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Shooting wrecks Super Bowl parade

Fans leave the area after shots were fired after the celebration of the Kansas City Chiefs winning Super Bowl LVIII in Kansas City, MO, on Feb. 14, 2024.

Fans leave the area after shots were fired after the celebration of the Kansas City Chiefs winning Super Bowl LVIII in Kansas City, MO, on Feb. 14, 2024.

David Rainey/REUTERS

From the very beginning, this year's Super Bowl – the championship game of American football – was, almost inexplicably, fodder for US culture wars. Large swathes of the American right embraced a conspiracy theory that the Deep State had ushered the Kansas City Chiefs to the big game as a "psyop" meant to give more exposure to pop superstar Taylor Swift and her boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce – both "liberals."


But a deadly shooting at the Chiefs' victory parade on Wednesday was a reminder of the more serious US culture war over gun violence. One person was killed and 21 were wounded in an incident that wrecked a celebration of the team's second consecutive championship. Police arrested three suspects.

The context: Kansas City, MO, last year saw record homicides, even as gun violence in most large US cities has been declining after a pandemic-related spike. The shooting is virtually assured to provoke the usual debate between those who say gun violence is a gun problem and those who say it's a mental health problem. Meanwhile, a solid majority of Americans continue to favor tighter gun control laws.

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