As I read and watch the coverage of yet another school shooting, another mass murder of innocent Americans, another loss of human life, I am struggling with so many questions.
Vice President Joe Biden, in his statement said that the United States "is the only civilized country in the world with so many mass shootings." My question was, "you call this civilized?" When do we decide that our civility is defined by our ability to actually behave in humane manner and protect humanity?
When do we take stock and determine that our nation's tolerating this sort of self-destruction is in fact insane, not just that these individual shooters are insane? President Obama said that the shooter was "sick." Many of the conservative pundits refer to these criminals "deranged" and "suffering from mental illness." I don't disagree. But aren't we deranged for allowing this sort of cancer to spread throughout our land rather doing everything we can to arrest it's advance? Why do we accept this sort of terrorism?
What will it take for us to realize that we are being terrorized? This shooter and others have targeted Christians before shooting them. Does it need to go a step further? Will it take a jihadist explicitly killing Christians in the name of Allah on American soil for us to understand that we need to restrict access to firearms? Will it be the perception that the threat is external that will prompt us to react? Why can't we see that a domestic threat is still a threat? Why can't we react based simply on the loss of human life?
And ultimately, when will the God -- Allah, Jehovah, or whatever -- given lives of these victims trump the profits of gun producers? Those who are pro-gun fiercely claim their right to bear arms. Well, what about the victims' "inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," as determined by our Declaration of Independence? Do we just skip over the first one, Life, without which you can't even have liberty or happiness?
How do these very same people protect so fiercely the lives of an embryo while sacrificing the lives of kindergarten children, college students, teachers, those working at the Washington Naval Yard and those enjoying a movie? Or that of a United States Member of Congress? How don't they see the hypocrisy? And why don't they see that the proliferation of firearms (and gun manufacturers' profits) is directly linked and correlated with the incidence of mass shootings? Why don't they see that NRA has engineered and amplified their belief that the Second Amendment needs evangelical defending, and that it has done so for it's own financial benefit?
This debate over policy is a game with life or death consequences -- in fact, not a game at all. The winners win money and political points. The losers -- victims, survivors, witnesses and those of us who have become numb to it all -- lose lives, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and ultimately, human decency.
So here's my last question: Why is this even a question?