In 1967, one actress was killed when her car ran under the rear end of a semi-trailer. Now all trailers have a DOT bar at the rear to prevent such a tragedy. Lawmakers acted!
In 1982, seven people died after someone tampered with Tylenol packaging. Now it takes a Ph.D., channel locks, and a sharp object to open a bottle of any kind of pills. Lawmakers acted!
In 1995, the Oklahoma City bomber used a certain kind of fertilizer as a bomb and killed 168 people. The government subsequently imposed restrictions on the purchase of that fertilizer. Lawmakers acted!
In 2001, One person attempted to blow up a plane with a shoe bomb. Now, most travelers have to remove their shoes for scanning before boarding a plane. Lawmakers acted!
In 2020, there were 19,379 gun violence deaths – the highest number in more than two decades (excludes an additional 24,000+ suicides by gun) – and 611 U.S. mass shootings (four or more people injured or killed in each). So far, in 2021, there have already been more than 652 mass shootings. Lawmakers’ response? Thoughts and prayer and fewer restrictions on gun laws.
It seems the only thoughts given to solving the problem of gun violence are to rescind (rather than increase) gun restrictions – as Trump did in 2017 when he repealed a rule designed to block gun sales to certain mentally ill people. Or in the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, rather than being punished in any way for his actions, he was awarded his very own AR15 rifle from the Gun Owners of America. And what about those great thinkers who believe the way to curtail gun violence is to make it even easier to put more guns out there, regardless of age, background or mental condition. Yep, more gun-toting, heat-packing U.S. citizens looking for a reason to shoot first and ask questions later. Yeah, that ought to do it.
How many dead children is it going to take before our elected officials get serious about solving the gun violence problem? Will it have to be after your own child is shot dead in the middle of math class? Or maybe after your sister is randomly killed at a concert or your spouse by a random passerby on the street? Would you still support these shooters’ rights to openly carry guns in public? If so, then you, too, are responsible for killing innocent people.
Now, before all of you pistol-packing mamas and papas take to Facebook (you won’t find me there) or whatever delivery method you choose to scream at me, know this: I am absolutely not suggesting anyone should come and tear your weapons from your “cold, dead fingers.” Nobody is. Really. It is bad enough that too many irresponsible adults are using much too easily accessible guns to settle disputes, to settle scores, to seek revenge – because they can. It is unforgivable and unconscionable that more and more children are doing the same – because they can. Thoughts and prayers are requested way too often. Get up off your knees and out of your Barca loungers and do something proactive rather than reactive. Put some pressure on lawmakers. Kids are killing kids! What are you going to do about it?