The sounds of gunfire crackle through the night air, but few seem to realize its import.
Some think it’s firecrackers; some, the thump, thump of helicopter blades chopping through the air; some even think it is sound effects to accentuate tunes of a country-western band.
Then, the music stops, and people fall, their bodies sprouting expanding flowers of deep crimson.
And slowly, as in a dream (or a real-life horror show), comes the realization, and screams rip through the air, grim accompaniment to the sound of automatic weapons fire.
A new city joins the carnage that is uniquely American. In the space of 15 minutes, dozens are dead, and over half a thousand wounded. A new record, a uniquely American one, is made.
Las Vegas, Nevada — America’s deadliest modern-day mass shooting.
Politicians and cops hurl curses at a corpse — a man once, yes, but now, a number, for he is the last victim of his own hand.
Politicians have never seemed so helpless than at times like these.
Politicians — the most powerful people in powerful systems — offer prayers for the dead, and little else.
Why are they so helpless?
Because they’ve sold their souls to the gun lobby, and because the killer killed himself, he is beyond threats of prison or death sentences.
They will bow their heads, pray or even order flags flown low on their poles.
And little else.
For like the killings of children in 2012, or the slaughter of dancers at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando a year ago, they have nothing but prayers to offer.
As we witness the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history — that is, until the next time.
Mumia Abu-Jamal © 2017