Gun tragedies and inaction
2/22/2018, 9:24 p.m.
Dr. E. Faye Williams
We woke up the morning after the Florida high school tragedy hearing that 95 percent of the American people support stronger background checks before someone can buy a gun. That sounds like a no-brainer because only 4 percent of the people oppose these checks. That leads one to believe that most of the Congress represents somebody other than the 95 percent who elected them.
As the day went by, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said, “We need to wait for all the facts to come in.”
Seventeen innocent people had just been murdered by a 19-year-old white male terrorist with a gun that should’ve been regulated.
My best friend, the late Dick Gregory, who was one of the smartest, most perceptive men I’ve ever known, said long ago, “This thing (meaning the destruction of our nation) may be too far gone to turn around.”
These insane gun lovers seem to think they need all kinds of military-style weapons to shoot rabbits and other poor little animals. I don’t get it. They yell Second Amendment rights no matter what the cost is. They’re the same ones who call themselves “right to lifers.” They’re willing to cause the greatest risk to our children’s lives in order to own any gun, while innocent people continue to be mowed down all too frequently.
Imagine how many parents got up the morning after the Florida school massacre and how they felt sending their babies to school — to a place where no children are safe these days. I wonder how parents explained why their children had to go to such a scary place. Did they say, “You have to go because 4 percent of the people have more rights than you have, so we can’t keep guns out of your school”?
Women have marched and resisted since they realized what a mistake they made in voting for No. 45. Isn’t it time we take unified action for our children?
Every time we hear of a tragedy like the one in Parkland, Fla., we get all riled up for a few days and, except for the parents who are directly affected, we move on to something else without resolving the lastest crisis. I see the mothers of Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin and the babies at Sandy Hook Elementary School and others who are still grieving over the loss of their children. They spend every day of their lives trying to prevent people who shouldn’t have guns in the first place from getting them so easily. These murderers get them from gun shows, the internet and from crooks on the street with no background check. More of us need to be helping to get stronger laws passed.
Let’s expose the enablers who represent the 4 percent and vote them out of office. We know who those lawmakers are, which ones are on a “tear down every safety measure” path and telling us now is not the time to discuss guns. Let’s assure these families that we’ll stand with them in every election. Let’s begin making sensible gun control an issue before giving up our vote in the next election.
But for the grace of God, these horrible murders could be someone we know and love. We have an obligation to send people like Sens. Rubio and Charles Grassley and House Speaker Paul Ryan home soon. They so easily blame all gun tragedies on mental health when they know perfectly well they haves no intention of putting more funds into legitimate mental health issues.
Let’s elect more people like Sen. Chris Murphy who said these tragedies are a consequence of our inaction. Let us not be the ones who are guilty of inaction. The National Rifle Association doesn’t stand a chance against the people united on this important issue.
The writer is national president of the National Congress of Black Women Inc.