The following list of statistics should shock every American to the core:
Virginia Tech, April 16, 2007; 32 dead, 17 hurt; Killeen, Texas, Nov. 5, 2009, four dead, 16 hurt; Tucson, Jan. 8, 2011, six dead, 14 hurt; Aurora, July 20, 2012, 12 dead, 70 hurt; Newtown, Dec. 14, 2012, 26 dead; Washington Navy Yard, Sept. 6, 2013, 13 dead; San Bernardino, Feb. 2, 2015, 14 dead, 17 hurt; Charleston, June 17, 2015, nine dead; Umpqua, Oct. 1, 2015, 10 dead, seven hurt; Orlando, June 12, 2016, 49 dead, 53 hurt; Las Vegas, Oct. 1, 2017, 58 dead, 546 hurt; Sutherland Springs, Nov. 5, 2017, 26 dead, 20 hurt — all by shooting.
Each place and date is that of a mass shooting, an instance in which a “bad guy with a gun” opened fire on innocent civilians — in town gatherings, on college campuses, in church. Each instance has been explained away: the shooter was alienated, radicalized, mentally ill, slipped through the cracks. Often the shooter used a version of the AR-15 assault rifle — a semiautomatic gun that sprays a large amount of bullets very quickly. If people are in the way, very bad things happen.
Why have mass shootings happened so often in America? Why haven’t elected officials put an end to it? I know that one of my Congressional representatives receives a lot of money from the National Rifle Association, and I am sure he isn’t the only one. Could that be the reason? Or is something else at work here?
Legislators need to tell the public why protecting the Second Amendment is more important than protecting the lives of American constituents.
Mary Karren-Landry, Poland