Let’s face it, though. Years of doing nothing about this sickness hasn’t helped matters.
By now, the drill is too familiar. Whether at Columbine, or Virginia Tech, or Tucson, or Aurora, this nation has endured the bloody specter of gun violence writ large, the lives of hundreds instantly shattered by bullets.
There is the initial shock, the outrage, the grief, the mourning, the platitudes offered by those in power about doing something, the macabre details about the killer and his (always his) motives…and then back to the routine of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, until the next nightmare unfolds and the grisly cycle repeats itself.
Somewhere we lost the ability to be shocked into action. As a result, the champions of inaction, the defenders of an increasingly violent status quo, had their way, with our leaders too timid, or terrified, to confront these issues.
When anyone, anywhere, tried to speak up, the usual chorus of opposition shouted him down, with the usual cries of “Second Amendment” and “they’re attacking our freedoms” and, most hysterically, “they’re coming to take our guns away”, even if nothing of the sort happened.
Then came Sandy Hook, and even those that have staunchly defended gun rights are, at long last, starting to think twice about it, or at least acknowledge that a serious conversation has to take place in this country about guns, right now.
Also, there’s an acknowledgement that all of those times when people said, in the wake of a mass shooting, that it’s too early to talk about guns, they were just doing the bidding of the entrenched powers.
Maybe it’s also dawning on us that any person thinking that more guns, carried by more people, will make us safer is just courting more madness, more murders, more grief and anguish.