The known facts about the massacre in Dallas are thus: At the end of a peaceful protest in Dallas, Texas against a pair of police-involved shootings of African American men by white cops in Baton Rouge and Minnesota a group of snipers opened fire from concealed, elevated positions. The snipers shot 11 police officers, killing five. One civilian was wounded. One suspect, a male, is dead after a gun battle with police. Three suspects are in custody, including a woman. The identities of the fallen officers and the suspects have not been released.

No word is available about the exact motives of the shooters, except that they deliberately targeted police officers. The Dallas massacre constitutes the worst one time deliberate killing of cops in American history and the worst one-time mass death of police since 9/11.

Speculation about the attack and what it represents has run wild in social media. No doubt the atrocity will be integrated into the political debate, already inflamed by a number of violent incidents that have occurred in the past year, including police officer involved shootings in Ferguson and Baltimore and terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando. Police involved shootings are nothing new, though the incidents have become the cause of civil unrest and political grandstanding.

But mass killings with deliberate intent have become far more common in the United States than they have in recent years.

The sense that the world is spiraling out of control in the view of many people can be noted on social and conventional media. The closest historical example for what is happening is 1968, a year of rioting, political assassination, and grinding war overseas. 2016 has become another one of those hell years when horrors populate the news with mind-numbing regularity.

Now as in 1968, Americans are debating who the next president will be.

No one knows at this time how Americans will react to the string of horrific events. But we do know from experience that they will respond and will demand leaders who will deal with the way the world is becoming more chaotic. Politicians, both in office and thus seeking officer, should take note.

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