Newmann: A time to bind?
So here we go again … another mass shooting, another round of “What are we going to do about it?”
The standard of “thoughts and prayers” for the victims has worn a bit thin. There have been way too many calls for thoughts and prayers over the past few years. For way too many victims … and their families … and their friends.
The problem is: there’s been no substantive action; nothing to even try to mitigate these horrendous situations.
The politicians spout out some rhetoric and decry the tragic loss of life. And then some of them say that, as horrible as that loss of life is, they still support the “rights” decreed by the Second Amendment. This is all well and good. But here’s a question: Do they also support the rights of little kids to stay safe (and alive) in their schools? Or the rights of folks to be able to shop safely in supermarkets? How about the rights of people to survive just going to church?
So we seem to be at an impasse, where one set of rights (the aforesaid amendment) versus another set of rights (“life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”).
And, after all the hand-wringing, no solutions. And ever more carnage.
Perhaps, instead of just paying lip service to the nastiness of these events, which are occurring on an ever-increasing basis, and then moving back into their opposing camps, these politicos can actually take some positive action.
Ironically, in just the past few months, they’ve been able to earmark about $54 billion to aid Ukraine. And leaders in both parties have traveled to that country with delegations of their peers to witness the situation, to declare their support for the beleaguered country — and to denounce the atrocious killings of civilians.
Now very few folks would say that Ukraine is not worthy of our support, and many would applaud such an effort of bipartisanship — and financial aid — on behalf of a country many thousands of miles off our shores.
But maybe, just maybe, if we’re going to pledge that kind of unilateral political, let alone monetary, support for another country … we can put that same bipartisan political and monetary support into programs aimed at addressing the roots of all this unnecessary violence in our own country. One would have to imagine that such efforts might actually start to have an effect.
But, then again, that would require some sort of action.
And, as we’ve seen time and time again, the default is just a lot of talk.
Tom Newmann splits his time between Edwards and Queenstown, New Zealand. He has been going winter-to-winter since 1986. He was also a journalist in Missoula, Montana, at the Missoulian for quite a few years. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.