Less than 13 hours after a mass shooting during back-to-school shopping left 20 dead in El Paso, 9 people were killed overnight in Dayton, Ohio, in a second mass shooting.
CNN's banner tells the story of a weekend that no one will want to remember, but that we can't forget: "13 hours of bloodshed: Two mass shootings leave 29 dead."
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said during a televised briefing that the shooting at a Walmart may have been a hate crime.
The Dayton shooting was the 22nd mass killing in the United States in 2019, according to an AP/USA Today/Northeastern University mass murder database.
The sad facts on the twin tragedies, via AP:
In Texas, a gunman armed with a rifle opened fire in a shopping area packed with thousands of people, leaving 20 dead and more than two dozen injured.
In western Ohio, Dayton police tweeted that an active shooter situation began in the Oregon District, a historic neighborhood at 1 a.m., but officers nearby were able to "put an end to it quickly."
International research has found that U.S. mass shootings cannot be explained by a violent culture, racial divisions or mental health, the N.Y. Times' Max Fisher and Josh Keller write in "The Interpreter" column.
A back-to-school Saturday in America ...
"See something, say something" is going online.
Katherine Schweit, a former FBI agent who was in charge of the active-shooter program, told me in a phone interview that mass shooters frequently were surrounded by people who saw danger signs in person or online.
"Law enforcement is likely to be the last to hear," said Schweit, now a workplace-violence consultant.
"The biggest ace in the hole we have for prevention is people listening to the people around them," she added.
Retiring Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), a former CIA undercover officer, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN that threats are often "shared on social media in a way that can help tip and cue federal law enforcement":
Screenshot it. If you're looking at it on your phone, screenshot it, and then do a search for [your] police department. There's guaranteed to be an e-mail where you can send these kinds of things and then attach that screenshot to an email and send it to local police.
You can actually find the FBI's phone number in the phonebook. I don't know if people still use phonebooks, but that is something you can go on the internet and find that as well.
Saturday's shooting was personal for El Paso native Beto O'Rourke, who suspended campaigning to fly home and "be with my family and be with my hometown," AP reports:
Democratic candidates went online, onstage and on cable to express outrage and call for new gun limits, per AP:
President Trump conveyed his initial reaction on Twitter, writing that the shooting was "terrible" and that he was in close consultation with state officials.
In a matter of hours, the town’s roads were swamped, its emergency plans outstripped. Nine of every 10 homes were destroyed and at least 85 people were dead. Many were elderly, some were incinerated in their cars while trying to flee and others apparently never made it that far.
It was all more evidence that the natural world was warping, outpacing our capacity to prepare for, or even conceive of, the magnitude of disaster that such a disordered earth can produce.
We live with an unspoken assumption that the planet is generally survivable, that its tantrums are infrequent and, while menacing, can be plotted along some hazy, existentially tolerable bell curve.
But the stability that American society was built around for generations appears to be eroding. That stability was always an illusion; wherever you live, you live with risk — just at some emotional and cognitive remove.
Now, those risks are ratcheting up. Nature is increasingly finding a foothold in the unimaginable: what’s not just unprecedented but also hopelessly far beyond what we’ve seen. This is a realm beyond disaster, where catastrophes live.
Owners from around the world show off their Citroën 2CV cars during an event in Samobor, Croatia, marking the 100th anniversary of the French carmaker.
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