The time is NOW

The gunman was said to have been armed with a rifle and a handgun when he took control of a classroom in the Texas elementary school Tuesday.

“He shot and killed, horrifically, incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher,” (Texas Gov. Greg Abbott) was quoted in published reports later that day.

Police killed the gunman who had murdered 19 children and two of their teachers. Wednesday morning, three more children and three additional adults remained in area hospitals in serious condition.

Horrifically, certainly. To the parents, anyway.

But incomprehensible? Really? Gov. Abbot could not see it coming?

And so it begins, another round of prayer vigils, lots of thoughts and prayers from politicians. Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut, beseeched his fellow senators to do something to “make this less likely.”

“I’m here on this floor to beg, to literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues,” he said, except he did not get on his hands and knees.

Right on cue, Texas state Rep. Tony Gonzalez told reporters, “Now is not the time” to talk about guns and dead kids.

“I’m happy to debate (gun control) policy. Not today,” he reportedly told the hosts of “CBS Mornings.”

Gonzalez also told his interviewers he recently had voted to kill several bills aimed at controlling gun ownership.

If we should not discuss the problem now, while the need is fresh, then when? I haven’t fixed the leak in my roof because it only leaks in a heavy rain, and when it’s not raining, it doesn’t leak. That is the policy we have so far followed. The latest result is nearly two dozen dead or dying children in a town in Texas.

What is it that tells an 18-year-old it’s OK to drive four hours to kill a group of Black people shopping for groceries, or Mexican kids trying to learn things, or Jewish people in synagogue, or Christians gathered to study their Bible? Or just a crowd of a few hundred concert goers?

The town in which I live earns it’s living from a bloody battle that was fought here. But the thousands of reenactors who gather the first weekend in July do not then grab real guns and shoot up the local schools and supermarkets.

On the other hand, grabbing a gun and killing anyone who offends us is The American Way, though we usually can convince ourselves the action was necessary and justified. It has been our M.O. since we came ashore and pretended to have discovered a place that was already well-populated.

Guns are in our DNA, and military weaponry in high demand. TV is loaded with ads for “Tactical” gear for wannabe soldiers needing the proper equipment to drive their tank, er, Toyota down the boulevard. “Tac” sunglasses seem way more effective than normal polarized lenses at exposing oncoming vehicles. A flashlight becomes a little brighter when it is a “Tactical” flashlight.

There are millions of guns in the hands of private individuals who do not load up and kill people, no matter how rough a week they have had at at work or home. So what is it that prompts certain American males to go on a shooting rampage?

I do not have the answers but I know who can get them. We need to elect lawmakers who, instead of telling, for instance, the CDC to not research the matter, fund the CDC and other pertinent agencies and demand the answers be found.

And then fund the solutions, whether that is to provide more mental health resources or buy all the guns in private hands. The time clearly is NOW!

Thanks for coming along. And please take a few seconds to share these thoughts.

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