An evil, psychopathic racist walked into one of the oldest, most venerated Historically Black Churches in America, sat down for an hour with people who welcomed him to their prayer meeting, and then shot those people, killing nine of them. The victims of this heinous and wanton act included three Pastors, two elderly women, a library worker, a girls track coach, a recent college graduate and a mother of four daughters. The aftermath of this hate crime has been and will continue to be both predictable and necessary. Justified outrage at the killer, a justified, cathartic and much-needed outpouring of support for the families of the victims, memorial services and vigils for communities, a trial, a conviction (the killer has already confessed), a sentencing and a meting out of final justice for the guilty. Unfortunately, what will not happen is equally predictable. We will not produce a single bit of public policy toward lowering the chances of something like this tragedy - or any other illegal use of a firearm - happening again.
While vexing on many levels, the "do-nothing about this" outcome certainly should not come as a surprise to any marginally observant person. We have had grade school children and their teachers blown away in their school by a nut armed with an assault rifle and we've done nothing. We have had moviegoers killed by a sick bastard carrying a full arsenal and we've done nothing. High-schoolers have been mowed down by their classmates and we've done nothing. Public servants and innocent bystanders have been permanently maimed and killed in public forums and we've done nothing. Children, innocent bystanders and abused women have been and continue to be injured and killed by the careless and nefarious use of firearms and we have done nothing. So I'm not at all sanguine about the prospects of anything occurring to limit the distribution of firearms into the hands of the criminal, the brain-addled and the evil. Legislators in congress and in statehouses across the country are either too whored out to the gun lobby or too craven to stand up to a loud cadre of gun-humping ammosexuals who are willing to vote based on a single issue. Lawmakers will accept once again the braindead and willfully ignorant invoke arguments that if we can't stop all gun crime through the law, then we shouldn't try to stop any of it, an argument that holds true for every law on the books from drunk driving to tax evasion to robbery to rape to murder. Only with guns do we assert that there shouldn't be any safety reform laws because criminals won't abide by them. Lawmakers will be deluged with threats of being primaried for any consideration of universal background checks and they will fold like paper. So, beyond the catharsis that the memorials, the prayers and the speeches will no doubt eventually achieve, we will do nothing.
But that doesn't mean we should resign ourselves to accepting the morally bankrupt status quo of unfettered and undocumented distribution of firearms. Those who demand the rights to own firearms without the responsibility and accountability that should come with it should be addressed with all requisite derision, disdain and contempt. We should continue to challenge the ridiculously specious arguments offered up against the proper registration of firearms. We should continue to search out, try out and speak out about all other possible solutions to this challenge. We should do also that which we have yet to do fully - take ourselves to the polls not just for presidential elections, but also for legislative balloting at local, state-level and federal levels. We should be considering and registering other forms of protest and opposition as such options remain plentiful. Thus our resolve for reform should not be diminished by frustration with the unacceptable status quo.