Another violent tragedy. Another massacre, now the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.
It’s 8:06 on Saturday evening. I’m on the website for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. On the right side of the page is a ticker that reads,
People Shot in America This Year: 54, 788.
Shot So Far Today: 248.
In the aftermath of the Aurora movie theatre massacre, we question how many more of these events we will have to endure. We wonder what is wrong with our country. We look for someone to blame.
Obviously, the shooter is first. The nation’s gun lobby is an easy second target, as they continue to spread the odious lie that the Obama Administration wants to take their guns away. Adam Gopnik, in the New Yorker, writes, “Those who fight for the right of every madman and every criminal to have as many people-killing weapons as they want share moral responsibility for what happened . . .”
A writer for the San Francisco Chronicle wants to blame our leaders: “Until our leaders find the courage to do what’s right, the massacres will keep happening. And that is the most senseless tragedy of all.”
Others blame President Obama in particular for sidestepping the gun control issue, for signing into law more repeals of good gun laws than Bush, for knocking down rules that kept loaded guns out of our national parks, for dismantling policies that kept trains safe from armed terrorist attacks.
It’s 8:15 PM. 250 people have been shot in America today.
But, who is really to blame? The answer is you and I. We, the people of the United States. There are many citizens who are too lazy to actually study the Second Amendment and learn what it really means. Too many citizens are uninterested the facts behind the specious claims of the NRA. Those of us who support gun control have been content to sit back, expecting our leaders to do something. Then, disappointed, because the sad truth is our leaders don’t lead anymore, we have lacked the will to hold them accountable.
This is our country, and we are to blame for this madness because so many of us, myself included, have failed as citizens to fully participate in our democracy. We all share the moral responsibility.
It’s 8:27 PM. 252 people have been shot in America today.
I shouted out, who killed the Kennedys?
When after all it was you and me
Sympathy for the Devil, The Rolling Stones
I don’t have the solution. Maybe we need an Occupy Guns movement. All I know it that it is too easy for people who shouldn’t have guns to get them. All I know is that we need to take responsibility for the gun problem ourselves. We can’t allow massacres like this to keep happening. It is time to stop blaming and stop expecting others to do the work. We need to take action.
It’s 8:52 PM. 258 people have been shot in America today.
In the time it has taken me to write this and post it as a draft, 10 people in this country have been shot by a gun.
Ever see a face in the crowd?
Ever hear the sound of the tears rollin’ down?
But, it’s all right, tonight
While we’re cuddled up tight.
In the name of victory,
It’s a shame that you and me
Can’t stop them guns.
Guns, Flo and Eddie