Recently a delegation from Tucson composed of some of the survivors of the mass shooting of January 2011, in which Representative Gabby Giffords was gravely injured, met with the US attorney general.
They urged him to take action and let him know they expect President Obama to present a specific plan to reduce the horrific gun violence plaguing the nation.
Mass murders of citizens by other citizens occur here with a frequency seen in no other nation in the world.
The mass murders in Colorado and the racist mass homicides in Wisconsin are illustrative of a type of tragedy for which the US holds a near monopoly.
The US is awash with firearms. There are roughly 300 million guns in US households - that's a gun for every person in the country, the highest concentration in the world.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is a hugely powerful lobby that has been able to stop nearly any national debate on the issue.
The US also has a history of hideous, omnipresent racism that has spawned a proliferation of hate groups among some white citizens who have a very deluded, paranoid sense of victimisation.
Massive inequality and poverty, long present in communities of colour, has started to impoverish the ranks of hitherto comparatively prosperous citizens of European descent.
And we have an arms industry that makes billions each year on the sale of weapons to hate-filled racists and the general public.
The result is an endless string of mass murders.
Staggeringly, research indicates that 20 mass shootings occur each year. The public only hears about the most egregious.
Aside from mass killings, approximately 86 US citizens die each day by gunfire.
This adds up to 30,000 a year, with 100,000 wounded - much more than are killed in the country's endless wars each year.
The country is at war with itself.
The figures are appalling.
The US has, by one explanation, an ongoing gun culture because it is a nation founded on the genocide of one race - native Americans - and the enslavement of another, African-Americans.
Guns were needed to slaughter one people and to subjugate another.
So the tradition of gun possession became embedded in the US psyche.
But we also need to look at the recent history of the arms business in the nation.
At the end of World War II the Allies had a huge surplus of still very useable guns.
There was no ready market anywhere for these firearms but in the US, as no other large and wealthy nation would have them within its borders.
Even more weapons became available in the 1950s, when Nato forces changed to uniform cartridges and relinquished a stockpile of outmoded rifles.
These also flooded the US and were imported very cheaply - often at less than $1 apiece - and could be sold at a huge profit while remaining inexpensive for a purchaser.
The rifle that killed president Kennedy cost $12.78.
All this was with massive advertising by the NRA on the joys of gun ownership. A typical ad of the era read: More fun... with your guns... the year around!
However, also needed is an answer to the phenomenon of the young white male misanthrope who hates and kills.
Is it just untreated mental illness? If so, why is it affecting mostly young white males?
Or are these crimes also largely drug induced?
More analysis is needed on this tragic phenomenon, particularly from the perspective of the Marxist theory of alienation, whereby some citizens become estranged from their own humanity.
In the meantime, to protect ourselves we need a national commission on hate crimes and mental health.
We need a tightening of gun laws, a huge reduction of public access to guns, to ban sales of the most lethal guns such as assault weapons, national restoration of the mental health system and a banning of huge ammo clips.
That's just a start. But getting a grip on the gun culture doesn't seem to be a priority for our politicians.
This article first appeared in People's World.
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