WITH a depressing inevitability, we have witnessed yet another mass shooting in America.
This time the armed murderer opened fire in a bar full of young college students on the outskirts of Los Angeles, killing 12 people, including a police officer.
The shooter has been named as 29-year-old former serviceman Ian Long.
The people of the US, including those in mourning in LA, have walked this way before — far, far too many times.
These gun deaths are becoming so commonplace that it’s a case of when, and not if, the next one will happen.
There’s been the usual mealy-mouthed, utterly useless “thoughts and prayers” messages from politicians across the US, accompanied by a great deal of hand-wringing — but as always no action whatsoever on gun control to ensure that this never happens again. And so, of course, it will.
Let’s look at this year so far. Just last month there was the attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that killed 11 innocent souls.
In June, five employees at a newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland, were shot dead.
I honestly don’t believe there will ever be a change in the insane American gun laws, and it makes me sick to my stomach.
Presidents Clinton and Obama couldn’t implement any common-sense anti-gun legislation during their terms in office, and Trump sure as hell won’t upset the powerful National Rifle Association gun lobby which he hopes will one day save his sorry ass.
His solution to the heartbreaking increase in gun crime is to give everyone, including teachers, a weapon of their own.
This has to be one of the world’s worst ideas since Trump woke up one morning and thought it would be a jolly jape to run for the White House.
Can you imagine the amount of panic and confusion that would ensue if everyone was carrying a weapon?
With well-meaning citizens brandishing guns, law enforcers would be unable to distinguish who were the killers, resulting in even more carnage.
That is not to mention an increase in accidental deaths, from kids playing with loaded guns to wives shooting their husbands on the doorstep because the poor sod forgot his key.
If the majority of Americans were unwilling to even consider tightening the law after 20 tiny children were blown to smithereens in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, in 2012 by powerful machine guns, then there really is no hope.
Sandy Hook should have been a watershed, but despite the campaigning of brave bereaved parents and enlightened politicians there has been no change.
Of course, we experienced our own mass-shooting tragedy.
I will never forget those devastating scenes. I saw one of those little ones, five-year-old Joanna Ross, lying in her coffin when I attended her funeral. That never leaves you.
I have the most enormous admiration and respect for the families of those murdered children.
They campaigned tirelessly for a change in the law, and thank God the Government listened.
But in the US, lawmakers are deaf to the cries of those killed and the sobs of grief from those in mourning.
It’s scandalous, inhumane and downright evil.
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Deluded nutters and terrorists who carry out these attacks, whether it’s some sick form of religious bigotry or just twisted attention-seeking, are effectively being told by those in power to carry on regardless.
And so, here we are again.
Unless something changes dramatically, you can be sure that in a few days, weeks or months that it will occur once more, perhaps in another pub, club, school or place of worship — in what is an abominably tragic version of Groundhog Day.
PRINCE CHARLES says he won’t “meddle” when he becomes king, but I don’t believe him – and that’s no bad thing.
Tetchy and impatient he may be, but Charles, who turns 70 on Wednesday, has been ahead of the curve when it comes to concerns about ugly buildings, the environment and global warming.
He was mocked for “talking to his plants” and his warnings about the damage wreaked on the planet made him a figure of fun.
He was a voice in the wilderness, but now the rest of us have caught up.
He also warned that young people in inner cities needed a sense of belonging and to gain self worth.
His worries led to the establishment of The Prince’s Trust, which has helped countless young people escape the clutches of gangs, drugs and violence.
But I’m sure Prince Charles won’t mind me saying we hope he doesn’t become King for a very long time – because no one is looking forward to a world without the Queen at the helm.
Quads at 50 is odd
I’M baffled by the 50-year-old woman revealed by The Sun this week to have given birth to quadruplets.
When she should be celebrating getting over the menopause and the freedom that comes with the kids leaving home, she will be up all night with babies.
You would think Tracey Britten would have been satisfied helping to look after her eight grandkids, but she spent £7,000 on IVF at a clinic in Cyprus to get pregnant – and is said to be delighted with her Fab Four.
Thirty five medics in a London hospital worked round the clock to deliver the three pre-mature girls and one boy.
They remain in a special care unit but Tracey hopes to have them home by Christmas.
You wonder, though, about what this has cost the NHS – and the medical support that may be needed in the future.
A toast to Sheri
SHERIDAN SMITH has been to hell, but I’m delighted she is now in a very good place.
I caught up with her and her sparkle, fun and exuberance are back.
Shel had a breakdown after the death of her dad in 2016 and still suffers crippling nerves and anxiety.
She admits that, back then, she was out of control, on a path of self-destruction. But with the right help, and after meeting a decent, kind man, she bounced back.
She reminds me of the late Judy Garland – also hugely talented but very vulnerable, who sang and performed from the depths of her soul.
Sheridan has that same ability to connect with her audience and to move them to tears of sadness and also of joy.
Sadly, Judy’s life, and death, were tragic and, at one point, we feared Sheridan might go down that same road.
Thankfully, with courage, she’s back on track with new album Northern Soul and some top dramas coming. She is a talent to nurture and cherish, and a lovely woman.
She’s engaged to be married and is finally enjoying her success.
I HOPE Jeremy Corbyn will disassociate himself from the shameful and disrespectful remarks made by one of his supporters – but I won’t hold my breath.
Aaron Bastani, who calls himself a journalist, has said that wearing poppies to commemorate dead soldiers is racist and he wants the Royal British Legion to be scrapped.
He also criticised Prince Harry’s splendid Invictus Games as being a public relations stunt for the Royal Family – which is not only grossly unfair but also wrong on every level.
I wear my poppy with pride and am also proud to support the Royal British Legion and be a patron of the charity Help for Heroes.
The only reason Mr Bastani has the freedom to be able to spew such appalling hatred in the first place is the sacrifice made by our Armed Forces. He should be ashamed.
Sad Spice, Vic
VICTORIA BECKHAM will regret excluding herself from the Spice Girls’ joyous reunion tour.
Once she sees the sheer fun the rest of the band will have, and the reaction of the audiences, Posh Spice will kick herself.
I know Victoria wants to concentrate on her ailing fashion label – but this tour would have been the best possible advertisement for the entire Beckham brand.
Apart from all of the hard-nosed opportunities to earn a shedload of cash, surely she would have enjoyed the chance to show her little girl Harper that her mum was a fully fledged pop star – maybe passing the girl power torch to the next generation.
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