(With apologies to Jonathon Swift 1667-1745)
Vigils, comforting words, support and speeches decrying the terrible loss of life have become common place in the United States. So much so, that they are in danger of losing meaning. What would be meaningful is taking action to stop the violence. In spite of the official claims of ‘helplessness’, there are steps that can be taken:
- Outlaw the hunting of people. Babies, mothers, fathers, grandparents, nieces, nephews, uncles and aunts; people of all kinds, should be put on a national endangered species list. What turns people into prey is the easy availability of weapons that are sold for the sole purpose of killing. A deer hunter would not use this type of weapon for hunting because it mangles the prey. The shooter in Gilroy, California, used a weapon purchased legally in neighboring Nevada. That weapon was outlawed in California. A federal law against the manufacture and selling of such weapons to the general public is necessary
- Stop electing people to public office who are warped and miss-informed, such as the state representative who blamed the horrific increase in mass shootings on gay marriage and drag queens. Unlike disaffected loners, these people are pretty easy to spot.
- Watch your mouth in public and private and demand your elected officials do the same. Recall those who don’t.
Perhaps we could have those officials who feel that freedom can be found at the end of a weapon, wear yellow vests with red targets painted on them as they shop at Walmart, attend concerts, go to a house of worship and otherwise go about their usual weekend affairs with the rest of us.