this national wound. It will be their life’s work: Given proper care and maintenance, hundreds of millions of the guns currently in circulation will still be fully operational for generations to come.

The American people keep on buying new guns; the gun makers keep churning them out. These guns are the American Bequest, but only if our children agree to accept it.

Ten years ago, it was parents in Newtown, Conn., who learned that their children were dead. On Tuesday, it was parents in Uvalde, Texas. If we don’t act, it is only a matter of time until it happens again, in ______________.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button