But requiring better background checks, eh, can't do any harm, right? Might even do some good. Anyway it would be a start.
So how come our lawmakers haven't already done this? Why haven't they yet passed a law requiring stricter background checks, since they've only been talking about it for years as the answer to gun violence?
And as for doing something about all the mental illness out there that's turning men (but not women, as you might have noticed) into mass shooters (unless the shooter happens to be Muslim, in which case he couldn't be mentally ill, just evil, right?), politicians have likewise been jawing about mental illness for years. So why haven't they done anything about that, either? How about giving us some meaningful legislation - instead of just meaningless talk - that addresses the need for more affordable, accessible mental health care?
It's as if "background checks" and "mental health" are words embroidered on a couple of pretty silk hankies that Congress pulls out of a drawer every time there's a mass shooting to wave at the public for a while, calm us down until all the fuss has faded, at which time the embroidered words can be slipped back into the drawer until next time.
But next time is now, and seventeen more people are dead in Parkland, Florida. This time it was fourteen high school students, a geography teacher, a football coach and an athletic director who bled to death on the ground from gun shot wounds. Seventeen bullets to the heart, was how one tearful young survivor of the shooting described the effect on his grieving community, while others around the country have sought ways to express our collective horror, anger, and grief.
By Mary Pat King
17 mornings like any other
17 snoozes and then another
17 breakfasts on the go
17 “byes” promising “hello”
17 bodies in sleepy motion
17 minds embracing commotion
17 bullets destroyed sweet dreams
17 bullets fueled our screams
17 bullets detonated young lives
17 bullets stabbed hearts like knives
17 bullets swelled our tears
17 bullets rippled our fears
17 families are stunned tonight
17 moms can't hold them tight
17 “byes” will sting the air
17 homes with an empty chair
17 bullets battled the God we trust
17 hearts returned to dust