Sunday mornings should be peaceful. Calm. Quiet. This past Sunday was the opposite, and as I watch the news reports rolling in, I want to weep and shout my anger in equal measure.
You already know what happened. Two gunmen in two different places walked into public areas and opened fire, murdering as many people as they could before being apprehended by police.
By most standards, the police moved swiftly. In El Paso and in Dayton, they cut short what would undoubtedly have been a much larger massacre without their intervention. The work they did was, relatively speaking, successful.
But this isn’t about the police.
One of the gunmen posted a blatantly racist screed on social media. The media is blaming his violence on a racist viewpoint. The other shooter’s violence is being attributed to possible mental illness. In both cases, the weapon of choice was at least semi-automatic, allowing more bullets and faster firing than a standard rifle or handgun. Such guns are not meant for hunting, or even target practice, though they can admittedly be used for both. Their main function is far uglier. They are human killers, plain and simple.
Regardless of the cause, these types of shootings are on the rise. From California to Florida, we are seeing mass shootings on an unprecedented scale. People are dying in terrorist incidents perpetrated by our own against our own.
Never in civilian history have so many died so pointlessly, and yet nothing is being done to prevent future incidents like those that occurred in Texas and Ohio this past weekend.
Calls for universal background checks, red flag laws and bans on certain weapons rise into the stratosphere after every one of these massacres. This time is no different, and as usual, none of them have been put into effect. The most recent gun legislation bills (HR8 and HR1112) passed the House in February, but both are stalled in the Senate and unlikely to pass. The bills extend the requirement for background checks and the time allowed to complete those checks.
And while the Senate stalls, hemming and hawing with the NRA whispering in their ear and plying their pocketbooks, our people die. Our mothers, fathers, siblings, and spouses, die. Our children die.
What will it take before we demand action?