Once again, officials around the country are lowering American flags.
At President Joe Biden’s direction, flags have again been ordered to fly at half-staff. It marks yet another grim tragedy, two weeks after President Biden made the same order to mark another mass shooting.
This time, it’s to observe a mass shooting in Indianapolis that left eight dead. It comes after a week of anger, protest and hurt around two police-involved shootings of a Black man and a Latino boy in Minneapolis and Chicago, and all during the trial of ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd.
“We don’t have time to recover,” explained Valerie Castile, mother of Philando Castile, a Black man killed by police in a 2016 traffic stop. “I’m mad as hell again and again and again.”
While the violence of the last month feels ceaseless, Biden also noted that on Friday, it has been 14 years since a gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Tech.
This isn’t a new problem, but woefully and painfully familiar.
On Friday, Biden said gun violence “pierces the very soul of our nation” and urged Congress to act: “Gun violence is an epidemic in America. But we should not accept it.” Despite these earnest calls for action, it’s not yet clear how – or if – Congress will act.
The onslaught of shootings feels like a grim return to normal despite the still-raging pandemic, and the deeply entrenched polarization around mask wearing, restrictions and now vaccination requirements.
There is at least one bright spot: America’s Covid-19 vaccinations continue, despite the week’s J&J pause, and more than 202 million doses have been administered according to CDC data published Friday.
The Point: There’s a grim familiarity to yet another horrible spate of violence.