By now we should know better than to fight it. To scream out the answers that will go unheard. That will be met with thoughts and prayers by our elected leaders. To demand sensible gun control and comprehensive reform. To highlight the fallacy of absolutist of the Second Amendment, the analogies to traffic laws, the hypocrisy of pro-lifers.
By now we should know to temper our expectations. Realize that it is naive to think the slaughter of our children will awaken our elected leaders from their slumber. Foolish to hope it will remind them that their responsibility is to serve and protect “we, the people,” not the monied interests of corporations and NRA lobbyists. Understand that it will always be “too soon.” That thoughts and prayers is all they will ever offer.
By now you’d think we’d have grow immune to the pain. Indifferent to the sorrow the friends and families of the victims must feel. Hardened to the feelings of empathy that awash me as parents reunite with their kids; devastated for the ones who never will.
By now you would think we’d cease correcting the reporters each time they referred to the disturbed gunman. Each report in which they refused to brand the latest act of domestic terrorism as such. Failed to identify the undeniable trend among the perpetrators. To ask the obvious, “where were they radicalized?”
By now we know that’s the plan. To normalize these school shootings to such a degree that we accept them as inevitable. That we embrace our gun control culture and seek alternative avenues to solve the issue. Ignore the weapons and no abandon efforts at prevention in favor of those that mitigate damage instead. Redesign our schoolyards to more closely resemble a single entrance prison yard. Arm our teachers and security officers to better control threats and behavior. Relax our rights of privacy to allow for profiling and stop and frisk of whatever suspicious group du jour. Enhance communications to allow for quicker response times among emergency responders.
By now we know that this fight is too important. Have come to understand that they may want us to perceive that this fight is unwinnable, that it requires compromise, but the reality tells us otherwise.
By now we’ve seen sensible gun control efforts work in civilized and “free” societies throughout the globe. We’ve seen the near elimination of domestic mass shootings in countries that once faced similar violence. We’ve seen the various extreme ways common sense reform may work, from the near elimination of individual gun ownership in Australia to the tightly regulated but right to bear arms efforts in Japan.
By now we should know that it’s only a matter of a time. That you can’t stop progress. That the future has arrived and we must follow its lead of the children who have grown tired of our inaction. Who have seen the errors of our ways. Who have grown tired of reaching for the tissues, hiding in the corners, mourning their friends and waiting for the right time. Who are reaching the age of majority and marching for OUR lives. Who are ready and able to engage directly; committed to vote, to ask the relevant questions, to demand the necessary action of our leaders.
By now we should take solace and courage in the knowledge that we are the majority. That when harnessed the power of the people should never be underestimated. That we have the power to end this cycle, protect future generations, and enact common sense gun control.