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American Prospects

Disaster at Close Range

May 21, 2013

As the reports from Oklahoma got worse and worse Monday afternoon, it was increasingly hard not to take some emotional distance. ?Why didn?t they leave?? I asked myself of the Moore, Oklahoma, residents as the death toll began to climb. As scenes of flattened buildings and huge gray clouds rolled on television, I told myself we would have left?somehow. The CNN and MSNBC anchors went over and over the sheer enormity of the tornado, a mile at its base, with more than two-and-a-half miles of debris swirling around it, until news began breaking of the little children, stuck in their elementary schools when the funnel cloud touched down. ?Would we have se

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