Once again there has been another mass shooting, this one more personal as I am a Coloradan and our state has a tragic and prolific history of mass shootings—from Columbine to King Soopers in Boulder this past Monday.
What will it take to rid ourselves once and for all of this darkness, for there can be no clearer example of darkness than the mass murdering of one another. Democracy is dying at the hands of this darkness.
Many Americans risked their lives to have their voices heard and counted in this past 2020 legitimate election. The American people overwhelmingly sent a strong message: “We are tired of the darkness, the division, the violence, and the broken political system before us. We want unity, light, and love.”
Although some incredible strides have been made since President Biden took office, there are fundamental issues we must face if we are to truly rid ourselves of this darkness and achieve the unity and solutions we seek. We are locked into a destructive cycle of “us” versus “them,” which will lead to our collective demise. The foundation of this destructive cycle is a broken political system. At every level we are at “war” with one another—Republicans versus Democrats—and this “war” can be seen even with just this one issue regarding guns and gun control.
Colorado has suffered through some of the most deadly mass shootings in American history, including the 1999 Columbine school shooting and the 2012 Aurora movie theater massacre. Monday’s attack at a Boulder King Soopers grocery store comes less than a week after eight people were killed in a shooting spree at three Atlanta area spas.
This latest mass shooting in Colorado occurred in spite of Colorado having universal background checks, a large-capacity magazine ban and state database background checks. So what’s missing?
Colorado lacks assault weapons’ restrictions, waiting periods, open carry regulations, and gun owner licensing. Nationally, our broken political system prevents even basic, common-sense gun control legislation while our relaxed policy approach and culture of guns means more guns are accessible, translating to more gun deaths. Assault weapons have no other purpose than to kill humans—they put the “mass” in mass shootings.
Gun violence is a human rights crisis, but in America it’s become a political issue–“us” versus “them,” Republicans versus Democrats. Here is the destructive cycle in action. Can you see it?
So how do we begin to break the cycle? It starts by telling the truth and seeing reality clearly. It also means dealing with the root of the problem, not simply the symptoms or deflecting the issues with irrelevant rhetoric. It means holding elected officials and our political system accountable.
For example, here are some truths about the Republican Party’s actions which perpetuate this darkness, “war,” and destruction:
- The Republican Party does not see gun control or lack thereof as a problem that needs to be addressed.
- Republicans deflect from the real issues with tangential and nonsensical rhetoric like cancel culture, Mr. Potato Head and Dr. Seuss.
- Two hundred, seventy-eight (278) Republicans voted for a tax cut for the rich, 147 Republicans voted to overturn legitimate election results, and zero Republicans voted for COVID-19 relief to help U.S. citizens.
- Republicans are now trying to overturn voting rights in at least 45 states, with Georgia’s Republican Governor signing a sweeping Jim Crow voting bill into law under a painting of a slave plantation.
Are these Republicans working for the greater good of the United States of America and all her people? Are their actions supporting unity, light and love? It seems from their actions the answer is a resounding “No!”
If this is true, then we must take a hard look at ourselves and ask “Why are we allowing this to continue?” and “Why aren’t we holding them accountable?” For if we neglect to tell ourselves the truth about what’s happening, we cannot break the cycle.
And if we do not get serious about the real systemic issues underlying America’s problems, then I guess the answer to my question, “What will it take to rid ourselves of this darkness once and for all?” becomes, with more than half a million Americans dead from the coronavirus and tens of thousands of Americans killed every year by gun violence, the Republican solution is it’s just something we have to get used to living with.
JOIN Barb and John as they discuss Another Mass Shooting…
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