We’d like to thank the president for his heartfelt tweet offering his condolences to the families of the 12 men and women shot and killed in the latest gun-related massacre, this time occurring over the weekend in Virginia Beach. We can only assume that his travels overseas during which he, the first lady and his inner circle hobnobbed with British royalty serve as the reason why he has yet to come forward with anything of substance and merit to answer a decades-long plea from Americans to our leaders and lawmakers to confront what can only be described today as a national emergency.
But silence, similar to the silencer — the sound suppressor employed by the Virginia Beach shooter that he placed on his semiautomatic weapon so that those who stood in his path could not be warned of pending doom by the sound of gunfire — is anything but and far from “golden.” Silence, in its most ominous configuration, is potentially, if not inevitably, deadly.
Even the District continues to face a version of the nation’s “code red situation” when it comes to the ease with which guns can be acquired, the prevalence in which they’re indiscriminately used and the devastation that marauding gunslingers invoke on our communities, color notwithstanding. One need only look back a few weeks ago to the Memorial Day weekend for evidence.
Still, as the number of deaths escalate from the relentless occurrences of mass shootings now recorded at public schools, nightclubs, concerts, newspapers, public facilities, factories and houses of worship, we wonder how many more must die before elected officials, at every level, forget about political endorsements, their legislative future or the whims of their financial contributors who hold the purse strings to staggering amounts of cash and join the cadre of Americans who continue to call for an end to the madness.
Whatever the reasons behind the dearth of those who have the gumption to stand up for life, instead of the rights and well-entrenched sway of the National Rifle Association, something must be done. Vigils with candles and teddy bears last for only a moment. But the pain of losing a loved one in a senseless barrage of bullets lasts a lifetime.
Is there anyone brave enough to stand up, show up and bring a voice of reason in light of this epidemic of gun-related insanity that continues to hold our country in a state of fear and paralysis?