This marks the 209th school shooting since Columbine in April 1999. That’s about once a month for the last 19 years. 163rd since Virginia Tech in April 2007, once every 3.5 weeks for almost 11 years. It’s the 114th since Sandy Hook in December 2012, once every 2.5 weeks for 5 straight years. And it is the 7th in 2018, once a week.
What are the only 2 major pieces of gun legislation since Columbine in 1999? In 2004 the Assault Weapons Ban was allowed to expire, and in 2005 Congress passed a law preventing gun manufacturers from being sued for negligence. That’s it. That’s the sum total Congress has done regarding gun legislation.
What will it take for meaningful reform to slow down these shootings? We all know the answer; no action will be taken. If nothing was done when 15 were killed at Columbine, or when 33 were killed at Virginia Tech, or when 20 first graders and 8 others were slaughtered in Newtown, CT; nothing will be done now that at least 17 were killed in Florida.
When a bump-stock to effectively turn a semi-automatic rifle into a fully automatic rifle was used in Las Vegas to kill 58 and injure 851, legislators on both sides of the aisle came out FOR common sense laws banning that loophole. Yet five months later, no action has been taken.
Solving this is going to take comprehensive reform. It is going to take better healthcare to treat mental illness. It is going to take society destigmatizing mental illness. And it is going to take common sense gun laws to prevent the most dangerous weapons from legally reaching the hands of the most dangerous people in our society.
One final note, in no longer so hushed racial undertones blacks, and Mexicans, and Muslims are blamed for the violence in this country. By and large these school shootings (and mass shootings in general) are done by white middle to upper-class students and adults with legally acquired weapons.
Notice how it is always mental illness when it is performed by white middle class Americans, but if a crime is committed by someone who is black, or Muslim, or Mexican, or atheist, it is their race or creed that is at fault. People don’t want to believe that someone like them can commit atrocities so it is always something else to blame, and they choose the most obvious difference from their views, or actions, or looks, and when there is nothing left only then does it shift to mental illness.