Platitudes won’t stop mass shootings

Saturday night’s mass shooting at the Seventh Street Truck Park bar in St. Paul was a hellish scene, according to police and survivors. An argument in the bar escalated, and two of the arguers pulled guns to settle it. In the crossfire, one woman was killed and 14 people were injured.

Officials decried the violence, saying it was unacceptable, that it must never be allowed to happen again — the same kind of platitudes that get pulled out after each mass shooting.

But it happens again, and again. It is going to keep happening, until we get serious about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.

The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office on Monday charged Devondre Trevon Phillips, 29, with 12 counts of attempted second-degree murder, and Terry Lorenzo Brown, 33, with one count of intentional second-degree murder and 11 counts of attempted second-degree murder. Brown, the county attorney said, has a criminal history including robbery, drug possession and violation of domestic abuse no contact orders. He doesn’t sound like someone who should be carrying a gun, and yet he was.

We have too many guns floating around in the hands of people who are too willing to use them to solve their disputes and minor arguments, regardless of who gets in the way. Until we can figure out a way to disarm them, innocent people will continue to be killed in the crossfire.


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