It’s always a sad state of affairs in America when it seems that nobody cares.
And, apparently, that’s exactly where we are.
I watched the news – I’m sure most readers did, too – as we learned of yet another mass shooting, this time in Virginia Beach, Va., as a gunman killed 12 people and injured four more. This time, the shooting occurred at a city public works building.
It’s of little solace to survivors of those 12 innocent victims that the shooter was also killed, shot by police responding to the scene.
Does there ever come a time in America when enough is enough?
Does there ever come a time when our senators, our representatives, our governors and state legislative bodies and, most of all, our judges say, “No more.”
Does there ever come a time when the people we elect to office, the judges we appoint and people with just plain common sense have the backbone to stand up to the National Rifle Association? Let’s face it, that’s where the problems begin and that’s where they have to end.
The NRA has become the single most powerful lobby in America. The NRA pads the campaign coffers of people running for office and, once elected, those recipients show their appreciation to the NRA by blocking any sensible legislation aimed to curb Americans’ “need” to be armed.
In fact, any legislator who shows the audacity to even suggest stricter gun control, often finds his political career ending quickly.
I doubt there are many readers who can name one single American who has died at the hands of a shooter this year. More readers, I’d guess, could name at least one of the shooters.
In May alone – 31 days – there were 43 shootings in America, including one in Iowa, that resulted in death to 35 Americans and injuries to an additional 196 innocent Americans. The deadliest day was the last day of the month, Friday, May 31, when workers around the nation were winding up another week, looking forward to the weekend and spending time with family and friends.
Last Friday, a gunman walked into a city public works building, a place at which he’d worked, and opened fire. He killed 12 people there before he was also shot and killed by police.
In the first five months of this year there have been 147 shootings in America, 147 attacks on innocent people who were simply out doing their jobs, or running errands, or picking up children. None of them left home expecting to be victims of gun violence.
Fortunately for those of us who make our home in Iowa, shootings are rare. Still, we’re not immune to gun violence. On May 18, two Iowans were killed and two others injured when an assailant opened fire outside a tobacco shop in Cedar Rapids and shot into an automobile parked there. Two were killed and two others were injured.
Sadly, these types of shootings have become commonplace.
I remember all the post-shooting comments, the promises from our legislators, the hopes of our parents and grandparents that “this time, surely, something will be done.”
But, nothing ever is.
Remember Sandy Hook?
I’m sure you do. In those instances, innocent school children lost their lives.
I pray that the next violent episode doesn’t affect my family, my children, my grandchildren. I pray that the next violent episode doesn’t affect yours, either
Most of all, though, I’d like someone, anyone, to give me an answer to my question.
When is enough, enough?
Bill Haglund is a retired writer for the Boone News Republican and Dallas County News. He can be reached at Bhaglund13@msn.com.