It takes a lot to shock us these days which in itself is a sad commentary on the times we live in.

However even those of us who are almost numb to tragedy are left shaking our heads over what happened this weekend.  In a span of 13 hours 29 innocent people lost their lives in two separate mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

Those two communities and dozens of families are dealing with the horror of what has become an epidemic in this country as already this year nearly 250 people have died in similar incidents.

There is no universally accepted definition of what is a “mass shooting.”  If you go by the nonprofit organization Gun Violence Archive there have been 292 of them this year alone as they define it as an event in which at least four people were shot.

Others don’t call something a “mass shooting” unless four or more have been killed.  Either way the numbers have increased dramatically in recent years and only a fool would not believe it’s a serious problem in the U.S. which has the highest gun ownership rate of any country in the world.

Clearly we need more common-sense gun laws and there is no doubt it will become a major issue during the presidential primaries but we would be ill-advised to think that’s the only answer.  Since we accept that most if not all of these mass shooters are irrational, deranged and filled with hate if they want to engage in such activity they will find a way to get their hands on guns whether they are legal or not.

Absolutely we want to make this as difficult as possible but it won’t stop those who at some point have no value for human life including their own.

As I heard a family member of one of this weekend’s victims say…”we don’t just have a gun problem, we have a hate problem in this country.”  That’s not an opinion but a fact and we need to get a grip on that because if we don’t what transpired this weekend will just become part of the norm and when that happens you might say “game over.”