It’s up to us
From A (Alexandria, Va.) to Y (San Ysidro, Calif.) — no Z’s just yet — the United States has an illustrious history of mass shootings over the past five decades. From the halls of higher learning to dark nightclubs, from houses of worship to cathedrals of commerce, from city streets to rural outposts, disturbed individuals have unleashed their wrath on a cross-section of our society.
From these dire events, two eternal truths have emerged: Our love for each other, as seen etched on the faces of grief-ravaged mothers grappling with the realization their child is never returning home. And our utter surrender to a barbaric ideology that insists upon the right of virtually every citizen to own an instrument of mayhem, evidence of which is seen in the miles of news footage that documents such carnage.
For those who insist that this can’t be the truth — that’s it’s the lawmakers and the powerful lobbies who are behind it all — remember these lawmakers are our duly elected representatives and we retain the power to insist upon a change as expressed in our vote. It’s either that or we can keep playing this devilish lottery, the price of our purported “freedom” being more innocent lives lost.
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Mass shootings have eclipsed baseball and even football as the national pastime of the United States of America. Unencumbered by schedules, seasons or even rules and regulations, the players wow audiences with brazen acts of terrorism and leave observers anxiously awaiting the results of the next round.
Most of the players are new to us although they have played for years in the minor leagues for teams like the Red Flags and the Violent Histories, but once they get called up to the majors their careers, while short, are always spectacular. Some remain only locally famous, but the very best, the ones who rack up the highest or youngest body counts, ensure themselves a spot in the Second Amendment Hall of Fame alongside recent stars like Roof and Lanza, as well as legends like Harris and Klebold.
And the game continues, sponsored by the gun lobby, broadcast by the corporate media and egged on by government officials offering “thoughts and prayers” while pocketing their blood money in the name of “freedom.”
Don’t be naïve
Do Americans really expect any meaningful change in our laws after the school shooting in Texas? If so, they are very naïve. Republican lawmakers offer thoughts and prayers and then say amongst themselves, “Just lay low for two or three weeks and this will blow over and we won’t have to do anything meaningful.”
It is what we have all come to expect.
Ban guns? No.
Regarding your editorial about the Texas school shooting (“Do something or get out the way,” May 26):
You beg our representatives to “do something, ANYTHING (my caps).”
Do “anything,” including more gun restrictions that punish innocents and do little or nothing to deter crime? Chicago has innumerable gun-restriction laws, yet 461 were shot in one month; 33 shot, five fatally, in one weekend!
There have been similar results in so many major cities. Banning guns (the ultimate goal of the left) after a horrific school shooting is like banning pressure cookers after the horrific Muslim bombing of the Boston Marathon, or fertilizer after the horrific Timothy McVeigh bombing that killed 168 innocents, including 19 children.
School shootings justifiably receive media coverage, ad nauseam. Where’s the coverage, the attention to this major-city crime, that far outnumbers mass shooting victims? And where is the attention to the obvious red flags glaringly exposing the mental illness of all these mostly young white mass shooters?
Do “anything”? No! Do something different, something effective. Restricting/banning guns is less effective than a Band-Aid on a severed artery. Unfortunately, it remains effective political ammunition for the left.
Clyde Hunt Jr.
Choose to act
What is most infuriating about these endless mass shootings is the submission to the idea that we are powerless before an invisible evil enemy.
All the while gun purchases are surging. In what kind of world can we not risk changing anything, when things are changing right before our eyes?
That’s not ideological fortitude or freedom. It’s plain fear and weakness. It’s cognitive dissonance.
It’s policing women’s bodies and telling them they have no choice while choosing not to fund national child care programs and social services that support families and babies that are already here. It’s power — of an industry of gun lobbyists and politicians.
It’s also the same screenplay that played out with the anti-masking and anti-vaccination movements, climate change and environmental policy.
Not having a choice is a choice.
Call your Republican senators. Talk to your neighbors.