That’s just another thing to mourn about this: We can’t stop it. We can’t even slow it down. Not now, anyway. In a country where there are as many guns as people, and where a sizable percentage of those people believe that the answer is even more guns, we can expect this kind of thing to continue for the foreseeable future. We all know this won’t be the last gun massacre we hear about. There will be more. And more — coming sooner or later to a school or a shopping mall near you.
It’s way too late for the kids killed today. Too late for their ruined parents. Too late for the poor saps who step out of a T.J. Maxx in a few weeks or months to find some deranged asshole waving a couple of Glocks. For any ban to have any effect on atrocities like this, it should have been enacted decades ago.
But that can’t be the end of the discussion. While we mourn those kids today, and curse the miserable bastard who gunned them down, we can still look far down the road, and imagine a country that has somehow managed to limit the lethality of weapons available to the criminally insane. It’s going to take awhile, and nothing we do is likely to make an immediate difference. But we really do have to start somewhere, sometime. Maybe right here. Maybe right now.
Look, we’re not a free country because everybody plus dog has unfettered access to military-grade weapons. We’re a free country because we have laws that limit the reach and grasp of evil. Clamping down on weapons of mass destruction is well within the prerogatives of a free-but-civilized society. I don’t want to hear any of this bullshit about about arming teachers and students. I want a country where my granddaughter can worry a bit less about getting killed at her desk. And I think laws can help.