I’m likely to catch hell for this post, but I don’t care. I’ve written passionately about rape, bullying, drug violence. I don’t think I’ve felt the anger I felt yesterday when 21 people, mostly children, were slaughtered in Uvlade, TX. Children who were days away from the beginning of summer vacation. Children who had come from an award ceremony. Children who were looking forward to rising to the next class in the fall. Teachers getting ready to send their students off to summer vacation and new classes in the fall.
I watched news reports about the slaughter this week, listened to speeches by government officials saying this is “not the time” to debate gun laws. Well, if not now, when the hell is the right time? We thought we had reached the tipping point for talking about gun safety and gun education after Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary, Stoneman Douglas High School. We hoped after each tragedy we’d have a real conversation, a real debate, which would lead to elected officials doing the job they are elected to do: protect their constituents.
What do we get after these tragedies: bromides (guns don’t kill people…), calls for thoughts and prayers (as if that will bring back someone’s child), lip service about how we need to regulate guns (that won’t pass as long as the lobbyists own politicians), better mental health services? Maybe the latter is something we can actually tackle, since gun lobbyists don’t have a controlling position on mental health.
So, what do we do?
We have open discussions at all levels about gun reform. We need congressmen and senators to listen to their constituents and find a path forward to keeping the vulnerable safe. Maybe, it’s putting metal detectors in each school at each entry. Maybe, we need to have fewer entries into a school so they can be more safely monitored. Maybe, then we can return to a place where we have the right to know our children are safe when we drop them off at school. After all, one of our inalienable rights is the right to life, just not for children slaughtered in their classroom.
Steve Kerr exploded before his NBA game about the shootings. Like him, I’m sick of reading, of hearing about these tragedies. Senator Chris Murphy stood in the well of the Senate and castigated his fellow senators for not doing their job. When a bill on background checks, which should not need a lengthy debate, sits in the Senate for two years with no action after being passed by the House, what do we do? Nothing. And even Matthew McConaughey,. born in Uvalde, said enough is enough.
Is it? Is enough enough? Are we so complacent that we will let this evil fade from the headlines, to be bumped by another story of more or less importance? I don’t know what is more important than protecting our children.
If you care passionately about the lives of innocent children, act, damnit. Write your elected officials. Learn their positions. Vote them out if you don’t agree, but DO SOMETHING. it’s damned clear that our elected officials once again will wait this out unless we make our voices heard.