America Is Mourning Again

“I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to devastated families that are out there. I’m tired of excuses. I’m tired of moments of silence. Enough. There’s 50 senators who refuse to vote on HR-8, which is a background check rule that the House passed two years ago.” -Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr (5/24/2022, press conference)

“Most of us are appalled. But not enough of us are sufficiently appalled to cast our votes to halt it.” -David Frum, The Atlantic (5/24/2022)

America is mourning once again because of yet another mass shooting.

This toll from Tuesday’s mass shooting stands at 19 children – 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders – and two teachers slaughtered at an elementary school in Texas. The 18-year-old gunman is dead.

Families in Buffalo, NY, are still burying their loved ones who were killed by another teen shooter who gunned them down in a supermarket 10 days ago because of their skin color. They were parents and grandparents and neighbors. And that shooting had already faded from the headlines.

Are guns that precious to us that we continue to put up with this? Or have we misinterpreted (or purposely abused) the intent of the Second Amendment that was probably never meant to be a free-for-all in the modern world?

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr spoke for many at his pre-game press conference last night as he angrily addressed the shooting that had taken place just hours earlier, and advocated for the passage of a background check gun law that has sat in Congress for two years waiting for a vote.

How many more bodies do we need to sacrifice to the gun gods before sensible gun reform laws are enacted amid the growing number of mass shootings in America? And, no … no one is coming to take away anyone’s guns.

I’m not being hysterical. I’m tired. This goes on and on and on … and nothing happens. We all become outraged for 30 seconds after each shooting incident … and then return to our lives, while those affected by each tragedy are left to deal with shattered lives.

Many of my fellow Republicans think anyone who dares to call for any kind of gun reform is hysterical. You know how children put their fingers in their ears and say, “La-la-la-la-la-la,” when they don’t want to hear something? That’s what the GOP reminds me of every time the issue is raised about actually doing something with gun laws.

I’m a 2A supporter. I grew up with guns, learned how to responsibly handle and shoot them while young, took the NRA gun safety course while attending school in Chesterfield County, and have enjoyed target shooting over the years. My dad was a hunter. I have nothing against reasonable gun ownership. Nothing. But I’m met with anger from Republicans when in discussions about any curtailment of laws. A wall goes up; they don’t want to discuss it, or they present a series of whataboutisms.

In 1999, as part of leadership in the local homeschool group, the most calls I ever received from parents asking how to pull their kids out of public school came when the Columbine High School shooting occurred in Colorado. They were frightened and concerned. I wonder if homeschool leaders are fielding such calls again today. Sadly, Columbine wasn’t the last school shooting.

“When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” -President Joe Biden (5/24/2022)

Republican lawmakers are afraid of the gun lobby and they are afraid of their one-issue gun constituents who would turn on them in a heartbeat and vote them out of office. Two years ago I had a Republican angrily say to me that he would shoot anyone who tried to take his guns. That’s how ingrained this issue is in the GOP.

I’m a mom before I’m a Republican. I’m an American before I’m a Republican. It is time to find our way out of this dark place in America, hopefully in a bipartisan manner. Or we could just wait until the next mass shooting and do this charade all over again.

Enough is enough.

Background:

-The Atlantic: Robb Elementary Shooting: America’s Hands Are Full of Blood
-Austin American-Statesman: Live: Uvalde, Texas school shooting updates on victim names, suspect
-Moms Demand Action: About – Moms Demand Action (started by Shannon Watts after Sandy Hook)
-CBS: Texas school shooting: At least 19 children, 2 adults killed at Robb Elementary School
-ABC: Texas school shooting live updates: Nation mourns ‘carnage’

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