"America has gotten very good at being very shocked by mass shootings. Grief rituals, candlelight vigils, the numb nausea of watching too much sadness on too much television. The 24-hour news cycle leaps into action, prepared to unspool itself into familiar threads, guiding citizens down a well-trod path of what must happen when something big and un-navigable has already happened. … One must assume that the reason we have developed these patterns of reaction is because we think that one day we will get it right. One day we will ask the right questions, read the right signs, enact the right policies. One day, we will have conveyed our national grief so thoroughly that no crazy person will ever again decide that the solution to his problems is to open fire in a crowded public space and kill 12 strangers."
— Monica Hesse, in a July essay after the shooting in Aurora, Colo.