Every single time there is a mass shooting we seem to split into two groups — those that clutch their weapons tighter and scream “You can’t take mah gun!” and those that beg and plead for sensible gun regulations. Unfortunately for American citizens, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has very deep pockets, and they have purchased enough legislators to ensure that any gun regulations — sensible or not — fail before the ink is dry on them.
- In 1999 we cried after the Columbine High School massacre — 13 dead, 24 injured. No new regulations.
- In 2005 we cried after the Red Lake massacre — 10 dead, 5 injured. No new regulations.
- In 2007 we cried after the Virginia Tech massacre — 32 dead, 23 injured. No new regulations.
- In 2009 we cried after the Binghamton shootings — 14 dead, 4 injured. No new regulations.
- In 2009 we cried after the Fort Hood massacre — 13 dead, 30 injured. No new regulations.
- In 2012 we cried after the Aurora theater shooting — 12 dead, 70 injured. No new regulations.
- In 2012 we cried after the Newtown school shooting — 28 dead, 2 injured. No new regulations.
- In 2013 we cried after Washington Navy Yard shooting — 12 dead, 8 injured. No new regulations.
- In 2015 we cried after the San Bernardino mass shooting — 14 dead, 21 injured. No new regulations.
- In 2016 we cried after the Orlando nightclub massacre — 49 dead, 53 injured. No new regulations.
- In 2017 we cried after the Las Vegas strip massacre — 59+ dead, 527+ injured. No new regulations.
That isn’t a complete list of mass shootings in this country. With the exception of Columbine (which is generally thought of as the beginning of the mass school shootings that have become all-too-common), we only included those that had death totals over ten and occurred this century. The statistics that are available on mass shootings dating back to 1982 and were researched and cataloged by Mother Jones where the entire list is available.
When is enough going to be enough? When will it be time to talk about sensible gun legislation? Not the “take all your guns” stuff that instills fear in the hearts of Second Amendment enthusiasts — just sensible legislation that regulates killing machines like automatic weapons. When?
Will it be after the horrendous Las Vegas massacre that took 59 lives and wounded 527 more as automatic gunfire ripped through a crowd of concertgoers? It certainly wasn’t on any Republican agenda. Sending “thoughts and prayers” is a tired phrase that carries no meaning now.
— Khary Penebaker (@kharyp) October 2, 2017
Late Night host Seth Meyers had some interesting commentary on the refusal to address the elephant in the room:
It always seems like the worst displays of humanity in this country are immediately followed by the best. And then sadly that is followed by no action at all and then it repeats itself.
After asking what steps can be taken to prevent these types of violent expressions, Meyers continued, “or is this just how it is and how it’s going to continue to be?”
Because when you say, which you always say, ‘Now it’s not the time to talk about it,’ what you really mean is ‘There is never a time to talk about it.’ And it would be such more honest if you would just admit is that your plan is to never talk about it and never take any action.
But is that the best plan D.C. has to prevent gun violence? When there’s a shooting, we just pray for a miracle? Because maybe that is it. But if you’re not willing to do anything, just be honest and tell us, ‘This is how it is, this is how it will continue to be.’
Meyers wasn’t the only talk show host to address this issue. James Corden, host of the Late Late Show with James Corden also made a very heartfelt statement. “Last night was the biggest mass shooting in United States history. That’s a record that’s been set twice since the two-and-a-half years that I’ve been living in America.” He offered a horrendous statistic to back up his statement — “that 11,660 people have been killed by gun violence in the past 275 days in this country.”
Now I come from a place where we don’t have shootings at this frequency so it’s hard for me to fathom, but it should be hard for everyone to fathom. Gun violence should not be a staple of American life. Some say it’s too early to talk about gun control. For those victims last night, it’s far too late.
In answering the claim of one pundit, who stated that these “lone wolf” type attacks could not be stopped, Corden made said,”Forgive me, as I’m just a foreigner here and some of you may feel I have no place to say this, but how does every other developed country do a better job of preventing these attacks? We can’t be surprised that gun crime will always occur when there is such wide availability of guns.” Adding a quote from Robert Kennedy:
Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live.
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Corden finished his commentary with, “Now is the time for gaining that wisdom. Somewhere, it has to stop.”
It seems that everyone in the country thinks that it is time to talk about it NOW. Trevor Noah on The Daily Show wants to talk about it. Jimmy Kimmel on Jimmy Kimmel Live ” broke down in tears during his discussion of the shooting. Keith Olberman on The Resistance wants to talk about it.
We’re tired of thoughts and prayers.
America wants to talk about it.
America NEEDS to talk about it.
You can watch Meyers’ entire commentary below.
You can watch Corden’s entire commentary below.