We're all feeling a little desensitized now, aren't we?
Another mass shooting. Ho hum.
Nothing will change, so why bother making noises about the gun sickness that pervades this country?
Congress won't do anything to tighten up gun regulations.
Politicians who advocate for stronger gun measures will be tossed out of office.
The mentally ill will continue to fall through the cracks (with or without Obamacare).
Background checks for military contractors will never be up to par.
Young men who tell police they hear voices, are being followed or sent vibrations through microwaves will never be forced into 72-hour mental health holds.
We will simply have to make peace with the idea that mass public shootings are the price we pay to live in a "free" country.
We are so very sorry for the victims and their families (especially the little ones at Sandy Hook Elementary School). It was just terrible what happened to Gabby Giffords. And of course, we are praying for them all the time, which makes us feel so much better.
But these shooters are madmen. They watch too many violent video games. What can you do?
All we have are symbolic gestures, like the one made Tuesday by Starbucks.
In an open letter couched as a "respectful request," Starbucks President and CEO Howard Schultz announced that his chain does not want people bringing guns into its stores or outdoor seating areas anymore unless they are law enforcement personnel.
Until now, Starbucks' policy has been to welcome armed customers in states that allow people to openly carry weapons.
Schultz said that the coffee chain has grown tired of being used as an unwilling pawn in the gun debate.
"Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called 'Starbucks Appreciation Days' that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of 'open carry.' To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores. Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners."
People who continue to bring guns into Starbucks, wrote Schultz, will not be asked to leave. Nor will the company put up any signs about its new policy.
So what will change? Not much. It may tick off a few gun toters. It may endear Starbucks to those who have grown sick of our swaggering gun culture.
But in the end, will it prevent the next mass shooting?
Of course not.
When it comes to policies aimed at preventing gun violence, we're just shooting blanks.