I realize it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I am still keeping up with current events and I am most acutely aware of the school shooting at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde. It was the deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, back in 2012 . This time, the perpetrator was an 18-year old male. This was the 337th school shooting since 1999, the 140th with at least one fatality, the 48th with multiple fatalities, the 21st to happen in the state of Texas (!), and the seventh where more than 10 lives were lost.
I’m honestly sick of reading about children dying for no good reason. I honestly feel for these kids that have to have active shooter drills the same way we had fire drills when I was in school. That this is actually a situation that happens often enough the kids need to practice for it is grossly unacceptable and a sign of our egregious and inexcusable failure as a society.
I remember when the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting first happened, and people were saying it was “too soon” after the shooting to talk about the problem. As often as these school shootings have been happening over the last two decades plus, that’s no longer an acceptable reason. It’s almost always going to be “too soon” because there are simply too many.
And then there is the worn-out “thoughts and prayers” that come from our elected officials–particularly Republicans–after each one of these tragic and preventable disasters. I’m absolutely sick and tired of hearing “thoughts and prayers” when we need to fix this by taking real, meaningful action. It’s a valid question why our laws allow gun dealers to sell weapons like the AR-15 here in the United States. But beyond this, why the hell is an 18-year-old able to buy one? What possible utilitarian function does an AR-15 have (to law abiding citizens, anyway)? This thing isn’t a hunting rifle; the designers of this weapon made it for one thing: killing people, and killing a lot of them. For a decade, 1994 to 2004, Federal law prohibited the manufacture and import of these and other so-called assault weapons. Not surprisingly, after the ban expired, the next few years saw a huge jump in the number of school shootings. This is either one hell of a coincidence, or strong evidence that the assault weapons ban was a step in the right direction. I’m more inclined to believe it is the latter.
I’m not saying we need to get rid of all of our guns here in the United States. There are valid utilitarian and legal purposes for firearm ownership (hunting and self-defense). But I’m sick and tired of reading about innocent schoolchildren becoming mass murder victims, and I know I am not the only one by far. By any reasonable standards of decency and acceptability, the current situation is outrageous and unacceptable. We have long since moved past any point where “thoughts and prayers” made sense.
We need to take action to keep violent, terrorist acts like this from happening again, particularly on school campuses. And we need to do it now. (Yes, I said “terorrist”. This, like every school shooting before it, was domestic terrorism.)
Remember: Action. Not thoughts and prayers. Action.