Thoughts on Gun Violence

There are smart people in America who tackle complicated problems and try to solve them. Every day. Many problems appear unsolvable, but in the process of trying and failing, we get closer to solutions.

When the towers came down and killed thousands, we implemented rules and created an agency (TSA) that inconvenienced millions, but this was a small price to pay.

In the largest mobilization of the federal government since WWII, the TSA was created within months of the attacks and within a year had hired 60,000 people. Things can move quickly if necessary.

You can make the argument that the TSA has been poorly managed, but, it was important for the government to take action; not only to try to solve, but to show that they cared about the problem.

I’m sure you’ve heard about the shooting that killed 50 people this morning. Frightening. Tragic. Sad. All of those things, and more. This is the worst mass shooting in US history, but we’ve heard this story before. There were 372 mass shootings in the US last year, so, there will likely be another one tomorrow. In the average year, roughly 100,000 people are shot, and 30,000 of those people die. This is about 10 times the number of people impacted by 9/11.

Totally different problems, I know. There are only about 350 airports, or points of failure, for “plane safety”, whereas gun violence can happen anywhere. Also, I’m not trying to diminish the impact of 9/11 on our nation. That said, one problem got a swift response, the other does not, for mostly political reasons.

There can be no argument; gun violence is bad and there needs to be less of it. It’s time to invest thought from people on all sides, and push for action and change. The solutions will not completely solve the problem, and, will likely inconvenience millions of people, but this is a small price to pay.

Some of the solution will happen at ground level, in communities and homes around the nation. As long as mental illness, racism, homophobia and religious zealotry are allowed to fester unchecked, people will find a way to act out with the tools made available to them. That’s on you, and me; on “us”.

That said, I’m calling you out “Government”. Presidents elect, and in waiting. Senators and congressman. Governors, mayors and local representation. You know the problem, what’s your move? “Thoughts and Prayers”, followed by calculated apathy is unacceptable.