By RAHN ADAMS
We all know it’s coming. Sooner or later, a mass shooting will come to our town — to our school, our college, our worship center, our movie theater, our concert venue, our park, our store, our workplace.
And there’s nothing we can do to stop it.
Guns. Violence. Hate. Mental illness. Video games. Movies. Television. The Internet. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. The President. The Congress. The Judiciary. The Fourth Estate. We, the People. We, the Tired, the Poor, the Huddled Masses, the Homeless, the Wretched Refuse of Teeming Shores throughout our nation’s storied past. Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness. The Second Amendment. Laws. Weapons of Mass Destruction.
And, lest I forget, thoughts and prayers. I didn’t bother to capitalize those two words, even though What We Think and What We Say — whether to our God or to our Neighbor in the broadest senses of both words — are fundamentally more important than anything in the previous paragraph’s long list of nouns.
But those are the issues, right? And there’s nothing we can do to change anything for the better where any of those topics are concerned, right?
There’s much we can do, if we want change. But a true solution will involve all those areas of concern and others, not just one or two of them.
The solution will be complicated, not simple. You don’t have to be a prophet to read the bullet holes on the wall and state the obvious.
It’s ironic that we, as a nation, are having this grim discussion so close to the 50th anniversary of what is generally called America’s greatest achievement, the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969 that put two men on the moon for the first time, a goal that seemed to be an impossible dream when the President tasked NASA with it eight years earlier.
But that was a different time, a different president with a different brand of leadership, and a different country of people living together in harmony from sea to shining sea. We had no problems then. There were no distractions. Much of what plagues us now didn’t even exist in the 1960s, a decade of peace and prosperity. We respected other people’s rights, and we valued truth, love and the brotherhood of every race, creed, color and gender. It was the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, whatever that means.
Yeah, yeah, I could go on and on. But what’s the point? (That’s a rhetorical question with no answer, not my effort to get you, the reader, to consider the main idea that I’m trying to convey in this column.)
We don’t really want change.
And why should we?
It hasn’t happened to us here in __________.
Or to __________, whom we love.