Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time.
After two horrendous back-to-back mass shootings in 10 days that took 21 innocent lives in an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school and 10 in a Buffalo supermarket, it’s time to break the paralysis that has ruled the response to such heinous acts in this country since the Columbine High School slaughter in 1999.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll never stop saying it until something is done to stop this escalating madness. Senators, do your job. Get a grip on the problem of guns in this country and keep us safe.
Yes, guns. Stop blaming the mentally ill and stop whining about “rights.” Those 31 people, including 19 schoolchildren, who died in Uvalde and Buffalo had rights too—the right to life. And it was stolen from them in inexplicable, premeditated acts of violence.
Legislators can’t do everything, we get it.
But how about starting by doing the job you were elected to do? How about doing something? Anything?
We’ll help. Here are a few modest steps that shouldn’t be too difficult: Institute red flag laws and use them effectively to weed out unstable people, and expand criminal background checks.
Here’s another one, how about restricting firearm purchases to adults over age 21 to keep them out of the hands of teenagers like those two very troubled youths who carried out the Texas and Buffalo attacks?
It’s not like there isn’t a precedent for age restrictions on harmful or dangerous pursuits.
In 1984 President Ronald Reagan signed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act that reduced the federal highway funds of any state that allowed under-21-year-olds to buy alcoholic beverages. In 2019 President Donald Trump signed a law forbidding the sale of cigarettes or other tobacco products to anyone under 21.
In both cases, many states already had such age restrictions on the books, but the federal laws set uniform policies, even in the face of the traditionally strong tobacco lobby.
We know that a bipartisan group of senators has been meeting in recent days to try to devise something that can actually pass in our shamefully divided Congress. That’s fine, and we’re waiting to see if anything comes of it.
In the meantime, we’d like to see the immediate formation of a special bipartisan committee to address this urgent issue, with a report due back to the American people before you check out for your summer recess in August.
The last thing we need is more televised posturing without action. The time for that is up.
Pardon us if we sound a bit peeved, but studies have indicated that the rate of mass shootings in the United States has tripled since 2011, and it’s pretty well known that this country has more mass shootings than any other country in the world.
How is that acceptable? How can our leadership keep looking the other way? As we said at the beginning, it’s time. Now, get moving.
As Catholics, we turn to our faith in times of crisis, so in addition to calling for concrete action from our leaders we also, very sincerely, offer our prayers to all those suffering through these tragedies.