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By Daniel Smith

Newspeople can sometimes get desensitized to even horrifying news events – after all, if you’re in the news business long enough, you’ve seen and reported about a lot of them.

Last month, when I wrote about the “numbing frequency of acts of extreme violence in this county,” in the wake of the largest mass shooting in our history at a Las Vegas county music event, I never dreamed we would see another horrific mass shooting just two weeks later at a small community church in Texas. All of the country was shocked by the insane, deliberate brutality of the attack on the congregation at the Baptist church in tiny Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Donald Trump, in expressing his own shock and sadness, still managed to bring in political controversy in commenting that the slaughter was a “mental health thing, not a gun thing.”

Fifth District Congressman Doug Lamborn posted this comment on his website:

“In stunned disbelief, we’ve learned of the loss of innocents during a community church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas. I join Colorado and the nation in mourning the tragic loss of life as we stand with the survivors, united in prayer for all families affected. From the darkness of this heinous act, we’ve also learned of one heroic citizen who took up arms to protect his community from further evil. The days ahead may shed more light on the details of this tragedy, but today, we pray, we mourn. May God bless the people of Sutherland Springs.”

So we see more photos of the victims, hear how promising, precious lives, young and old were cut short, and later learn of the troubled man with a history of yes, mental instability, and red flags and warning signs in his behavior that somehow went ignored.


Particularly troubling was the failure of the Air Force to report the killer’s previous crimes, including fracturing a child’s skull, to a national crime data center, which might have kept him from buying some of the guns used in this slaughter. Will this latest tragedy provoke some action from Congress on sensible gun regulations and rules on who is able to purchase firearms?

Sadly, you have to wonder if the death tolls from recent massacres have had no legislative reaction beyond lip service, why would more than two dozen additional victims somehow force a tipping point.

As I was editing this column, word came of the yet another mass shooting in Tehama County near Sacramento that again involved a school and child victims as part of a multiple-site rampage … five dead. Who cannot be moved and frustrated?

Now, attention has been focused on the GOP tax overhaul, with anticipated partisan debate on whether it’s a tax reduction far too weighted in favor of corporations and the very rich, or actually offers some relief to middle class and lower taxpayers, all the while ignoring past dramatic Republican concerns over our deficit as it adds an estimated $1.5 trillion to that deficit.

On the lighter side, Colorado Springs Democrat and activist Betty Field is holding a fundraiser on Dec. 9 at Eastholme of the Rockies in Cascade, for “An evening of eggnog, hot chocolate, spiced wine and politics.” She humorously named the event “Betty’s Precious Snowflake Bawl.”

The politics in the Fifth District are relatively quiet, but will pick up as we head into the new year and its time to get serious about the election.        

Former print and broadcast network journalist Dan Smith is semi-retired to enjoy freelance writing and getting overcommitted in volunteer efforts in the community.