On the anniversary of another tragic day in America, let us consider if anything has really changed. Those cries of “Never Forget” and “MSD Strong” are still with us, but save for what might amount to a relative few, do they really mean anything anymore?
President Joe Biden used the day to call for tougher gun control laws. No offense to the President, who means well, but haven’t we heard the exact same thing following every school and mass shooting?
I’ll wager you weren’t aware, but since that day, there have been 89 shootings on or adjacent to an American school campus since Parkland.
As a result of those shootings, 45 people are dead.
The main reason those numbers are not higher is what might be the only relatively positive thing to emerge from the COVID19 pandemic. Because most schools are closed, there hasn’t been a shooting on campus since September 16th of 2020.
Certainly, there have been some changes. However, are they the type of changes that will mean kids and teachers no longer have to fear walking into a shooting gallery? Are they substantive enough away from school grounds where the maddening gun culture temperature of America is, at the very least, lowered just a bit to a level of sanity? Have our lawmakers, as a whole, diligently and honestly worked with every faction of their ability to assure us the motto at American schools doesn’t have to be “Reading, Writing, and Bulletproof Vests”?
No. Some have followed through. Some have tried to enact real change. Some have even changed minor laws or created new edicts that seek to alleviate the madness.
Not enough, on that I am certain. There are still far too many elected officials who see gun control as little more than a Draconian government overreach. Yet, they are often the ones who, when more young blood is spilled in hallways and on parking lot concrete, are first to line up for the cameras and microphones to express their “thoughts and prayers”.
As you read this, the last campus noted shooting was at Western Illinois University on September 16, 2020. Kavian Poplous is accused of settling a dispute with his roommate using bullets instead of discussion. No one died, thankfully. One side of this argument will seek to excuse the shooting because it didn’t actually happen in a classroom, as if that’s supposed to assuage responsibility and the impact of readily available guns.
Excuses and deflection, what is and has been for some time the “coin of the realm” for those seeking to downplay and whitewash such events because, and you know what’s coming, it doesn’t fit with their political agenda.
Parkland remains a strong and powerful rallying cry for those tirelessly seeking to change and repair a truly broken system of dishwater weak and loophole marred gun laws in America. Sadly, it is also a focal point for those who insanely and incorrectly pound away that more guns on campus are needed, more people need to be weaponized, more confrontations and threats are the only thing that will save lives.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
No matter the issue, change never comes quickly enough for those who seek it for what seem to be the correct reasons. Don’t be fooled. Change in this case could be swift and effective, but will remain mired in the muck of bellowing disinformation, ego, and personal greed.
Somewhere, someone is planning the next murder of innocents. Their path will be along the lines of how Nikolas Cruz prepared for his day on February 14, 2018. They will load up, and seek to carve for themselves a place in infamy.
If successful, we will once again hear the excuses and sidetracks accompanying what sadly have become hollow words in “thoughts and prayers”.
It doesn’t have to be that way, of course. But has enough happened in 3 years to make us feel safe in the knowledge everything has been done to avoid it?
Leaving the rational and reasonable among us to still wonder what it will take to reach the point where the most important piece of equipment for every school day will be books, instead of body bags.