The United States and its people are stuck in a mass death and injury cycle with guns, and lawmakers politically won’t do anything to stop it.
The latest was the mass shooting Thursday night in Lafayette, La., where a 59-year-old gunman opened fire at the Grand Theatre during the 7 p.m. showing of the movie “Trainwreck.” He killed two persons and wounded at least seven others before fatally shooting himself.
The gunman was described as a drifter whose behavior was erratic.
The mass shooting is among many that have occurred in the U.S. because of the inability of Congress and state governments to tighten gun laws. It appeared that action would finally be taken after the mass shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The nation was horrified when a 20-year-old gunman shot to death 26 people in the school — 20 of them children.
But instead of stricter gun controls, lawmakers acted to liberalize firearms laws, making it easier and more convenient for more people to have guns and not have to worry about training.
What’s telling is state lawmakers after decades of resistance in South Carolina acted to remove the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds when it was clear that the banner as a symbol of racial hate helped inspire a 21-year-old white gunman to enter Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on June 17 and fatally shoot nine black worshipers. U.S. and state elected officials need to be just as forthright in turning their backs on the National Rifle Association and gun lobbyists to institute meaningful restrictions on guns.
If they act, they can save the lives of countless Americans. If they don’t, the senseless slaughter will continue, creating more victims and people mourning needlessly.