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For all the dysfunction in our political system, a healthy pattern usually takes hold when a terrible tragedy seizes the nation's attention. Unless the tragedy involves guns.

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A gunman shot up the audience at a premiere of the new Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises," in Aurora, Colo., early Friday morning. Twelve people were killed and 59 injured by tear gas and bullets during the tragedy.A dozen people died and more than 50 were injured when a suspect opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

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A Texas police department is just one of many local agencies across the country that has been granted permission by the Federal Aviation Administration to use unmanned aerial drones in the course of its operations, and its chief deputy wants to arm its fleet with rubber bullets and tear gas.

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As many as 1 million Syrians poured into streets across the country Friday to show visiting members of the Arab League that they are suffering under President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Even with the league’s monitors present, however, the government is reported to have killed dozens of people and injured many more with nail bombs, live ammunition and tear gas.

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Libyan security forces launched an attack on the rebel-held city of Zawiya west of Tripoli on Thursday. A rebel commander and about 30 others were reported killed in the fighting, which continued into Friday.

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