My cellphone buzzed with a information alert, which occurs quite a few occasions all through the day.
This one, at 1:45 p.m. on Monday, was one more mass capturing. My abdomen turned queasy anticipating the main points. I knew they’d be horrifying — they at all times are. However I feared the worst…and as I learn on, studying of the unthinkable deaths of three 9-year-old kids at a Nashville elementary faculty, I used to be sickened, and proper.
Shaken and absorbed by the tragic information, I appeared up from my cellphone and located myself, of all locations, at my son’s elementary faculty.
I used to be there with different mother and father to observe his grade carry out a jazz live performance. I appeared round on the different mothers and dads, grandmas and grandpas, smiling, laughing, chatting with one another — did they know the information? I hoped not.
As we waited for our kiddos to file into the widespread room and placed on their present, I couldn’t wait to take my son dwelling after his live performance. I wanted to hug him, maintain him, and preserve him secure. I acquired to do this yesterday. The mother and father of three kids in Nashville didn’t. I can’t think about their heartache.
As mother and father, it’s additionally our job to guard our children. And the mother in me is annoyed, saddened and terrified as that job turns into tougher and tougher within the face of a lot violence — and complacency.
The information is conclusive: mass shootings have surged over the previous decade, up from 273 in 2014 to a nauseating 690 in 2021. This yr, only a quarter of the best way by way of, we’re already at 131. That is appalling.
Gun-related deaths by suicide are up. Gun-related deaths by murder are up. Final yr, firearms changed automobile accidents because the main reason for dying for youngsters. How are we so keen to simply accept this menace to society?
As a law-abiding gun proprietor and former NRA member, I would be the first to say what many on the gun-rights aspect refuse to say: Now we have a gun downside. That is inarguable and apparent to anybody with a conscience and a calculator.
However I’m unhappy to say, the prevailing political components usually are not favorable to tackling this subject, a scourge that impacts each single American and our declining high quality of life.
Who may very well be optimistic that lawmakers will make any important adjustments to our gun legal guidelines, even adjustments a majority of People need? Issues like common background checks, elevating the age minimal to purchase an assault weapon, excessive capability journal bans, and stronger crimson flag legal guidelines have been a bridge too far.
Whereas President Biden is renewing requires an assault weapon ban, that prospect is pure fantasy. Only a few, if any, Republicans will cross the NRA or their voters to help it. And even many Democrats are afraid to go that far, nonetheless haunted by the reminiscence of 1994, when the GOP picked up eight Senate seats and 54 Home seats within the midterms, simply two months after Democrats handed an assault weapon ban.
Then you might have the phony cartoon conservatives on the far proper, who will giddily and gleefully exploit this tragedy to push extra of their bigoted culture-wars crap.
“How a lot hormones like testosterone and drugs for psychological sickness was the transgender Nashville faculty shooter taking?” tweeted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. “Everybody can cease blaming weapons now.”
This embarrassing show of mouth-breathing ignorance apart, the appropriate’s fetishization of black weapons over the previous decade has turned assault weapons into political canine whistles and sacred cows, brandished proudly and, typically, incongruously, as proof of their MAGA bonafides.
In 2021, Rep. Andy Ogles posted his household Christmas card, with them posing with rifles in entrance of a Christmas tree, to social media. Ogles’ Nashville district was the scene of the capturing.
Then, there’s the creep of complacency, which, counterintuitively, appears to develop with each mass capturing, not recede.
Take Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett, who instructed cameras on Monday that “we’re not gonna repair it.”
“My daddy fought within the second World Warfare, fought within the Pacific, fought the Japanese. And he instructed me, he mentioned, ‘Buddy, if any person desires to take you out and doesn’t thoughts shedding their life, there’s not a complete heck of rather a lot you are able to do about it.’ ”
The concept we simply should dwell with that is stomach-churning.
It’s additionally a deeply unhappy commentary on the collapse of American values. We are able to now not remedy issues? We’ll give up to the terrorism of mass shooters? We’ll sacrifice our youngsters on the altar of assault weapons?
There’s no life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness for the households of the Nashville capturing, nor the households of tens of 1000’s of victims of gun violence yearly. And the remainder of us simply have to attend, realizing there can be one other…and hope it’s not in our yard.
S.E. Cupp is the host of “S.E. Cupp Unfiltered” on CNN.