As we mourn the 49 who died and care for the 53 wounded a week ago at Pulse Orlando, we face questions that anger us because they have grown familiar. We feel dismayed because so many leaders’ words remain empty or serve only their agendas.
Another search for motivation and another exploration of the options will yield another set of admonitions that lead to nothing. These 102 victims may have been shot simply because a mentally ill 29-year-old was confused about his sexuality.
Can we be safe?
Does putting a random sample of visitors through a metal detector at Disney World or poking in bags with a stick at Busch Stadium really accomplish anything? Will more laws about guns save anyone from a motivated attacker? Does anyone really think banning a class of weapons will make them all vanish?
The politicization of these deaths is offensive, and seems to be coming from every corner.
Instead of going through this political theater, with the end result being some half-measure that will do little to prevent the next Pulse or Sandy Hook, can’t we take an unbiased look at the statistics and make rational decisions? Can’t we articulate what is appropriate to provide for a well regulated militia instead of simply focus on a phrase about rights? Can’t we take a look at our world neighbors and their successes focusing on the individual versus the weapon? Can’t we listen to law enforcement’s message after they’ve had to risk their lives facing murderers on the streets of Chicago or in an Orlando dance club?
Can’t we stop worrying about re-election and campaign cash long enough to be compassionate human beings, capable of living with ourselves long after public service has ended? Can’t we start with the common ground instead of focusing on the fringes?
We hope so.