SEATTLE ( — After a tragic week that saw terrorist bombs strike the heart of Boston, Americans are breathing a sigh of relief today that the worst is over and they can go back to simply shooting each other.

Said this Richmond, Va., woman: "Terrorists hate us for our freedoms, but we hate us for no reason at all.”

The healing began right away as the nation awoke Monday to learn of a deadly shooting in Seattle, while over the weekend, a sense of normalcy and gunfire erupted in Fayetteville, N.C., Hampton, Va., Fort Myers, Fla., Bridgeport, Conn., Pomona, Cal., Irondale, Mo., Bridgeton, N.J., Portsmouth, Va., Brentwood, Tenn., Macon, Ga., Middlebury, Vt., and Gulfport, Miss., as well as Honolulu, Denver, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Houston, Detroit, San Jose, Oakland, Phoenix, and Cincinnati.

These acts of self-inflicted defiance are proof, some insisted, that Americans will never give in to terror.

“If we stop shooting each other, the terrorists win,” said Cliff Evansi of Chicago, where numerous shots of freedom rang out Saturday and Sunday. “As a nation, we need to show the terrorists that no matter what they do, they can never change who we are.”

So far the nation is indeed pulling together to pull itself down. In the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath, four people were killed and hundreds injured. But nationwide, the gun-related deaths and injuries since then have far surpassed those numbers.

“Thank God the great horror is over and we can go back to the smaller, sporadic horrors that define our way of life,” said Janelle Greenway of New Orleans, where five people were shot Monday. “It’s wonderful to see the whole nation – from Florida to California — pitching in to help us move on.”

Although, she added, not every state appeared to be getting into the spirit.

“I don’t want to point fingers, but step it up, Maine,” she said.

In Fort Worth, Texas, where three people were shot early Monday, resident Bobby Koladem said he was reminded of how the nation reacted twelve years ago.

“After 9/11, people said America would never be the same, but we showed them,” he said. “We went right on shooting each other as if the terrorists’ attempts to unite us had never happened.”

In fact, in 2001, there were more than 29,000 guns deaths in the United States. In 2002, there were more than 30,000.

“That’s the kind of spirit we need to harness again,” said Koladem. “And I know that we will. We’re Americans. We’ll get through this, and at the end of the day, we will emerge stronger, better, and shootier than ever before.”

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