In his consoling words to the nation, President Donald Trump talked about “terrible violence, hatred and evil.” But he never pondered why a troubled 19-year-old who was forbidden from carrying a backpack to school could easily buy an AR-15-style semi-automatic weapon. The same type of firearm was used to kill 27 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School a little over five years ago.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin was just as willfully obtuse. He told Leland Conway on WHAS that that school shootings have “no single thing” in common but blamed violent video games and the breakdown of moral authority.
People in other countries play video games, and there’s no reason to think that moral authority is any more broken here than elsewhere. Other countries also have mental illness and impulsive, violence-prone young men. But only this country has regular gun carnage at schools.
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And, of course, there is one indisputable common element in all school shootings: Guns. Specifically, the unlimited access to guns that we in this country “enjoy” and which exists nowhere else. If you’re looking for why the United States is the only nation plagued by mass shootings, the easy availability of firearms is the answer.
Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, told his state House colleagues that such tragedies are to be expected because “you drove God out of the schoolhouse.” We hope his remarks reach none of the survivors of the 26 dead in Sutherland Springs, Texas, or the 20 wounded. They were gunned down in church.
Despite the politically convenient evasions, these public officials and many like them do send a clear message after these predictable tragedies. Their inaction tells us, again and again, that they care more about protecting guns than protecting children.