The slaughter of Dallas police protecting peaceful protesters has put the national tragedy of gun violence in sharper and more ironic relief than ever before.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown reported that one of the shooters said, before being killed himself, that he was out to wipe out as many white police as he could. The statement should remove doubt about the motivation there, and by inference in the current escalation of racial tensions in cities across the country.
President Obama, speaking from a NATO conference in Warsaw, went the core of the epidemic, saying the brutal incident was "a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement." He noted that "when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic. And in the days ahead, we're going to have to consider those realities as well."
That observation suggested he may be ready now to push for reinstatement of the ban on semi-automatic assault weapons that was allowed by Congress to lapse in 2004, and to continue the effort to curtail sale of rapid-firing ammunition.