We now know in this still developing story, that the bodies of twenty children, six adults plus the shooter lie dead and still in Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter's mother has been removed from the home she shared with her son, a Sig Sauer and a Glock 9MM, automatic pistols both capable of carrying 30 round clips, plus a Bushmaster .223 semi-automatic rifle. At present 28 lives have been lost forever; affecting so many others. When will it stop?
If not now, then when do we as a nation address the very serious problem and public health issue of gun violence in America?
Today's gun deaths at an elementary school in rural Newtown, Connecticut are unimaginably horrific and my tears, thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones in this, another senseless tragic event caused by guns in the hands of other individuals in our society. As a parent, I can't imagine the grief, pain and suffering the parents of the twenty children are going through at this moment and beyond as well as the others who lost loved ones today.
Have we as a society become so desensitized to these ongoing mass shooting tragedies that we soon forgot them as soon as the coverage or next news cycle begins? Where are the outraged citizens or even Pro-lifers who should all be protesting, writing, calling and demanding action from our leaders to stop this lunacy? When are we going to say enough is enough, already? How many other children and adults need to die from gun violence before corrective action is taken?
When are we finally going to tell the NRA with their four million members, gun manufacturers and gun lobbyist that they can no longer hold us hostages to their beliefs, ideology and political rhetoric? I mean, this is the definition of insanity when an organization funded by just over one percent of the population can hold so much power or sway over our elected leaders at the expense of innocent, peaceful and law abiding citizens. Of course, the NRA and their supporters like Faux News always trot out their tired old argument that if concealed weapons permit holders had been there at the scene the outcome might have been different. What are we talking about here, lower body counts and higher collateral damage or what? How many times in all of these shootings did a citizen with a concealed weapons permit actually prevent the deaths or save the lives of other citizens? Yet here in Florida, Adam Putnam recently had a news conference to tout the news that there are now a million concealed weapons permits issued by the state like it was mission accomplished for the NRA or something. Somehow, I and many others don't feel any safer or comforted by the fact that there are now one million people carrying concealed weapons in Florida.
Yes, we need to look at mental health resource funding, efficacy and access. Unfortunately, Florida is ranked 48th in the nation for mental resource funding though. Yes, we need to look at the effects of violence in our media, movies and first person video shooter games. But, we also need to look at and have serious debate about sensible gun control that keeps guns from those who wish, plan and carry out violent deadly harm to others. Currently, with the excessive number of guns in our country, it is now far to easy for those type of individuals to access these weapons of mass death and destruction. And use them on others with such deadly intent.
Unfortunately, I have little or no faith that our too often corrupt and contribution driven elected representatives will provide common sense solutions to this very serious problem and the public health issue of gun violence. However, the blood of these innocent victims is not just on our representatives' hands, it is on the hands of all who continue on with their lives unaffected and don't speak out or take action to end these horrific and senseless acts of violence. What kind of country have we become if parents are unable to send their kids to school with the expectation they will be safe and return home to them at the end of the day. Their great loss is all of our loss too! This senseless violence needs to stop now! We need to stand firm and resolute in saying that even one more death from gun violence is completely and totally unacceptable. If not now, then when do we, one and all, correctly change the course before us and end this ongoing sickening disease of gun violence?