What can be done to stop plague of school shootings?

In the film “Boondock Saints,” a priest states,“We must all fear evil men. But, there is another kind of evil which we must fear most … and that is the indifference of good men.”

A Wednesday article from The Associated Press noted, “Public outrage is swift following mass shootings, such as the killing of six people at a Christian elementary school in Nashville. Sorrow and sympathy are widespread. But what comes next from policymakers is likely to depend on which political party is in charge of a state.”

Don’t expect new gun controls in Republican-led states, such as Tennessee or Texas, the article states.

But when similar tragedies occur in Democratic-led states, more gun limits are likely — even if they already have restrictive laws.

Put another way, mass shootings generally don’t seem to change a state’s basic political makeup.

“Democratic-led states tend to focus more on firearm restrictions whereas Republican-led states do not and often emphasize lessening regulations on guns,” said Jaclyn Schildkraut, executive director of the Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium at the Rockefeller Institute of Government.

Thankfully, Michigan’s new Democratic legislative majority took its first steps earlier this month toward passing a sweeping gun safety package.

The Senate voted along party lines for a red-flag law that would allow guns to temporarily be removed from people with potentially violent behavior. It also passed measures requiring anyone purchasing a rifle or shotgun to undergo a background check, which is currently only required for handgun purchases, and to store guns safely where they cannot be accessed by minors.

Much of the package was crafted by Democrats nearly 15 months ago following a shooting at Oxford High School. But the bills saw little movement until Democrats won control of the Legislature from Republicans in last fall’s elections. They’ve gained momentum after a gunman killed three people last month at Michigan State University, not far from the state Capitol.

As school shootings have gone from an occasional event to what now seems like weekly or daily news stories, we are glad to be a part of a state that is actually taking action to address the issue. By no means do we believe that Americans’ Second Amendment rights should be infringed upon, but Tennessee Republican Rep. Tim Burchett was interviewed by reporters this week, where he said, “Three precious little kids lost their lives and I believe three adults … It’s a horrible situation, and we’re not going to fix it. Criminals are going to be criminals.”

We have the sneaking suspicion that he might feel differently if his family had been directly affected by this tragic event.

Turning a blind eye and showing complete indifference to the suffering families involved is, in our opinion, a major part of the problem our country is currently faced with. Some of these lawmakers around the country should follow Michigan’s lead on this one.

At the very least, for the sake of our children’s futures — DO SOMETHING. Your inaction is tearing families apart and leaving more children dead, and for what?


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