The LaGrange chapter of a national gun law reform organization, Moms Demand Action, had planned a social hour late last month at a Brookfield watering hole, as a way for members to get to know one another.
Little did they know when that date was set that their numbers would swell and that attendance would be double what they were expecting. The reason? Two more terrible mass shootings in the U.S. within a week of each other. In the first, a self-avowed white supremacist targeted Black shoppers at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. In the second, an 18-year-old massacred 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
According to a June 4 article in the Washington Post, there had been 240 mass shootings in the U.S. through the first five months of 2022 alone. The authors noted that not a week has gone by this year without at least four mass shootings.
Those shootings had taken the lives of more than 250 people and had wounded more than 1,000.
There is a famous saying among those who profess an absolute belief that the U.S. Constitution allows unfettered access to firearms, that “an armed society is a polite society.”
What we have seen here in the U.S. is that, in fact, an armed society is a wantonly violent society, and we had better start electing leaders who will set about disarming our society.
No other nation on Earth has such a plague of gun violence, because no other nation on Earth makes it so easy to obtain a firearm. While the underlying motivations for the violence may not be the same, the one common denominator is the easy access to deadly weapons whose only purpose is to take another human life.
It’s absolute madness and needs courageous leaders to address this epidemic urgently. Some of the same people arguing against facemasks during the coronavirus pandemic as traumatizing children, apparently are too dim – but more likely, too craven — to allow themselves to comprehend the trauma that results from allowing schools and churches and retail stores to become shooting galleries.
And police leaders across the nation as well as police unions – whose officers are the ones having to respond to these events over and over again – ought to be at the forefront of the call against the easy availability of firearms.
Their voices are not loud enough. It should be their No. 1 message to politicians seeking their favor – the guns need to go.