Another act of mass murder has been committed by an American citizen. This time a 64-year-old white male by the name of Stephen Paddock pulled the trigger and killed 58 people attending a country music concert in Las Vegas. At least another 500 people were wounded. Paddock appears to have committed suicide.  Police found him dead after breaking down the door of the hotel room in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, where he was shooting people from the 32nd floor.

We don’t yet know what his motive was for his indiscriminate killing of innocent people. What we do know is that he had a cache of weapons, including an automatic weapon.

We also know based on past experience that not a damn thing will be done to stop the next horrific shooting from happening.

We know that neither Democrats nor Republicans have the political will to enact sensible gun control. While there are some very distinct and passionate Democratic voices like Chris Murphy from Connecticut, on the whole most prefer not to talk about background checks, assault weapon bans and making sure that mentally ill people don’t have access to guns.  Murphy made the following statement after the shooting:

“My heart goes out to the victims, their families, the first responders, and the entire Las Vegas community. Nowhere but America do horrific large-scale mass shootings happen with this degree of regularity. Last night’s massacre may go down as the deadliest in modern U.S. history, but already this year there have been more mass shootings than days in the year.  

“This must stop. It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren’t public policy responses to this epidemic. There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference. It’s time for Congress to get off its ass and do something.” 

The GOP and the President pray and offers condolence but suggest that this is the price we have to pay for the right to own guns.

No other civilized country endures what we do.

Our outrage is greater over Black football players taking a knee in silent protest during the playing of our anthem than it is when innocent people die at the hands of a white man with a gun and a grudge.

The NRA will talk about not politicizing this horrific event, which is exactly what needs to happen. We need to talk, discuss and do whatever we can to try to minimize the possibility of future mass shootings. But we won’t. We will gnash our teeth and a few will once again shout from the mountain tops but it will fall on deaf ears.

White people don’t want you to take their automatic weapons, or make them obtain a license with the rigor that we put people through to obtain a driver’s license. There is only one purpose to an automatic weapon — to kill many people quickly and efficiently. Just like Stephen Paddock did.  The only thing most Americans are willing to do is to cross their fingers and hope and pray that they or a family member is not the next victim.

-Jan Harrison

 

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