Another week. Another mass shooting. This time in a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Another bunch of flags flown at half mast.
Another bunch of lawmakers in the pocket of the NRA sending “thoughts and prayers” to families of the victims.
Another round of nauseating blather about how we shouldn’t “politicize this tragedy,” by talking about gun control.
I’ve been talking about gun control for most of my life. It began when I was a high school debater at Homestead High School in Cupertino, and continued through my days at Stanford. And beyond.
I’ve never been able to understand why, in many states, you can be old enough to buy a gun but not old enough to buy a beer. Why you have to pass a test to drive a car, but you can buy a gun without having to demonstrate any proficiency or knowledge of safety procedures. Why anyone wants or needs an assault weapon.
To hunt? To protect yourself in your home? Seriously?
An AR-15 is not designed for target practice. Or to shoot an animal. It’s designed to kill human beings. Lots of human beings. As quickly as possible.
Our fact-challenged president and his GOP colleagues parrot the NRA propaganda that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” That if there was an armed guard in the synagogue, the “results would’ve been better.”
I beg to differ. People with guns kill people. And putting more guns in the hands of schoolteachers or synagogue security guards will only result in more carnage.
These massacres—in schools, places of worship, workplaces, theatres and concert venues—don’t happen in any other country in the world. That’s because no other country in the world permits such easy access to guns.
Every country has people who are mentally ill. Ours is the only one that allows them to buy guns and slaughter school children and church-goers.
It is the easy access to guns in America that arms psychopaths like Robert Bowers, turns a domestic argument into a homicide, a bout of depression into a suicide, and a noise in the night into an accidental shooting.
It’s time for all of us to stand up, demand action, and vote the pro-gun crowd out of office.
We can all start a week from Tuesday.
Otherwise, nothing will change. We’ll go back to reading the latest round of tweets about fake media and immigrants infesting our country.
And the flags will be raised back up. The protests will die down. The NRA will continue to send checks to Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.
And more innocent people will be gunned down.
Note: This blog originally appeared on Feb. 16 under the title "Parkland," and was revised and updated on May 19 ("Sante Fe"). We will continue to revise and re-post this column every time there is a mass shooting, until the U.S. Congress enacts reasonable gun control legislation. Please vote on Nov. 6.