In response to the Las Vegas massacre, members of Congress descended on Twitter to offer “thoughts and prayers.” Twenty-nine of them also accepted campaign donations from the NRA in the last election.
These politicians are complicit in that massacre, and they are complicit in deaths of 11,000 Americans this year alone.
The convenient rebuttal is that the time for grieving should not be appropriated for political means. But there have been over 273 mass shootings in the United States this year. Offer a day of silence for each and we remain silent forever.
I am not naive: No single action or law will end gun violence. I also know the Las Vegas tragedy likely won’t change anything — kindergarteners died in Sandy Hook and Congress did nothing.
But it is not radical to believe that we should be able to live without these regular massacres. It is not radical to believe gun ownership and sensible gun laws can coexist, and it is not radical to believe that public policy responses exist for this epidemic.
The NRA and the politicians it funds profit from this violence and political inaction, while the rest of us are forced to (silently) grieve. Thoughts and prayers offer no condolence.
Leonie Oostrom, Richland