1. It’s Monday, October 2, 2017. We’re two days into the final quarter of the year.
2. It’s the 11th anniversary of the West Nickel Mines School shooting.
A terrorist from nearby walked into an Amish girls’ school in Pennsylvania and shot eight of the 10 girls in attendance, killing five of them, before he took his own miserable life.
3. As I write this, the death toll from last night’s horror in Las Vegas is 59.
That’s nine more people than died more than a year ago in an Orlando night club, 27 more than in the 2007 slayings at Virginia Tech and 33 more than the number of children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.
Shooting death stats look like we’re listing the home run leaders in baseball.
It’s pathetic. It’s sick.
And yet, there are idiots who believe that somebody’s right to shoot up a country music concert in Las Vegas supersedes the concertgoers’ rights to live.
We are going to hear – and we should hear – the tragic stories from Las Vegas. There will be more than we can bear. More than 500 people were injured last night.
That means about 600 lives were affected by a terrorist – stop minimizing these people as misguided and recognize them for what they are! – who somehow decided he’d go to the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino Hotel and start shooting.
Actually, that 600 number is way too small. There are parents and children, spouses and lovers, business partners and drinking buddies, teammates and neighbors. Thousands of them whose lives can never be the same.
You would think that this one, this is the one, that will get this nation on a path toward reining in this embarrassment of gun violence. That this time, this time, is when we’ll put a stop to this nonsense.
That there must be something we’re doing wrong that civilized nations – this stuff takes us out of that group – manage to do fairly well. There are countries of significant size, such as Japan, that have fewer gun deaths annually than we had last night in Las Vegas. We can’t do that?
Actually, we can’t. We won’t.
I’d love to be optimistic and say there will some result from this. Why does any civilian need 19 automatic or semi-automatic weapons? Surely, there’s a way to control this – even a minimum effort.
Nope. Not gonna happen.
We didn’t do it after Columbine when it was high school kids killed or Aurora when moviegoers got shot. We didn’t do it after Virginia Tech when it was college students or after Colorado Springs when it was women getting examinations at a clinic.
Most of all, we didn’t do it after Sandy Hook. We didn’t do it when most of the victims were 6- and 7-year-old children, less than two weeks before Christmas.
None of that, not Orlando or Killeen, Texas, or San Bernardino or Roseburg, Oregon, or any other mass slaying you can think of moved the U.S. Congress toward some semblance of reason on the possession of firearms.
In fact, after Sandy Hook, the scumbag who runs the National Rifle Association stood in front of TV cameras and proclaimed that the real problem was that the school’s educators weren’t armed. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a guy,” said this collection of vomit and excrement.
And that’s where it stands. This country wouldn’t do anything about kids getting killed. The NRA roused its members, who got into their pickup trucks, sat on their brains and railed about how Barack Obama or some other liberal was taking away their guns.
What’s left to get indignant about if you can’t see that killing kids at an elementary school is the ultimate obscenity. That urinating on the flag while the national anthem plays pales in comparison.
So 59 people at a country music concert, while certainly an impressive number, won’t change anything.
The House might – might – postpone its vote that would allow looser restrictions on silencers that was scheduled for this week. But forget forgetting the idea. That ain’t happening.
And with this idiot who occupies the Oval Office, there’s no impetus at all for change.
I’d love to think that tonight, as families wail about the loss of someone they love, as friends stare blankly at the TV screens showing the latest news, as the beyond-belief brave men and women who responded to this incident continue to help those who were wounded, that this will be the turning point.
That the nation’s lawmakers will realize that prostitution to the gun industry is a surefire path to hell. That people have the right to go out in public – I guarantee no one in that concert crowd thought twice about his or her safety – without fear.
To a concert, a ball game, a mall, a rally, a parade, a hospital. To an elementary school, for God’s sake.
This is the game changer?
No. Sorry. They’ll wait this one out too.
But I’d give a lot to be proven wrong.