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Point of View: Maybe Now?

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 11:12

Was it so long ago that I wrote about the articulate students, survivors of the Stoneman Douglas mass shooting, who had come to the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., to speak eloquently of their suffering?

That was in April, not this past April, but in April 2018, 16 months ago — two months after the Parkland massacre.

One really had the sense then

that something finally might happen. “Right/Left, It’s Life or Death” read one of the myriad signs along Pennsylvania Avenue that day. For four hours the four of us barely moved a few inches, listening raptly as student after student, not only from the Stoneman Douglas school, but also from Los Angeles and Chicago, spoke.

I wrote then that “one gathered that things really might, after such a long period of depressing entropy, change — to wit, that people may no longer be able to amass caches of military weapons willy-nilly, invidiously citing ‘self-defense,’ that there finally may be thorough background checks, that there even may be licensing and registration and mandated insurance, and that maybe no longer will manufacturers of arms remain immune from lawsuits.”

“. . . Nobody was saying at the march, as far as I know, that firearms should be utterly banned — aside from the aforementioned military weapons like the AR-15, which, come to think of it, have no place in police departments either — but that, at long last, their sales and ownership particulars be well regulated. . . . The great majority of the country believes it’s past time that something, something effective, be done.”

Since the Parkland shootings, on  Feb. 14, 2018, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as one in which four or more people other than the assailant are shot, there have, according to my count, been 637 people killed and 2,215 injured. And yet Congress has in that year and a half done nothing. Maybe now.

The news this morning was promising, and Dr. Juan Martinez’s eulogy from the depths of his soul for the youngest of El Paso’s dead, 15-year-old Javier Rodriguez, shown on the night’s PBS “NewsHour” should be forever written in our hearts.

Javier did not deserve this . . . we do not deserve this . . . we are people of light, people of hope, not of darkness . . . stop taking our children away from us . . . not one more . . . no more darkness, no more hate. . . .  

Maybe now. . . .


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