Lawmakers share blame for shootings


Our country had another mass shooting on Wednesday, Feb. 14.

It occurred, like many others, at a high school – this time in Florida.

The narrative remains the same: a sick or twisted individual manages to get his hands on some kind of gun, usually an assault weapon, and kill a lot of people.

Our country hurts.

We mourn.

We cry.

We send our thoughts and our prayers.

And we do absolutely nothing to keep such a tragedy from happening again.

Then we forget until the cycle inevitably repeats itself.

Anyone being thoughtful and honest must acknowledge that easy access to war-level guns is the problem.  

In many of thee cases, whether the person was mentally ill or simply evil, he has been able to walk into a store and legally buy an assault rifle (as in this case) or acquire such a weapon from someone.

There is an argument that surfaces after every mass shooting or the beginning of every discussion of gun control that says, “Gun don’t kill people, people do.”

Though the guns themselves are not actively, cognitively killing people, they are the means by which these attacks take place.

Such a statement provides a diversion from the two-fold solution that needs to be addressed focusing on both mental health and distribution of firearms.

The way our government is run almost ensures not a single thing will be done about this issue, specifically in regards to the distribution of firearms due to political donations from special interest groups.

It is a second tragedy within itself.

The National Rifle Association, better known as the NRA, is and has been a very powerful force in our government due to its sizeable vocal membership and its ability to give massive donations to political candidates.

With these donations comes an allegiance to guns over the protection of people.

In the NRA’s view, no regulation is a positive regulation and to be for regulation is to pick a war with the group.

Candidates who align themselves with the NRA and accept money want the funds to keep flowing during their campaign cycles, causing them to be completely inactive regarding needed legislation.

Though I clearly advocate for gun control, I accept the fact that there might be more ways to fix this problem.

Maybe emphasizing mental health, which is part of the Affordable Care Act that has been attacked time and time again, can help fix this problem.

My anguish is not the result of lawmakers not doing what I want.

It is the result of their doing nothing at all.

There has been no bill introduced dealing with the expansion of mental health services.

This makes the statement of sending thoughts and prayers an absolute mockery.

This says that thoughts and prayers are all the victims and their families will receive.

We have individuals with the power to do something but at this point are just simply refusing.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut addressed lawmakers’ clear culpability when he discussed the Florida shooting on the Senate floor Wednesday.

His words deserve repeating.

“We are responsible for the level of mass atrocities that happen in this country with zero parallel anywhere else,” he said.

 It is time for lawmakers to do their jobs to protect us – or to make way in November for someone who will.