In timelines that have become all too common, mass shootings in America are quickly followed by our fearless political leaders offering thoughts and prayers. Sometimes it’s just thoughts. Sometimes it’s condolences. It always comes via social media, usually before the number of victims are counted. A quick “thoughts and prayers” and just like that politicians are off the hook. A one-line “prayers are with you” from a staffer on Twitter and that’s the end of it. Except it’s not the end. It’s just the beginning of the wait before the next time. It’s as if offering a prayer absolves those who could help of all responsibility. Politicians could act. But they don’t. Aren’t public servants supposed to be “serving” the public rather than their egos? What’s the tipping point for legislation? Is there one? Fifty-seven dead in Las Vegas didn’t do it. Certainly twenty-six in Texas will hardly raise an eyebrow.
The mass shootings garner the media attention, but this is a much bigger issue. It’s really a full blown national crisis. Can you imagine 30,000 people dying a year in airplane crashes? There would be more congressional hearings than you could count. About the same number of people, 33,000 die from opioid abuse and that’s a national emergency in Donald Trump’s America. The same number are killed by guns and not a peep. Nothing can even be considered, no ideas brought forward before they are dismissed by the NRA, er, Congress.
We didn’t build the most powerful nation in the world throwing up our hands and shrugging our shoulders. Something has to be done. We now live in the land of fear. No school, no church, no concert, no office is safe. Where’s next?
America’s gun problem is soberingly displayed here in a recent piece from The Guardian.