Thoughts and prayers, we are often reminded, only go so far. And politicians’ attention spans are alarmingly short.

On July 31, just three days after four people died in Gilroy, California, and three days before at least 31 more would be killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, none of the 10 Democrats on the debate stage in Detroit said a word about gun violence. And none of CNN’s three moderators bothered to ask about what is unquestionably a national nightmare.

The prior night, Don Lemon directed one question about guns to South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Several other candidates then made brief remarks on the subject, but over the two nights, there was not a syllable about guns from: Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Michael Bennet, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Tim Ryan, John Delaney and Bill de Blasio.

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