With the shooting inside a Federal Express sorting station in Indianapolis, Indiana late last night the United States has witnessed four mass shootings in only a few weeks: in Atlanta, Boulder, South Carolina, and now Indianapolis. The latest shooting killed eight and injured five people.
While these mass shootings hit the headlines, the fact is that there have been 53 mass shootings (defined as shootings of at least three people at the same time) in just the past month. More than any other country in the world, the U.S. is a violent place; with more shootings, more deaths, and more guns than people.
While such agonizing frequency may be making Americans numb to such incidents, instead, it would be more logical that it should make us angry. As these senseless shootings continue, and a seemingly endless supply of guns can be acquired by those who should not own them, two steps that a majority of Americans including gun owners agree with are stalled in Congress: universal background checks and the banning of assault weapons
Into this environment of inaction, the following proclamation has just been issued by President Joe Biden:
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION
As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on April 15, 2021, in Indianapolis, Indiana, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government, in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, April 20, 2021.
I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.