When you can’t send your son or daughter off to college without worrying about someone coldly killing them in the midst of enriching their lives, something is morbidly wrong with the nation in which you live.
As a US citizen currently living abroad, and with a child, I face none of the fears that I faced living in the states. Yes, there are psychos, wack jobs and disgruntled high-school dropouts all over the world. However, the rest of the world is somehow smart enough to not give them easy access to guns. Why, in one of the richest and most “advanced” (I use that word with great reservation) societies on Earth are we not smart enough to realize this?
Just moments after the attack, our White House, in its infinite wisdom and compassion, stated, “The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed,” spokeswoman Dana Perino said. Abhorrent! With the blood of the crime not yet dried, the President is already thinking of this in terms of an issue rather than a travesty, and in effect, supporting the rights of the killer. Will the United States government forever be an ostrich with its head in the sand on this issue?
As much as the White House’s response to this was pathetic and unconscionable, the government is not the only one to blame. We the people need to stop thinking about this problem as a foregone conclusion. Across Europe and Asia they have no such problem because you cannot easily purchase a gun—certainly not pistols and automatic weapons. There is no reason that US citizens cannot live in communities like this one day. When are we going to start caring more about the gun catastrophe in the United States, than we do about next years taxes, which judges were fired last month, or who wins on American Idol?
We need to stop accepting the premise of guns as a necessary part of US society. In Virginia’s shooting, several students are already trying to lay blame on the university for not getting the word out about the shooter—as if this is something the university should have a ready contingency for. Press a red button and alert the school another lunatic is shooting people. These students shouldn’t be blaming the reactions of the school; they should be blaming the actions of the government, the NRA, the gun makers, and any of their family or friends who support the easy purchase of guns.
So what can you do? The same thing we’ve always had the opportunity to do. Write an email or letter to your Congressman, Senator and President and tell them that enough is enough. The US needs stricter, much stricter, gun controls. The tragedy of these college students’ deaths is far too monumental to truly take meaning on this page. Nor will it mean anything after countless hours on CNN. The only way to give this horror the gravity it deserves is to do something about it. Please join me in letting the US government know that they are wrong supporting the companies who manufacture guns, organizations who proliferate gun use and people who use guns to kill.