Here we go again. Our country is experiencing an epidemic of mass murders at the hands of insane gunmen. For now, I can say “men” because, so far, women haven’t joined the fray. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time, though. As has happened every time, the public has united in tears and prayer…and arguments.
Let’s look back at this trend. For me, I think back to what seems to be the first (although it probably wasn’t) at Virginia Tech, April 16, 2007, 33 dead. Now let’s see where we went from there. Dare we dream that our government and citizens rose up in outrage and took steps to ensure this couldn’t easily happen again? NO!
- Blacksburg, VA, April 16, 2007, 33 dead
- Omaha, NE, December 5, 2007, 8 dead
DeKalb, IL, February 14, 2008, 5 dead, 16 wounded
- Binghamton, NY, April 3, 2009, 13 dead
- Killeen, TX, November 5, 2009, 13 dead, 30+ wounded
- Huntsville, AL, February 12, 2010, 3 dead, 3 wounded
- Manchester, CT, August 3, 2010, 8 dead
- Tucson, AZ, January 8, 2011, 6 dead, 14 wounded
- Seal Beach, CA, October 12, 2011, 8 dead
- Oakland, CA, April 2, 2012, 7 dead
- Aurora, CO, July 20, 2012, 12 dead, 70 wounded
- Oak Creek, WI, August 5, 2012, 6 dead
- Minneapolis, MN, September 27, 2012, 5 dead
- Brookfield, WI, October 21, 2012, 3 dead
- Newtown, CT, December 14, 2012, 27 dead
- Santa Monica, CA, June 7, 2013, 5 dead
- Washington, DC, September 16, 2013, 12 dead
- Killeen, TX, April 2, 2014, 3 dead, 16 wounded
- Isla Vista, CA, May 23, 2014, 6 dead
- Marysville, WA, October 24, 2024, 4 dead
- Charleston, SC, June 17, 2015, 9 dead
- Chattanooga, TN, July 16, 2015, 5 dead
- Roseburg, OR, October 1, 2015, 10 dead
- Colorado Springs, CO, November 27, 2015, 3 dead, 9 wounded
- San Bernardino, CA, December 2, 2015, 14 dead, 17 wounded
- June 12, 2016. Orlando, FL, June 12, 2016, 49 dead, 53 wounded
Kind of overwhelming, isn’t it? Total dead: 290 Total wounded: 228+
So, clearly we as a people of the United States chose not to do anything to change our laws in order to protect innocent lives. We chose, instead, to keep the status quo.
After crying over our babies at Virginia Tech, we did NOTHING. After expressing outrage and shock over Fort Hood in 2009, we did NOTHING. After expressing that this time we must do something when a movie theater became the scene of a massacre, we did NOTHING. After the sanctity of a Sikh was shattered, we did NOTHING. After the tears and promises to our children following Sandy Hook, we did NOTHING. After the surprise and shock of a shooting on one of our military sites, Washington Navy Yard, we did NOTHING. After a second assault at Fort Hood (by then, most people probably didn’t even remember the first one in 2009), we did NOTHING. After the sanctity of a Church is broken, we did Nothing. And after every other mass killing in between those I’ve cited, we did NOTHING.
So, here we are again. Now, a nightclub is the site of the latest carnage. Here we are again. Praying, crying, expressing support and unity. And, arguing. Arguing about what is more important. What. Is. More. Important. The right to as many weapons, of as many types, with as much ammo as you can possible attain VS the right to live. The. Right. To. Live.
Is this really a debate? Really? Really?
Guess what I predict? We’ll cry. We’ll pray. We’ll eulogize the victims. We’ll praise the first responders. We’ll demonize the shooter. Then, we’ll just go on and we’ll do NOTHING.
We’ll do NOTHING because our elected officials will do NOTHING. They’ll do NOTHING because they are beholden, controlled, and afraid of the NRA and the small number of gun nuts who, for whatever reason, believe that their right to weapons outweighs my right and your right to live.
We’ll do NOTHING!