Twenty people in El Paso, and then late last night, 9 more people killed in Ohio at another mass shooting, 29 total. In other words, a plane crash’s worth in one day. We are not counting the numbers dead in the other two mass shootings from last week. (Who can keep up?). We are not counting the numbers hurt, people whose lives will never be the same, we’re not counting them because we consider them “lucky.”
When planes fall out of the sky an entire department, the NTSB, a department created to deal with crashes, launches into action. They will put an entire plane back together, salvage parts from under the ocean, to discover the cause, in order to make flying safe. Yet when it is gun violence, Republicans prevent the CDC – a department created to study lots of things that kill – from studying it at all.
I am at a loss as to what to say.
Nine people were killed last night after we went to sleep and they will not likely be the biggest story of the day because it is eclipsed by the sheer volume reached earlier in the day. I warned of copycat killings yesterday. But in today’s America, who knows if this was a copycat or a regularly scheduled mass shooting?
How sick are the Republicans willing to let this become? Will they await the death of their own families before they acknowledge that something be done? Yesterday I was using the collective “we” as bearing blame. This morning, I’ve stopped, because president Obama tried all he could to initiate something, some sort of control, and Republicans prevented it.
Did you ever see Obama cry as President? I did, several times. But each time he cried, that I noted at least, it was due to remembering the deaths at Sandy Hook, tears of tragedy and fury. He had to hold the families grieving their babies, killed by an assault rifle. How many Republicans will launch into action to hold the families from yesterday? How many held the families then? I do not know. Perhaps some. But then they all voted against gun reform.
The killing in Ohio involved the use of a “long gun,” which is cop-speak for “assault rifle.” We know this because a real rifle would take far too long and be far too heavy to shoot 25 people (16 were injured). The killing in El Paso involved an assault rifle. The killing in Las Vegas involved multiple assault rifles. The killing in Parkland, Sandy Hook, they all involved assault weapons.
What will it have to take to ban assault rifles?
We would dearly love to think that today will change everything. But I wrote the same thing a year and a half ago about Parkland. If shooting over 20 students at a nigh school, more children, changed nothing, why would two isolated events yesterday do anything?
Why would we do anything in America?
Meanwhile, the Boeing 737-Max still sits grounded. Plane crashes can be prevented, the theory goes. But in America, nothing can be done about gun violence.
Or so the theory goes.