All writing is a form of prayer - John Keats

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

What are we going to do about it?

While World War II was raging, we had to practice hiding from the enemy. As a little boy growing up in Muskegon, I was seriously frightened during the air raid “blackouts” of the 1940s. I would tremble in the arms of my parents. I had nightmares about Hitler and Hirohito. 

Decades later, it was a different story.

When our kids were little, in the 60s and 70s, the threat of nuclear war was real and Civil Defense leaders recommended bomb shelters where families could hide from deadly radiation. There were practice drills in cities and schools. 

Today, it’s a different ball game. The kids in our schools must practice hiding and protecting themselves from shooters! Architects are even designing new school buildings to allow for hiding and protection. 

None of that helped 8, 9 and 10-year-old students at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, yesterday. A young gunman shot and killed 19 youngsters and 2 teachers before police shot him dead. 

I’m afraid our perception of the Second Amendment has run amuck. 

Maybe you’ll recall the words of the NRA head following a similar tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut back in 2012. His profound statement: The only thing to stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun. 

It is that kind of wacky thinking that has so derailed the debate over the Second Amendment that nothing makes sense any more. It has made a shambles of our two-party political system. And so, while Republicans claim Democrats want to take away our guns and our rights, and Democrats claim that Republicans want everyone to take arms for protection, our nation becomes not only the laughingstock of the world, but the slaughterhouse. We have more guns than people, more guns than motor vehicles! Mass shootings have become commonplace. 

The Washington Post reports that, since 1999 and the Columbine massacre, more than 311,000 school kids have been exposed to gun violence! 

As Michael Moore put it yesterday, “We love our guns more than we love our children.” 

Muttering “thoughts and prayers” isn’t enough. We’ve already had 27 school shootings this year! 

How many more precious jewels must we lose before we do SOMETHING to reduce this insanity?

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