Once again there has been a mass shooting in our country, and once again Americans are coming together to ask why nothing is done to try to prevent them. At this moment, we don’t know exactly how many people were killed or injured in Jacksonville, but whatever the number, it is too many — too many lives lost or shattered, and too many people who will wonder the next time they’re in a public space, “am I next?”
As citizens of the most advanced country in the world, we should feel a comfortable security wherever we are, from our homes, to our schools, to movie theaters, playing fields, video game tournaments, shopping malls, and everywhere in between. We must always remember that this desired security is not a fantasy — it is attainable through policies that the vast majority of Americans, those who do and do not own guns agree on, including a ban on military style assault weapons like the one that existed in our country until 2004, universal background checks, mandatory minimum ages for purchase, and gun violence restraining orders.
Congress has taken no effective action to prevent gun violence since the Parkland massacre in February. The current leadership in the House and Senate refuses even to allow a vote on proposals that could garner bipartisan support and that would save lives. The only way to change that is to elect a new Congress in November that will have the decency and spine that this one so plainly lacks.