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So #guncontrol is trending on Twitter, but not entirely for the reason you might hope.

A rational person might suspect that those in favor of stricter laws, of anything that will do something to prevent horrific occurrences like this morning's shooting deaths of WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, who were gunned down on air while conducting an interview for the Roanoke, Va., station.

But no, at least 50 percent of the tweets had to be people preemptively pointing the finger at the inevitable left-wing-led (and inappropriately timed, as always) discussion about gun control that will result from the killings, as well as those who continue to insist that gun control isn't the answer when someone who had no business having a gun obtains one without issue and goes out and kills people.

Alison Parker, Adam Ward, WDBJ7, Twitter


Well, guess what—there may not be a possible "right time" anymore to talk about gun control, because according to statistics compiled by the GunsAreCool subreddit (the name is sarcastic), the United States is averaging more than one mass shooting a day. They define a mass shooting as any involving at least four shooting victims, and that can include the shooter, and there have been 247 this year so far, including what happened this morning in Virginia.

Parker and Ward were killed, the woman they were interviewing, Vicki Gardner, was critically wounded and needed surgery, and the shooter, disgruntled ex-WDBJ employee Vester Lee Flanagan II has since died of a reportedly self-inflicted gunshot wound.

So it's almost as if we're always in the aftermath of a shooting. It certainly feels that way sometimes.

Speaking of the already-brewing debate about whether it's the right time to have a debate, we were obviously curious what the 114 people who want to be president of the United States in 2016 have been saying in response to the latest tragedy.

A number of them have weighed in, we're assuming the others will, either via social media or in a TV interview, and guess how many are putting two and two together so far as far as the dire need for better gun laws and more useful enforcement of the ones we have?


Democratic frontrunner(ish) Hillary Clinton, capitalizing on her been-there, done-that, I've-earned-the-right-to-say-it status on the campaign trail, is the only one to even mention political action, tweeting, "Heartbroken and angry. We must act to stop gun violence, and we cannot wait any longer. Praying for the victims' families in Virginia. -H."

And even that was pretty milquetoast, but at least it was something. We say "capitalize" because it's pretty apparent that other candidates are far too terrified of taking a stand on this most controversial of issues, especially if that stance would tick off the right-to-pack-heat lobby. And why shouldn't Hillary? Are people who already don't like her going to point to her calling for better gun control as her fatal flaw? (Actually, we did spy a tweet accusing of her trying to jump on the gun control issue to distract from the email issue. Sigh.)

Sure, some candidates, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (technically an Independent, but running as a Democrat) are presumably totally on board with the sentiment, and they're likely just getting their ducks in a row before saying anything, but it's important that Hillary put it out there in tweet No. 1.

Hillary Clinton

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

"Hillary's war in Libya has made us less safe," Republican candidate Sen. Rand Paul said at an event in Seattle just this morning. "First thing you have to do if you want to defeat ISIS, quit arming them."

No, pretty sure the ease with which we can arm ourselves here is a far more immediate threat to our safety, but... Such is campaign season.

Ironically, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was on hand this morning to see Taya Kyle, the widow of "American Sniper" Chris Kyle, as she accepted the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor on behalf of her late husband. Chris, of course, was shot to death with his own gun by a mentally disturbed ex-Marine at a shooting range—a perfectly legal place for guns to be, but still...creepy coincidence.

Thoughts and prayers, of course, have been forthcoming, and here are those that have been posted so far by both Republican and Democratic candidates:

That's a lot of broken hearts, but is anyone willing to step up and admit the system is broken?

In lieu of action, here is a series of tweets calling for a stop to the madness: