One of the most famous questions that the philosopher Hillel the Elder asked is:
“If not now, when?” Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14
Every time there is a mass shooting in this country, decent minded citizens have asked when we can finally talk about gun control. The answer, the last few years, have been predictably that this is not the time.
Yesterday morning, there was a shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. 26 people were killed, many of them children.
My heart hurts. My head hurts. We say the same thing in the aftermath of every mass shooting:”Our thoughts and prayers go to the victims and their families.” But at this point, the phrase has become meaningless.
I will not state the killer’s name on this blog, he’s receiving enough press. I will only say that mass shootings will continue to be the average news story in America until real change is made.
Back in 1996, there was a mass shooting in Australia, 35 people were murdered. Instead of waxing and waning (and giving into the gun industry, lobbyists and the NRA), the Australian government enacted sweeping and strict gun laws. Since then, the Port Arthur massacre is the only mass shooting in recent Australian history.
Whether or not the gunman’s mental health played a part, only time will tell. I’m just tired of hearing of another mass shooting and the loss of innocent lives.
P.S. I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that Donald Trump’s responses to shooting are different based on the shooter. He called for the death penalty for the accused and the removal of the diversity visa program in response to the murder of 8 people in New York City last week, but his response to this shooting (where the killer was white) was markedly different. Just an observation.